BWCA BEARS Boundary Waters Listening Point - General Discussion
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08/31/2022 08:57PM  
Just finished a trip to Horseshoe that should have been three nights, but turn to one.

(Campsite 674) Had a bear walk right into camp and within four feet of my youngest! Nothing would discourage him till I fired a couple of rounds.

We packed up and bolted to an open site (campsite 677) a half mile away on the other side of the lake. Weren’t there five minutes and was pulling up the food bag and my wife screamed. There was another bear fifteen feet away heading to our canoe with our kids in it. I had to fire another round before he would be deterred.

Left that site and unexpected BWCA.com member Ausable and his crew took my family and me in for the night. (Campsite 672)

Early the next morning, we broke came and headed out. My family had had too much. Across from the portage from Caribou to Lizz, (campsite 645) the campers there had their breakfast intruded upon by a bear who would not be deterred till he had taken their food bag.

I am very careful with keeping food out of reach at all times. A habit from 15+ years of backpacking and camping in the BWCA. Also, this is the first time I have ever fired a firearm in the wilderness (I’m trained and legal to carry) and I hope it's the last. I will have pepper spray the next time as well.

I reported the bears to the US Forest Service and the outfitter.

Anyone else here ever had a similar experience in the BWCA?
 
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YetiJedi
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08/31/2022 09:26PM  
WOW! Your restraint is incredible, in my opinion. I'm not sure I would have been so kind to the bear if it had been within four feet of my child. I'm glad everyone is okay even if rattled by the encounters. It's also good the bear is okay...for now. I imagine it is only a matter of time before an intervention will need to occur and I don't think relocating bears has been all that successful, but I could be wrong. It appears these particular bears have had success getting food in camp and they like it and they'll keep getting braver and someone will actually use spray or a gun. Sorry your trip was cut short but glad you and your family are safe.

Kudos to Ausable for taking you in!

Anyway, here comes the discussion and debate on the topic which is an important part of education and awareness.
 
08/31/2022 10:08PM  
Wow. Bear encounters are scary enough, worse with kids around. That’s closer than I’d like.

I’ll take the snowshoe hare we had in camp any day over a bear!
 
airmorse
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08/31/2022 10:31PM  
When I was on Rec.gov this morning canceling my reservation for my BW trip in September, it mentioned that there have been an enormous amount of bear encounters in the BW as of late.
 
Saberboys
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09/01/2022 08:24AM  
Sorry to hear about your misadventure! Do you recall what campsites were involved? We are heading in via EP 47 to Horseshoe this weekend..
 
Boppasteveg
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09/01/2022 08:55AM  
Go to the Lake maps section and create a wildlife sighting/encounter report!
 
Chieflonewatie
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09/01/2022 10:29AM  
You could have brought home a nice bear skin rug.
 
Maiingan
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09/01/2022 11:03AM  
Chieflonewatie: "You could have brought home a nice bear skin rug."

The meat will be tasty this year with all the berries.
 
Kermit
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09/01/2022 12:20PM  
Here's the notice on Recreation.gov from the Gunflint Ranger District:
"Areas around Stairway Portage from Duncan to Rose, as well as campsites on Rose, Duncan, Daniels, Clearwater, Flour, and Caribou Lakes have all had multiple bear encounters in the past few weeks. Please ensure you are being vigilant with food storage regardless of where you are camping."

And here's a video from some campers a few days ago on Rose Lake:
Rose Lake Bear Video

Definitely want to be extra cautious with your food storage as the bears are looking for calories to stock up on before winter. Many of the bears in northern Minnesota feed on bear bait piles, so bears getting human food this time of year can come from a lot of places, especially near the edges.
 
tumblehome
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09/01/2022 12:31PM  
Why do people bring guns camping? That's weird if you ask me
Don't blame the bears for the bear problem.

Sorry man.
Tom
 
Dukes
member (12)member
  
09/01/2022 12:50PM  
tumblehome: "Why do people bring guns camping. That's weird if you ask me
Don't blame the bears for the bear problem.


Sorry man.
Tom"


*Grabs popcorn
 
MikeinMpls
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09/01/2022 01:19PM  
Dukes: "
tumblehome: "Why do people bring guns camping. That's weird if you ask me
Don't blame the bears for the bear problem.



Sorry man.
Tom"



*Grabs popcorn"


Yep...here comes the tsunami!

Mike
 
heavylunch
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09/01/2022 01:32PM  
That is pretty wild. I have not had that happen to me in the BWCA. I have had a number of scary experiences when bowhunting in Wisconsin though. One black bear tried to climb into a treestand with me. Even came back after scaring it off and again about a week later!

A different year one watched me field dress a deer from about 20 yards away at dusk. Yelling didn't help. Wouldn't go away. Finally one followed me out one evening just a few steps behind me. Yelling actually got that one to go away once I realized the bear was there.

 
09/01/2022 01:54PM  
MikeinMpls: "
Dukes: "
tumblehome: "Why do people bring guns camping. That's weird if you ask me. Don't blame the bears for the bear problem.

Sorry man.
Tom"

*Grabs popcorn"

Yep...here comes the tsunami!

Mike"

If it's for protection from bears then I guess you have your answer. Although the statistics would immediately suggest it's a waste of weight and pack space that could otherwise be used to carry more alcohol.
 
tomo
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09/01/2022 01:54PM  
Kermit: "Here's the notice on Recreation.gov from the Gunflint Ranger District:
"Areas around Stairway Portage from Duncan to Rose, as well as campsites on Rose, Duncan, Daniels, Clearwater, Flour, and Caribou Lakes have all had multiple bear encounters in the past few weeks. Please ensure you are being vigilant with food storage regardless of where you are camping."


And here's a video from some campers a few days ago on Rose Lake:
Rose Lake Bear Video


Definitely want to be extra cautious with your food storage as the bears are looking for calories to stock up on before winter. Many of the bears in northern Minnesota feed on bear bait piles, so bears getting human food this time of year can come from a lot of places, especially near the edges. "


Can you link? I can’t find it?
 
tomo
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09/01/2022 01:57PM  
Nevermind. I found it....
thanks!

 
09/01/2022 02:50PM  
Saberboys: "Sorry to hear about your misadventure! Do you recall what campsites were involved? We are heading in via EP 47 to Horseshoe this weekend.."


I added the campsite numbers to the original post.
 
09/01/2022 02:52PM  
Boppasteveg: "Go to the Lake maps section and create a wildlife sighting/encounter report!"


Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll do that soon.
 
09/01/2022 03:21PM  
Kermit: "Here's the notice on Recreation.gov from the Gunflint Ranger District:
"Areas around Stairway Portage from Duncan to Rose, as well as campsites on Rose, Duncan, Daniels, Clearwater, Flour, and Caribou Lakes have all had multiple bear encounters in the past few weeks. Please ensure you are being vigilant with food storage regardless of where you are camping."


And here's a video from some campers a few days ago on Rose Lake:
Rose Lake Bear Video


Definitely want to be extra cautious with your food storage as the bears are looking for calories to stock up on before winter. Many of the bears in northern Minnesota feed on bear bait piles, so bears getting human food this time of year can come from a lot of places, especially near the edges. "


I wish mine was that “scared” of us. Glad he was okay too.
 
09/01/2022 03:22PM  
To all of those thinking it, I to agree that it wasn’t the bear's fault. Whether someone’s accidental carelessness or thought it would be fun to feed him he has learned to enjoy the same food we do.

With that being said, being that he was that comfortable that close to me and my family was too close. My wife and the forest service said I did the right thing, and whether I did or didn’t, it didn’t matter to me as much as my family and me making it out safely and not having to go hungry on the way out.

On the bright side of things, due to our quicker departure, we got to have a very close encounter with a huge bull moose which has been a dream of my wife for many years.
 
airmorse
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09/01/2022 04:38PM  
Pictures of the Moose?
 
KawnipiKid
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09/01/2022 06:13PM  
CanoeViking: "To all of those thinking it, I to agree that it wasn’t the bear's fault. Whether someone’s accidental carelessness or thought it would be fun to feed him he has learned to enjoy the same food we do.

With that being said, being that comfortable that close to me and my family was too close. My wife and the forest service said I did the right thing, and whether I did or didn’t, it didn’t matter to me as much as my family and me making it out safely and not having to go hungry on the way out.

On the bright side of things, due to our quicker departure, we got to have a very close encounter with a huge bull moose which has been a dream of my wife for many years."


+1 one the bear and fault. Bears can get into stuff when people follow all the rules and that's too bad but nobody's fault. However, people who carelessly or knowingly habituate a bear to human food often are sentencing that bear to a very sad ending. Based on my experience out west, they don't get relocated, they are eliminated.

As for the overall situation you faced, it's pretty easy - but not helpful or fair - for us to second guess what you did in a dangerous and complex situation with family involved. We can imagine what you've been through but not recreate it at a level to assess it any differently than you did. I'm sure you did the best thing possible second by second. I'm just glad you're all safe and hope this won't keep you from great family adventures in the future.
 
09/01/2022 06:25PM  
Glad everyone is okay. I know most bears don’t attack people but having a couple that close with small children would be unnerving to say the least.

I think you made the right choice using the noise of the handgun to scare them off. Shooting it might have just angered the bear and caused trouble.

Sorry you had to go through this…thanks for posting for others. Unfortunately for a bear that comfortable next to humans it is probably just a matter of time before the bears demise. At least your interaction will hopefully be seen as negative one for the bear…

T
 
Diego
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09/02/2022 04:17AM  
We were camped at Gaskin, next lake south of Horseshoe earlier this month. Outfitter told us there had a been a number of sightings of a bear wandering into camp going straight at the food. We never saw one, but wonder if this is related?
 
09/02/2022 08:02AM  
Diego: "We were camped at Gaskin, next lake south of Horseshoe earlier this month. Outfitter told us there had a been a number of sightings of a bear wandering into camp going straight at the food. We never saw one, but wonder if this is related?"


Our Outfitters said it was very likely the same one.



As far as pictures of the moose they’re on my wife’s phone. I’ll post them as soon as I have them. They’re little farther away than I would’ve preferred but after all of our other close encounters we didn’t think of the phone until it dawned on us l what it was.
 
eagle98mn
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09/02/2022 09:37AM  
Wow! I just got back from camping on Horseshoe on the other side of that peninsula at 675 with my two kids last week. We were there on 8/25 and then headed to Winchell and Gaskin over the next couple nights. I shared your story with my kids (9 and 6) to further reinforce why I told them they weren't allowed to go to the toilet without me and why I insisted they stay in view in the campsite while playing. Glad you all are OK.
 
09/02/2022 11:04AM  
CanoeViking: "Just finished a trip to Horseshoe that should have been three nights, but turn to one.

(Campsite 674) Had a bear walk right into camp and within four feet of my youngest! Nothing would discourage him till I fired a couple of rounds.

We packed up and bolted to an open site (campsite 677) a half mile away on the other side of the lake. Weren’t there five minutes and was pulling up the food bag and my wife screamed. There was another bear fifteen feet away heading to our canoe with our kids in it. I had to fire another round before he would be deterred.

Left that site and unexpected BWCA.com member Ausable and his crew took my family and me in for the night. (Campsite 672)

Early the next morning, we broke came and headed out. My family had had too much. Across from the portage from Caribou to Lizz, (campsite 645) the campers there had their breakfast intruded upon by a bear who would not be deterred till he had taken their food bag.

I am very careful with keeping food out of reach at all times. A habit from 15+ years of backpacking and camping in the BWCA. Also, this is the first time I have ever fired a firearm in the wilderness (I’m trained and legal to carry) and I hope it's the last. I will have pepper spray the next time as well.

I reported the bears to the US Forest Service and the outfitter.
I’ve never had a bear in camp. You stated the bear came very close to your children. Was the bear aggressive or was it just looking for food?

Anyone else here ever had a similar experience in the BWCA?"

I've never had a bear in camp, but I've encountered them portages. When they were aware of my presence, they bolted.
Was the bear aggressive? Or was it just curious and looking for food?
 
ockycamper
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09/02/2022 11:12AM  
tumblehome: "Why do people bring guns camping? That's weird if you ask me
Don't blame the bears for the bear problem.


Sorry man.
Tom"


First, those that carry guns typically carry them wherever they go, not just camping. Second, BWCA is not a park. It is a wilderness area. There have been, and will be, encounters with animals, bears and moose.

You are correct in that making noise, banging things, and bear spray handle most of the situations. However if the bear was that close to one our grandkids I would not hesitate to use the gun.

Many people throw out that guns are not effective. There is a study listed on another thread on this forum that shows hard data showing that guns can be very effective, in fact at a 97% rate. You might read that study.
 
ockycamper
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09/02/2022 11:18AM  
Here is the link on the other post Effectiveness of guns with bears
 
Minnesotian
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09/02/2022 12:23PM  
ockycamper: "Here is the link on the other post Effectiveness of guns with bears "


Ockycamper, thanks for posting that link, however, I have a hard time taking it seriously as there appears to be a heavy bias to using a gun for defense, as the gathered information in the link is all anecdotal as well as the website is called Ammoland.com. I do not doubt the veracity the author put into locating the information and the stories, but there is a slat at that site to show how effective guns are in bear encounters.

As a counter to the link, how many times has bear spray been used to fend off a bear, but no story or follow-up to the encounter is never reported?

Until I see reports or studies done by independent sources minimizing bias and with documented information and not just stories, I will continue to heed the recommendation by The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee, a committee made up of "representatives from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Geological Survey and representatives of the state wildlife agencies of Idaho, Montana, Washington, and Wyoming. At the ecosystem level, Native American tribes that manage grizzly bear habitat and county governments are represented, along with other partners."

The following is their recommendation: "No deterrent is 100% effective and the IGBC does not guarantee the effectiveness of any product; however, compared to all other methods (including firearms) bear spray has demonstrated the most success in fending off threatening and attacking bears and preventing injury to the person and animal involved. " IGB Online Bear Spray

That all being said, I personally do not judge those who bring firearms into the wilderness as long as they are trained and licensed.
 
MReid
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09/02/2022 01:30PM  
ockycamper: "Many people throw out that guns are not effective. There is a study listed on another thread on this forum that shows hard data showing that guns can be very effective, in fact at a 97% rate. You might read that study."

That's not a study, but rather a gathering of anecdotes that support his biased contention (support for firearm use--it is "Ammoland"). However, having managed human-bear conflicts for 20 years as a federal wildlife biologist, I do realize that both guns and pepper spray are effective, and I use both under certain conditions.
Here are some interesting interviews with Tom Smith, a USGS researcher who was central to the bear spray effectiveness discussion. Basically, many people misunderstand what his data show, and that has caused enthusiasts on both sides to wave their flags. Shoot or spray and Does bear spray work?
 
ockycamper
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09/02/2022 02:11PM  
I am not making the point for firearms over bear spray. What I am saying is that those that state firearms are not effective are incorrect. A high power handgun or shotgun in the hands of someone well trained in its use is very effective. Hunters in almost ever state hunt bears each year with everything from bows to handguns to shotguns to rifles.

In the same way, I would wager that 99% of those carrying bear spray have never practiced with it or thought through the use of it with wind issues, etc. The bear spray would also have zero effect on a bear in the hands of someone who panicks and starts randomly spraying at the bear into the wind.
 
09/02/2022 07:13PM  
Glad your safe... hope your family is not deterred from future trips.
 
09/02/2022 09:06PM  
A few observations

1.) To Argo, I guess it was worth the weight, since it obviously was deterred.

2.) To Kermit… gah!!! Hiking the BRT, and those darn Rose Lake Bear(s) must still be there. I heard last year they were super brazen just walking up to people. We are always super bear aware, and might try to avoid camping in that area, but might be unavoidable because of how the mileage is on the BRT…

3.) Back to Argo, yeah for a backpacking trip, definitely NOT worth the weight, I’m soon becoming a gram weenie… but will carry bear spray, and a whistle.

Someone on this thread years ago had a bear encounter, and nothing would deter their bear, until one of them finally blew hard into one of those yellow whistles.

4.) I’ve camped in this area, and I think its possible due to the easiness of the portages in the area, it might have been visited my more careless people, thus habituating the bears.
 
09/02/2022 09:16PM  
egknuti: "
CanoeViking: "Just finished a trip to Horseshoe that should have been three nights, but turn to one.


(Campsite 674) Had a bear walk right into camp and within four feet of my youngest! Nothing would discourage him till I fired a couple of rounds.


We packed up and bolted to an open site (campsite 677) a half mile away on the other side of the lake. Weren’t there five minutes and was pulling up the food bag and my wife screamed. There was another bear fifteen feet away heading to our canoe with our kids in it. I had to fire another round before he would be deterred.


Left that site and unexpected BWCA.com member Ausable and his crew took my family and me in for the night. (Campsite 672)


Early the next morning, we broke came and headed out. My family had had too much. Across from the portage from Caribou to Lizz, (campsite 645) the campers there had their breakfast intruded upon by a bear who would not be deterred till he had taken their food bag.


I am very careful with keeping food out of reach at all times. A habit from 15+ years of backpacking and camping in the BWCA. Also, this is the first time I have ever fired a firearm in the wilderness (I’m trained and legal to carry) and I hope it's the last. I will have pepper spray the next time as well.


I reported the bears to the US Forest Service and the outfitter.
I’ve never had a bear in camp. You stated the bear came very close to your children. Was the bear aggressive or was it just looking for food?


Anyone else here ever had a similar experience in the BWCA?"

I've never had a bear in camp, but I've encountered them portages. When they were aware of my presence, they bolted.
Was the bear aggressive? Or was it just curious and looking for food?"


I think just overly comfortable looking for easy food.
 
09/02/2022 09:22PM  
nctry: "Glad your safe... hope your family is not deterred from future trips."


Me too.

The boys are willing to go back to the BWCA but both of them said “not that site!”

We will be back next year but will take more precautions and likely start with going with a group again just to ease back in.

Also my wife said I can’t sleep with earplugs up there again. ;-)
 
09/04/2022 08:28AM  
Our 3-man group returned returned 2 days ago from a 10 day trip, and I just now noticed this thread. I'm sorry that you, CanoeViking, had to end your trip early. On the positive side, it was lovely meeting you and your family. Jim the Tall immediately went into Grandpa Mode attempting to keep your kids entertained and distracted while you and your wife set up camp: he enjoyed doing that. Tom the Talkative enjoyed interacting with you and I hope he did not distract you from your family duties too much.

When we arrived at Rockwood, the news of bears on Horseshoe (your report in particular) and Gaskin and Caribou was on everyone's lips. A group arriving shortly after us also reported a bear. Oddly, when we entered on the 23rd, no bear activity had been noted in that area for several weeks.

This was the 1st year I did not carry bear spray. Maybe the odors from a group of 3 guys who had been in the woods for 8+ days was just bad enough to deter a bear ;) .
 
Eric52
  
09/04/2022 09:48AM  
Glad you are all safe. I just returned from 5 days solo out of Meeds EP48. On 8/31 I had a bear walk into my camp on Gaskin Lake site 628 while I was cooking dinner. I had been watching the setting sun while cooking when I stood up to reach into my food pack which was next to me. That’s when I noticed the Bear about 12 ft away from/behind me. With my pot on the stove I used my voice and got big. The bear stared at me for a moment before walking off. With it turned away I grabbed a few rocks and chucked them in the direction the bear departed hoping it would expedite and reinforce the unwelcome. About 10-15 min later I heard campers at what I presume was site 630 but could have been 627 shoeing a bear out from their site. I’d be impressed if it was the same bear given the timing although it could have been.
The next day I heard what I presume was your story from some guys staying at 629. I did spend another night at 628 with my head on a swivel but without incident. As I exited on 9/2 I heard more about folks having bear encounters in the area from people coming in from Poplar (not sure if these were multiple stories or the various retelling of 1 story). The folks at Rockwood told me the forest service would be going in to put down the bear that got the food pack. I wasn’t clear how they ensure they get the right bear or if they will be taking out multiple.
I believe this was my 12th trip dating back to 2004 and it was my first bear encounter. Actually the first time I had seen one in the BWCA. Keep up safe practices with your food and keep your awareness up if your in the area.
 
Northland
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09/05/2022 01:34AM  
Maiingan: "
Chieflonewatie: "You could have brought home a nice bear skin rug."

The meat will be tasty this year with all the berries.
"


Likely you’d have neither. People can protect themselves and/or property from state-managed critters by dispatching them, but you won’t get to keep what you kill. This is meant to discourage people from outright poaching and claiming afterwards that the animal was a threat or nuisance when it actually wasn’t.
 
Bombus
  
09/05/2022 05:23PM  
Hi all. I’m sure we encountered this bear on our trip last weekend. We went in 9/1 and were supposed to exit 9/4, but ended up leaving 9/2 instead.

We had a group of 6 on Caribou in site 645 (the one that’s actually across from the Lizz portage). When we got there on Thurs, we found an abandoned old-style canvas pack on the path to the latrine that had obviously been raided by some critter, so we were ready for bear activity. We bagged the trash and hung it and the pack with other food from our party (which was never touched).

Half of us were using bear cans. My husband and I stashed ours out near the latrine Thurs night. The next morning around 9 AM I passed them on my way to the latrine and they were untouched. Imagine my surprise when, on my way back a few minutes later, they were being investigated by the bear. When I started shouting it grabbed one of them in its mouth and ambled off into the woods.

My husband and I followed it south into the woods, still shouting and throwing things when possible. It kept stopping to try to break into the can but we kept driving it on. Finally it left the can and continued south. We must’ve been halfway to site 646 at this point. We retrieved the can and picked our way back north to camp.

A few minutes later, as we were discussing our next move, it came back - all the way into camp through our tents. We all went after it with more shouting and throwing and this time it left with more urgency. A little later we saw it swimming the channel north towards the Lizz portage…and a little after THAT we heard it harassing site 644 west of the portage.

We were planning to move south and look for a site on Horseshoe/Gaskin, which would’ve been tough anyhow for a party of our size on Labor Day weekend, but as we were ready to head out a party came by on their way to the portage and told us about the bear activity all the way down to Gaskin so we decided to just bail and spread the word on the way out. It was a real bummer (1st “annual” group trip since 2019) but felt like the right call. I didn’t want to be on alert the whole weekend.

We reported it to the outfitter and at the DNR in Grand Marais. The ranger there said the bear had started acting up about a week ago once the berries ended. She recommended hanging bear cans…which is most of what I’d hoped to avoid by bringing a bear can. Good hang trees can be rare up there.

We can’t unscrew the damaged can, due to thread damage and a big puncture in the lid. They’re strong critters.

Stay safe out there, everyone! Thanks to all who are extra careful to secure their tasty calories.
 
schweady
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09/05/2022 10:54PM  
Bombus: "Half of us were using bear cans. My husband and I stashed ours out near the latrine Thurs night. The next morning around 9 AM I passed them on my way to the latrine and they were untouched. Imagine my surprise when, on my way back a few minutes later, they were being investigated by the bear. When I started shouting it grabbed one of them in its mouth and ambled off into the woods.


My husband and I followed it south into the woods, still shouting and throwing things when possible. It kept stopping to try to break into the can but we kept driving it on. Finally it left the can and continued south. We must’ve been halfway to site 646 at this point. We retrieved the can and picked our way back north to camp."

Was this a Garcia? or Bear Vault? I have a hard time picturing a bear being able to hold this in its mouth... and walking off with it. Unless it got a grip on the lid edge, maybe? Whaddayado? Advice is usually given NOT to secure the barrel in position since it affords better leverage for the bear's attempts at opening it...
 
09/06/2022 09:00AM  
A pair of Border Route Trail hikers just got their trip cut short.

They were having lunch on Daniels Lake, and a bear approached them from behind within 10 feet. Obviously their food bags were out, because they were in the act of eating lunch. The bear would not be scared off, and proceeded to eat all of their food for the rest of their trip.

A group of paddlers tried helping to scare off the bear as well to no avail.

The bear only left after it ate all of the hikers food.
 
Bombus
  
09/06/2022 09:47AM  
schweady: "Was this a Garcia? or Bear Vault? I have a hard time picturing a bear being able to hold this in its mouth... and walking off with it. Unless it got a grip on the lid edge, maybe?"


It was a bearvault, and as you guessed the bear gripped it by the softer plastic in the lid. By the tooth marks it looks like bottom teeth were pressed into the rim and the top teeth were hooked into a puncture in the top of the lid. Couldn't have been very comfortable to carry that way.

Incidentally, this is the 2nd time we've lost a bearvault up there. In 2017 we were at a site on the other Caribou (S of Clearwater) and returned to camp after a day trip to find one was missing . Nothing else had been touched, so at first we weren't sure what had happened - it poured rain while we were gone; maybe it had washed into the lake? or gotten so covered in kicked-up duff that we couldn't see it stashed back in the woods? We assumed it was a bear when I noticed my can lid was covered in scratches and bite marks (though not punctured like this one). Like you, I had trouble believing a bear could grip it well enough to carry it away...but now I'm an eyewitness!

Yeah, I'm unsure what to do about conflicting advice on "securing" a bear can since BV's site says to not hang/tie them. I'll probably just keep stashing them loose as usual since this has never been an issue when I've used them outside the BWCA.

Here's the damage:
 
09/06/2022 10:16AM  
I might be miss reading this but, a common theme to all these encounters, including my own, is no bear spray.

I am thankful that I was able to scare off our bear with “audible” deterrent. But the lesson that I am learning is, including what I typically bring, I will be adding bear spray to my arsenal.

Also I’ve been reading on this form for years I don’t every call hearing so many people having problems with bears, even at this time of year.
 
schweady
distinguished member(8115)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
  
09/06/2022 11:17AM  
Bombus: Wow. If it's any consolation, my thanks go out to you for not feeding that bear. Certainly, this event was caused by others who were far less careful or capable.

CanoeViking: I tend to agree that bear spray is a reasonable piece of equipment, and I am thinking hard about including that in our kit, but bears like this may possibly be only deterred temporarily. Unfortunately, they are destined to be destroyed, as I guess Forest apparently has plans to go after three of them. Altho I'm not sure how they came up with that number.
 
09/06/2022 12:25PM  
Bear problems created by humans not keeping food out of reach. You can't blame Yogi and Boo-boo.
These are probably older bear or off-spring taught thru the ages about human dumbness and free meals.

Also I do not want to go to a barrel for 60 years I have had zero bear problems. The more people whom are negilent the more rules will come down on the rest of us.


 
09/06/2022 12:53PM  
9 years ago I was solo camped on Caribou (just south of Clearwater) on the site just west of the portage trail. Nice little island right in front. I was warned there was bear activity in the area and should have considered that this site was open late in the day for a reason.

Kept a clean camp but made the mistake of leaving my barrel (closed and clamped) in camp. Woke up that morning to witness a bear dragging the barrel away. Banging the one pot I had did nothing except evoke a bluff charge (which was quite scary). It was amazing how quickly that bear drug that barrel back into the thickness of the forest. I could hear him, but not see him.

Took out, reported it to the FS. I heard that a couple of weeks later the bear was actually ransacking the food room at Clearwater Lodge Outfitters and the owner called the FS and asked permission to shoot it, which he did. I felt pretty bad, because I've always felt that even though the bear was obviously already habituated that he/she taking my food shouldn't be a capital crime. I initially got close enough that I think bear spray (which I didn't have) might have saved my trip. I carry spray now just because of that encounter.

A couple of years later, however, I did have fun writing a song called "The Bear Barrel Polka" making fun of myself in it. Kevin Callan even danced a polka step to it at Canoecopia.

 
Maiingan
distinguished member (191)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
09/06/2022 01:05PM  
I feel any bear that approaches a human should be sprayed. After a time or two the bear will learn to stay away from humans.

In the long run it would save bears lives.
 
paddlefamily
distinguished member(1635)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
09/06/2022 02:12PM  
Wow...that sounds intense.

I just did 5 trips in 5 weeks, all out of Ely and had no bear encounters (I'm a guide). That said, it sounded as though the other campsite on the peninsula we were on in Ima Lake had a bear encounter in the middle of the night based on their yelling. I got out of my hammock and sat in camp with a few lights on for a couple of hours in the event we might have a visitor. Happy to say it was quiet after that.
 
cmanimal
distinguished member (131)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
09/06/2022 02:51PM  
MReid: "
ockycamper: "Many people throw out that guns are not effective. There is a study listed on another thread on this forum that shows hard data showing that guns can be very effective, in fact at a 97% rate. You might read that study."

That's not a study, but rather a gathering of anecdotes that support his biased contention (support for firearm use--it is "Ammoland"). However, having managed human-bear conflicts for 20 years as a federal wildlife biologist, I do realize that both guns and pepper spray are effective, and I use both under certain conditions.
Here are some interesting interviews with Tom Smith, a USGS researcher who was central to the bear spray effectiveness discussion. Basically, many people misunderstand what his data show, and that has caused enthusiasts on both sides to wave their flags. Shoot or spray and Does bear spray work? "



MRied, Thanks for linking those outside magazine articles, they were an interesting read. The sentence that jumped out at me was " You'll note throughout this article my careful delineation of results by bear type ..... while another study found that bear spray isn't terribly effective on black bears"

Does anyone have a link to the black bear study, since that would be relevant to the BWCAW?
 
ockycamper
distinguished member(1471)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
09/06/2022 03:10PM  
I realize that the study posted was a list of selected ocurrences. However, where are the studies showing the times that bear spray did or didn't work? All I have ever heard is that the forest service or the USGS state bear spray is effective. Where are the examples of when it has worked and when it hasn't?

Also, what is the definition of effective? Does that mean driving the bear a few feet away, only to return? Driving the bear away permenently?

I know many men that live in my area that participate in state sanctioned bear hunts each year and have killed bears with everything from a bow, pistol, shotgun, and rifle. They would all say to a man that these are very effective as the bear were killed.

I am not advocating in anyway killing bears that enter a camp in the BWCA. I am just saying that the carrying of a weapon in the hands of a trained person can in fact serve as a last defense when the bear spray and other methods do not work. The posted "study" gave a lot of examples, whether hand picked or not. Where are the examples of effective bear spray use?
 
09/06/2022 03:27PM  
MN_Lindsey: "A pair of Border Route Trail hikers just got their trip cut short.


They were having lunch on Daniels Lake, and a bear approached them from behind within 10 feet. Obviously their food bags were out, because they were in the act of eating lunch. The bear would not be scared off, and proceeded to eat all of their food for the rest of their trip.

A group of paddlers tried helping to scare off the bear as well to no avail.

The bear only left after it ate all of the hikers food. "


Good grief! I'll assume they reported it to the Forest Service. Good topic for "what would you do...?" Throw rocks? Blow whistles? Prayer circle? High stakes wrestling?
 
09/06/2022 03:46PM  
Bombus: "Hi all. I’m sure we encountered this bear on our trip last weekend. We went in 9/1 and were supposed to exit 9/4, but ended up leaving 9/2 instead.


We had a group of 6 on Caribou in site 645 (the one that’s actually across from the Lizz portage). When we got there on Thurs, we found an abandoned old-style canvas pack on the path to the latrine that had obviously been raided by some critter, so we were ready for bear activity. We bagged the trash and hung it and the pack with other food from our party (which was never touched).

...


A few minutes later, as we were discussing our next move, it came back - all the way into camp through our tents. We all went after it with more shouting and throwing and this time it left with more urgency. A little later we saw it swimming the channel north towards the Lizz portage…and a little after THAT we heard it harassing site 644 west of the portage.

."


I entered Lizz on 8/22 and exited 8/26 via Meeds after base camping on Meeds. We did not see any sign of bears. We did hear about earlier encounter on Gaskin that sounded like the bear was scared off and didn't get rewarded.

Someone mentioned this started after the berries were done. We found some late red raspberries while exploring the western site on Meeds 615. We also found some along the portage on the way out. So there were still some berries around while we were camping.

Thanks to all for sharing their experiences. The point about swimming is good to keep in mind. We camped on an island on Meeds 616 and there was a bit of a sense of the bears won't bother us on the island.

On a note about scaring off black bears, I heard an anecdote of a camper lighting their camp stove and waving it in the air to scare off a bear. It worked for them in that case.

I have also heard/read that bears stink. Does anyone remember smelling the bear?
 
09/06/2022 03:58PM  
fadersup:
Good grief! I'll assume they reported it to the Forest Service. Good topic for "what would you do...?" Throw rocks? Blow whistles? Prayer circle? High stakes wrestling?"


High stakes wrestling reminds me of this recent humorous thread about bear encounter strategy.
 
KawnipiKid
distinguished member (213)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
09/06/2022 06:41PM  
ockycamper: "I realize that the study posted was a list of selected ocurrences. However, where are the studies showing the times that bear spray did or didn't work? All I have ever heard is that the forest service or the USGS state bear spray is effective. Where are the examples of when it has worked and when it hasn't?


Also, what is the definition of effective? Does that mean driving the bear a few feet away, only to return? Driving the bear away permenently?


I know many men that live in my area that participate in state sanctioned bear hunts each year and have killed bears with everything from a bow, pistol, shotgun, and rifle. They would all say to a man that these are very effective as the bear were killed.


I am not advocating in anyway killing bears that enter a camp in the BWCA. I am just saying that the carrying of a weapon in the hands of a trained person can in fact serve as a last defense when the bear spray and other methods do not work. The posted "study" gave a lot of examples, whether hand picked or not. Where are the examples of effective bear spray use?"


There are many good studies showing bear spray is effective. You can find them via Google. I just looked at "Bear spray" in wikipedia and several authenticated studies are listed there. Bear spray was greatly improved by early studies showing that the spray needed to be stronger (30 feet) and longer (7+ seconds). Bear spray today should always meet these mimimums. It's also formulated to work better now when it hits the ground in front of the bear and the bear moves into it (the cloud). Early spray needed direct-to-the-eyes contact.

My best friend spent a working career in the woods in grizzly country and one of my sons currently works outdoors in prime Alaska grizzly country. Both swear by having bear spray ready anytime they are outside. Both were/are always armed too. Both have lots of anecdotal stories that convinced them of the efficacy of spray. That's not data or a study, I realize. It's hard to count up anecdotes as proof because there's no way to compare the outcome of an actual event with what the outcome would have been if something had been diferent (with or without spray or with or without a gun, panic, no panic, or all of the other complexities of an emergency). One event is one event. I'm sure we could list hundreds of stories when a gun was successful and hundreds when bear spray was.

Here's the thing, spray is different than guns in why it is used. It can deter without killing and may save a bear that isn't already fond of human food. What my friend, a retired NPS backcountry ranger, said about Western BLACK bears and human food is that rangers tried to spray young bears that came for campground food before they got a real taste for it in order to save them longterm. According to my friend -- not scientific but based on many years as a ranger -- a young bear that associated coming into a campground for food smells and ending up treed and sprayed would not become a nuisance bear. They associated the smells of hotdogs with great pain. Once they tasted human food successfully, it was too late. A bear that has been successful at the barrel or basket in the past and comes into your camp can be deterred with spray long enough for the humans to get to safety. However, they know the food is there and that it's really good and will keep trying in the future despite spray (it doesn't happen every time, right?). They are going to come back and are going to be killed as nuisance bears.

I've believed this for a long time: Spray is effective. If the bear is curious but still a human food "virgin," spraying it gives it strong negative reinforcement about following its nose to a campsite. It will flee in pain but recover and likely not come back. If it's already habituated to human food, spraying it should give you time to get your food and move yourself safely. But, that bear is already a "nuisance" and will likely need to be killed through no fault of its own.

I take no position on guns but recommend everyone carry spray. I don't like guns myself but am happy my Alaska son always has one crew member with a 12 gauge in addition to all of them having spray. My best friend was always armed as a ranger but always had spray too. Even if someone is out hunting, my opinion is that having spray in camp is helpful. If it's the bear's first time you might save it by spraying instead of it either getting your food or getting shot.

I appreciate the opportunity to comment and don't suggest there's only one answer. Just my thoughts that it's not a black and white choice between "gun or spray."




 
OtherBob
distinguished member (131)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
09/06/2022 09:36PM  
Eight of us were camped on Horseshoe site 673 when we heard Ausable's 2 shots and later talked to him as they evacuated. The next afternoon a bear ambled into our camp. It did not get close to our blue barrel strapped to a tree. We made a lot of noise and threw rocks and after 5 minutes or so the bear strolled off. It was the first bear I had seen in camp in more than 40 years of canoe tripping.
A minority of one (me) argued that we were better to stay camped here as the bear was now frightened of us, that we may not find another site open on Caribou, leaving us to cross Poplar in the dark, etc. Our super competent leader measured the fright level and determined we should evacuate. We broke camp in about 45 minutes. The last boat to depart reported the bear had come back to see them off.
We fortunately found site 643 on Caribou open. The next day on the portage to Lizz, another party from Horseshoe reported 6 visits by a bear, who got some of their food.
It will be interesting to see if bear activity is up in general or just in some new territory. Good berry years may not mean fewer camp visits by hungry bears, contrary to common wisdom.

 
OtherBob
distinguished member (131)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
09/06/2022 09:48PM  
Oops, it was Canoe Viking's shots we heard, not Ausable's. Ausable was the host to the fleeing family. Sorry about that.
 
ockycamper
distinguished member(1471)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
09/07/2022 08:00AM  
KawnipiKid: "
ockycamper: "I realize that the study posted was a list of selected ocurrences. However, where are the studies showing the times that bear spray did or didn't work? All I have ever heard is that the forest service or the USGS state bear spray is effective. Where are the examples of when it has worked and when it hasn't?



Also, what is the definition of effective? Does that mean driving the bear a few feet away, only to return? Driving the bear away permenently?



I know many men that live in my area that participate in state sanctioned bear hunts each year and have killed bears with everything from a bow, pistol, shotgun, and rifle. They would all say to a man that these are very effective as the bear were killed.



I am not advocating in anyway killing bears that enter a camp in the BWCA. I am just saying that the carrying of a weapon in the hands of a trained person can in fact serve as a last defense when the bear spray and other methods do not work. The posted "study" gave a lot of examples, whether hand picked or not. Where are the examples of effective bear spray use?"



There are many good studies showing bear spray is effective. You can find them via Google. I just looked at "Bear spray" in wikipedia and several authenticated studies are listed there. Bear spray was greatly improved by early studies showing that the spray needed to be stronger (30 feet) and longer (7+ seconds). Bear spray today should always meet these mimimums. It's also formulated to work better now when it hits the ground in front of the bear and the bear moves into it (the cloud). Early spray needed direct-to-the-eyes contact.


My best friend spent a working career in the woods in grizzly country and one of my sons currently works outdoors in prime Alaska grizzly country. Both swear by having bear spray ready anytime they are outside. Both were/are always armed too. Both have lots of anecdotal stories that convinced them of the efficacy of spray. That's not data or a study, I realize. It's hard to count up anecdotes as proof because there's no way to compare the outcome of an actual event with what the outcome would have been if something had been diferent (with or without spray or with or without a gun, panic, no panic, or all of the other complexities of an emergency). One event is one event. I'm sure we could list hundreds of stories when a gun was successful and hundreds when bear spray was.


Here's the thing, spray is different than guns in why it is used. It can deter without killing and may save a bear that isn't already fond of human food. What my friend, a retired NPS backcountry ranger, said about Western BLACK bears and human food is that rangers tried to spray young bears that came for campground food before they got a real taste for it in order to save them longterm. According to my friend -- not scientific but based on many years as a ranger -- a young bear that associated coming into a campground for food smells and ending up treed and sprayed would not become a nuisance bear. They associated the smells of hotdogs with great pain. Once they tasted human food successfully, it was too late. A bear that has been successful at the barrel or basket in the past and comes into your camp can be deterred with spray long enough for the humans to get to safety. However, they know the food is there and that it's really good and will keep trying in the future despite spray (it doesn't happen every time, right?). They are going to come back and are going to be killed as nuisance bears.


I've believed this for a long time: Spray is effective. If the bear is curious but still a human food "virgin," spraying it gives it strong negative reinforcement about following its nose to a campsite. It will flee in pain but recover and likely not come back. If it's already habituated to human food, spraying it should give you time to get your food and move yourself safely. But, that bear is already a "nuisance" and will likely need to be killed through no fault of its own.


I take no position on guns but recommend everyone carry spray. I don't like guns myself but am happy my Alaska son always has one crew member with a 12 gauge in addition to all of them having spray. My best friend was always armed as a ranger but always had spray too. Even if someone is out hunting, my opinion is that having spray in camp is helpful. If it's the bear's first time you might save it by spraying instead of it either getting your food or getting shot.


I appreciate the opportunity to comment and don't suggest there's only one answer. Just my thoughts that it's not a black and white choice between "gun or spray."





"


Very well said. Thanks!
 
09/07/2022 10:22AM  
Years ago when bear spray was just getting started, I remember Counter Assault (which I think may be the best bear spray out there now) results showed 100% of the time it worked on black bear, except once the can malfunction so the person threw it at the bear, and it took off. This was like 30years ago.
I do like the 10.2oz container (large size)

I am in the woods every day and bear has around-never been bothered once. Much more scared to walk in any town at night.
 
09/07/2022 10:31AM  
Back in the 1980's when Counter Assault just coming out and they had done extensive tests on bears. I had a long talk with the inventor of bear spray. Very friendly individual.

Side note: Up to than law enforcement used Mace he said. They started to switch to bear spray because many people high on drugs, mace did nothing. While bear spray (pepper spray) would stop them.
 
Joshandhisbikes
  
09/07/2022 04:28PM  
Eric52: "Glad you are all safe. I just returned from 5 days solo out of Meeds EP48. On 8/31 I had a bear walk into my camp on Gaskin Lake site 628 while I was cooking dinner. I had been watching the setting sun while cooking when I stood up to reach into my food pack which was next to me. That’s when I noticed the Bear about 12 ft away from/behind me. With my pot on the stove I used my voice and got big. The bear stared at me for a moment before walking off. With it turned away I grabbed a few rocks and chucked them in the direction the bear departed hoping it would expedite and reinforce the unwelcome. About 10-15 min later I heard campers at what I presume was site 630 but could have been 627 shoeing a bear out from their site. I’d be impressed if it was the same bear given the timing although it could have been.
The next day I heard what I presume was your story from some guys staying at 629. I did spend another night at 628 with my head on a swivel but without incident. As I exited on 9/2 I heard more about folks having bear encounters in the area from people coming in from Poplar (not sure if these were multiple stories or the various retelling of 1 story). The folks at Rockwood told me the forest service would be going in to put down the bear that got the food pack. I wasn’t clear how they ensure they get the right bear or if they will be taking out multiple.
I believe this was my 12th trip dating back to 2004 and it was my first bear encounter. Actually the first time I had seen one in the BWCA. Keep up safe practices with your food and keep your awareness up if your in the area."

We had the same bear walk in and grab our food bag from 627 mid afternoon on 9/1.
 
carbon1
senior member (94)senior membersenior member
  
09/07/2022 05:38PM  
timatkn: "
I think you made the right choice using the noise of the handgun to scare them off. Shooting it might have just angered the bear and caused trouble.
T"


No shooting it would have resulted in a dead bear. A dead bear is the normal result when one shoots a bear.

Making them angry is just a old wife's tale.
 
carbon1
senior member (94)senior membersenior member
  
09/07/2022 05:51PM  
Handguns are far more effective against aggressive bears then spray.

Handguns and bears

Spray is a decent harassment tool for non aggressive bears.


Black bears seem to be the least effected by spray.
 
09/07/2022 06:06PM  
Most of these claims concerning how effective pepper spray is compared to a firearm stem from two well known studies from Brigham Young University’s Tom Smith. The studies are aptly and respectively named “Efficacy of Bear Deterrent Spray in Alaska” and “Efficacy of Firearms for Bear Deterrence in Alaska.” Generally the studies are touted as demonstrating that spray is about 92% effective while Handguns are only successful about 84% of the time, and long guns 76%. The bear spray advocates usually state that gun users were injured in 50% of the incidents studied and spray users were only injured in 2% of studied incidents.
 
carbon1
senior member (94)senior membersenior member
  
09/07/2022 06:07PM  
The studies you cit. have a very high data selection bias.

If you care to read the following articles you can inform your self on the subject matter.

spray

spray

spray

If you haven't read this and care to inform your self on how effective handguns are.

handguns and bears
 
Cobra317
member (15)member
  
09/07/2022 06:08PM  
Boppasteveg: "Go to the Lake maps section and create a wildlife sighting/encounter report!"


What is this? Sounds interesting! Link?

I am going in this direction on 9/18, so this is less than ideal. Called the outfitter and seemed annoyed when I brought it up.
 
09/07/2022 06:13PM  
Cobra317: "
Boppasteveg: "Go to the Lake maps section and create a wildlife sighting/encounter report!"



What is this? Sounds interesting! Link?


I am going in this direction on 9/18, so this is less than ideal. Called the outfitter and seemed annoyed when I brought it up. "


I think the USFS has already done that
 
09/07/2022 06:25PM  
carbon1: "The studies you cit. have a very high data selection bias.


If you care to read the following articles you can inform your self on the subject matter.


spray


spray


spray


If you haven't read this and care to inform your self on how effective handguns are.


handguns and bears "

The new counter assault will spray 40 feet.


Heard some people talk and a few policeman say that long-distance spray like ortho bee killer works good on human attackers. After effects?
 
carbon1
senior member (94)senior membersenior member
  
09/07/2022 08:15PM  
Having been a LEO for more then 3 decades and use of force/firearms instructor
No Law enforcement agency would ever recommend any type of wasp or hornet / bug spray against humans.

40 feet under idea conditions.

I am sure it doesn't take in wind, cold and other environmental factors.

Having been trained with and used spray . I would never trust it against an armed attacker unless back up by a firearm.

Bears are always armed with cutting, impact and stabbing weapons.
Bears are stronger, faster and can be larger.

Chose for your self.
 
09/07/2022 10:28PM  
carbon1: "The studies you cit. have a very high data selection bias.


If you care to read the following articles you can inform your self on the subject matter.


spray


spray


spray


If you haven't read this and care to inform your self on how effective handguns are.


handguns and bears "

I think we went thru this firearm vs spray debate last year. Yes I think Ammo land is bias at there end. Seen recent attacks person get so nervous they have a hard time shooting a pistol let alone hitting anything. Yes loaded and ready with shotgun slugs works well. Also maybe have a alternative is good
 
carbon1
senior member (94)senior membersenior member
  
09/08/2022 06:09AM  
Seen recent attacks please post a link to those.

I would really like to read them.

But the same can be said for people who can't or don't get their spray deployed.

When a defensive item is not used because of failure of the user.

One can not blame the item but it is a operator error.

Firearm, spray ect.
 
afromaniac
senior member (99)senior membersenior member
  
09/08/2022 08:13AM  
I trust a scientific study from a university far more than i trust a series of poorly written articles from a site called ammoland, lol.
 
carbon1
senior member (94)senior membersenior member
  
09/08/2022 08:43AM  
When one looks at any study, writings.

It is always good to look the methods and data with a open mind and decide for ones self.
 
09/08/2022 08:55AM  
It could just be mean but it seems like mostly these bearing counters are all in a localized area. Has anybody been having any issues at the end of the Gunflint or on the Ely side?
 
09/08/2022 09:12AM  
CanoeViking: "It could just be mean but it seems like mostly these bearing counters are all in a localized area. Has anybody been having any issues at the end of the Gunflint or on the Ely side?"


Vera lake is an annual bear problem area. Usually, the more remote camping areas have less bear problems. Yogi and Boo boo have not learned the taste of easy meals yet. No picnic baskets.
 
 
ockycamper
distinguished member(1471)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
09/08/2022 09:24AM  
afromaniac: "I trust a scientific study from a university far more than i trust a series of poorly written articles from a site called ammoland, lol. "


A university study cannot be biased to an agenda? I think the point several are making is there is evidence that both firearms and bearspray work. Each tripper must decide to use one, the other or both.

But whichever choice is made, training and practice are necessary. Those trained in firearms use have often gone through thousands of rounds in training under different scenarios, often on a monthly or even weekly basis. I have yet to talk to even one tripper that carries bear spray that has even taken it out of his pack, much less practices deploying under different situations.
 
09/08/2022 09:45AM  
Also there is bear sprays of different quality and strength out there which makes a difference.
I worry much more sleeping on a side road in various forests inmy pickup from human intruders.
BWCA-Quetico people killed by bears? Has there ever been one? I know one person was attacked before. Pretty safe compared to evening TV news killings announced each night.
 
09/08/2022 09:51AM  
On September 14 and 15,1987, a black bear injured two campers in unprovoked, apparently predatory, attacks in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Each attack followed the same pattern.

VERY RARE
 
Maiingan
distinguished member (191)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
09/08/2022 09:56AM  
When using spray take time to make sure the wind is in your favor. Today the wind is gusting out of the south at 30 mph. Spray to the south and you would be spraying yourself.
 
ockycamper
distinguished member(1471)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
09/08/2022 09:59AM  
Maiingan: "When using spray take time to make sure the wind is in your favor. Today the wind is gusting out of the south at 30 mph. Spray to the south and you would be spraying yourself."


The above is the point of training. Just as with a firearm, those using spray that will go 40 feet need to be sure the wind will not blow it back on them, and that there is no possibility they are spraying it on anyone else. In a panic, someone that has never practiced with bear spray will probably just yank it out of their pack (if they can find it), and spray at the bear with no thought to the wind or where anyone else is at.
 
09/08/2022 10:15AM  
Maiingan: "When using spray take time to make sure the wind is in your favor. Today the wind is gusting out of the south at 30 mph. Spray to the south and you would be spraying yourself."


Ahh-like relieving yourself into the wind.
 
Saberboys
distinguished member(903)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
09/08/2022 10:40AM  
We just came back from the Gunflint 9/2-9/6. I had read this post prior to heading in, so we were aware that there might be issues. Our hope was to secure a site on Vista, but it was full. We backtracked to Horseshoe and found some sites were available, but the gal didn't want to have an encounter with a bear, so we jumped back to Caribou site 646. We spoke with a few people on the portage who had encountered the bear(s) on Gaskin and Horseshoe which had shortened their trip.

We had no issues at our site during our stay. We did hear people banging pots on what I would assume is one of the northern sites on Horseshoe, the wind was blowing from that direction.

I was fairly surprised at how many open campsites were available on both Horseshoe and Caribou during a holiday weekend. Maybe they were scared out of camp, or maybe they knew of the bears when heading in, and opted to move on to different lakes?

We use Bear Vaults and keep spray in camp. We had a great trip with no incidents. Perfect weather and even some northern lights!
 
09/08/2022 12:10PM  
Eric52: "Glad you are all safe. I just returned from 5 days solo out of Meeds EP48. On 8/31 I had a bear walk into my camp on Gaskin Lake site 628 while I was cooking dinner. I had been watching the setting sun while cooking when I stood up to reach into my food pack which was next to me. That’s when I noticed the Bear about 12 ft away from/behind me. With my pot on the stove I used my voice and got big. The bear stared at me for a moment before walking off.


Eric52 - Glad you were safe and able to preserve your food. Did you have a campfire? Appears you were using a stove to cook? No clue if having a fire would have deterred your encounter, but was just curious.

We stayed on 628 this year mid-July. Nice site and saw no signs of bear activity. Someone had created a pile of green branches behind the logs near the fire grate. However we could not determine where those came from, i.e. toppled tree, broken branch or intentionally cut.
 
schweady
distinguished member(8115)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
  
09/08/2022 04:31PM  
Pinetree: "...I think we went thru this firearm vs spray debate last year..."

and

Pinetree: "On September 14 and 15,1987, a black bear injured two campers in unprovoked, apparently predatory, attacks in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Each attack followed the same pattern.

VERY RARE"

Agree and agree.

Lots of other threads are available on this forum and other places on the interwebs for general chatter about how bears do live in the wilderness and here's what you can do and reminders of the rarity of any danger and debate the pros and cons of guns and/or spray.

Can we get back to the OP's original purpose for posting? That is: nuisance bears seem to be quite active right now around Horseshoe Lake and the surrounding area. Take note and prepare. Or modify your plans.

It's like knowing that there are rocks in many places just beneath the water's surface in areas where you might not expect them. Having been told about a particularly dangerous area, I'm apt to avoid it. I don't tend to say, "Let's dive there. After all, there are rocks everywhere..."

So, I've gotten some side-eye for canceling my Lizz permit for September 11. "What's the matter? Afraid of bears? They live there, you know..." etc.

Yes, I know. We've had bear encounters on 4 of my 48 BWCAW trips, but they were always easily spooked or chased off, never to return. This situation is quite a bit different. Nuisance bears who have become accustomed to finding easy snacks being provided by careless campers are making the rounds with regularity in this rather popular area and are persistent in obtaining their goal. So, I figured that I had enough information to decide to steer away. My wife felt strongly enough about it all that she is willing to forgive our outfitter for denying my request to carry over our canoe deposit for use next year.

 
Cobra317
member (15)member
  
09/08/2022 06:36PM  
schweady: "
Pinetree: "...I think we went thru this firearm vs spray debate last year..."

and

Pinetree: "On September 14 and 15,1987, a black bear injured two campers in unprovoked, apparently predatory, attacks in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Each attack followed the same pattern.


VERY RARE"

Agree and agree.


Lots of other threads are available on this forum and other places on the interwebs for general chatter about how bears do live in the wilderness and here's what you can do and reminders of the rarity of any danger and debate the pros and cons of guns and/or spray.


Can we get back to the OP's original purpose for posting? That is: nuisance bears seem to be quite active right now around Horseshoe Lake and the surrounding area. Take note and prepare. Or modify your plans.


It's like knowing that there are rocks in many places just beneath the water's surface in areas where you might not expect them. Having been told about a particularly dangerous area, I'm apt to avoid it. I don't tend to say, "Let's dive there. After all, there are rocks everywhere..."


So, I've gotten some side-eye for canceling my Lizz permit for September 11. "What's the matter? Afraid of bears? They live there, you know..." etc.


Yes, I know. We've had bear encounters on 4 of my 48 BWCAW trips, but they were always easily spooked or chased off, never to return. This situation is quite a bit different. Nuisance bears who have become accustomed to finding easy snacks being provided by careless campers are making the rounds with regularity in this rather popular area and are persistent in obtaining their goal. So, I figured that I had enough information to decide to steer away. My wife felt strongly enough about it all that she is willing to forgive our outfitter for denying my request to carry over our canoe deposit for use next year.


"


I am in your same predicament. I too have a Lizz permit on 9/18 and feel very uncertain about entering in an area that is known to have bear encounters who are learning quick how to get human food in these spots.

I called the outfitter on Poplar to ask their opinion at ground zero and they got very defensive and annoyed. “It’s only because of dumb people! Don’t be dumb and leave your food unattended or not hung! If you had a wedding ring on or $100 bill, you would know where it is at all times, and you should do the same with your food!”

Yeah okay, I understand have been going in for 7 years and have never had an encounter up close in camp. Just seen them from afar. The posters in this forum know what they’re doing and are experienced. I wouldn’t be so dismissive of their opinion like the outfitter was.

It’s likely that it’s due to amateur campers, but now that it’s happened and the bears have learned this behavior, there is no real fixing that problem now.

I think I will try to relocate to further down the Gunflint based on the posts thus far.
 
carbon1
senior member (94)senior membersenior member
  
09/08/2022 07:07PM  
ockycamper: "
afromaniac: "I trust a scientific study from a university far more than i trust a series of poorly written articles from a site called ammoland, lol. "



A university study cannot be biased to an agenda? I think the point several are making is there is evidence that both firearms and bearspray work. Each tripper must decide to use one, the other or both.
."


Many university studies are biased towards what the researchers.
Want the outcome to be.

It comes down to well they release all their data and methods.

So it can be checked.


 
09/08/2022 07:37PM  
Cobra317: "
schweady: "
Pinetree: "...I think we went thru this firearm vs spray debate last year..."

and


Pinetree: "On September 14 and 15,1987, a black bear injured two campers in unprovoked, apparently predatory, attacks in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Each attack followed the same pattern.



VERY RARE"

Agree and agree.



Lots of other threads are available on this forum and other places on the interwebs for general chatter about how bears do live in the wilderness and here's what you can do and reminders of the rarity of any danger and debate the pros and cons of guns and/or spray.



Can we get back to the OP's original purpose for posting? That is: nuisance bears seem to be quite active right now around Horseshoe Lake and the surrounding area. Take note and prepare. Or modify your plans.



It's like knowing that there are rocks in many places just beneath the water's surface in areas where you might not expect them. Having been told about a particularly dangerous area, I'm apt to avoid it. I don't tend to say, "Let's dive there. After all, there are rocks everywhere..."



So, I've gotten some side-eye for canceling my Lizz permit for September 11. "What's the matter? Afraid of bears? They live there, you know..." etc.



Yes, I know. We've had bear encounters on 4 of my 48 BWCAW trips, but they were always easily spooked or chased off, never to return. This situation is quite a bit different. Nuisance bears who have become accustomed to finding easy snacks being provided by careless campers are making the rounds with regularity in this rather popular area and are persistent in obtaining their goal. So, I figured that I had enough information to decide to steer away. My wife felt strongly enough about it all that she is willing to forgive our outfitter for denying my request to carry over our canoe deposit for use next year.



"



I am in your same predicament. I too have a Lizz permit on 9/18 and feel very uncertain about entering in an area that is known to have bear encounters who are learning quick how to get human food in these spots.


I called the outfitter on Poplar to ask their opinion at ground zero and they got very defensive and annoyed. “It’s only because of dumb people! Don’t be dumb and leave your food unattended or not hung! If you had a wedding ring on or $100 bill, you would know where it is at all times, and you should do the same with your food!”


Yeah okay, I understand have been going in for 7 years and have never had an encounter up close in camp. Just seen them from afar. The posters in this forum know what they’re doing and are experienced. I wouldn’t be so dismissive of their opinion like the outfitter was.


It’s likely that it’s due to amateur campers, but now that it’s happened and the bears have learned this behavior, there is no real fixing that problem now.


I think I will try to relocate to further down the Gunflint based on the posts thus far."


Both bears I encountered were right next to me when I was loading up or lifting the bear bag. No negligence here.

The family that was robbed of their food pack was while they were eating breakfast next to their food bag. Again no negligence.

Unless bringing your food out just to eat is negligence.
 
Northwoodsman
distinguished member(2065)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
09/08/2022 09:21PM  
Don't forget that the BWCA is the bears natural habitat and we are intruding in THEIR space. It's a federally protected wilderness area which means the U.S. government is protecting it for the wildlife so they can reside in their natural habitat. We are the guests and are lucky to have the opportunity to share the space with them. From what I have read these bears are not aggressive or threatening, they are just curious and looking for food to build up their reserves to get through the winter. What makes this situation unique is that they are in an area that historically hasn't had many sightings in recent years. For those of us that have paddled in the BWCA in that past 3 seasons this shouldn't come as a surprise based on all the trash that people are finding and evidence of all the other rules and principles that are being broken. People are cutting down live trees for a better view, stuffing trash in the latrines, stripping bark from trees, making furniture from live trees, etc. You don't think that they are throwing food scraps, left overs, or fish guts off to the edge of every campsite? Until people stop make excuses for others and start holding them accountable the situation is just going to get worse. I go to the BWCA to see wildlife, it's saddens me to think that unfortunately there will be less to see because of careless actions of humans.

This isn't Disney World, the video's that you have to watch warn you of the dangers. Pay attention to the videos, discuss them with your group, talk about it with your family, formulate a plan ahead of time. When the situation occurs take appropriate action, put your plan into action (you know, the one you already talked about), respond calmly and appropriately, get to safety, do what you need to do.
 
Eric52
  
09/08/2022 10:10PM  
Fishman53:

Eric52 - Glad you were safe and able to preserve your food. Did you have a campfire? Appears you were using a stove to cook? No clue if having a fire would have deterred your encounter, but was just curious.


We stayed on 628 this year mid-July. Nice site and saw no signs of bear activity. Someone had created a pile of green branches behind the logs near the fire grate. However we could not determine where those came from, i.e. toppled tree, broken branch or intentionally cut. "


Fishman53 - I did have a campfire going at that time. Obviously it didn’t deter the bear from coming near but perhaps it did deter it from making a move inside the log benches where me and my food were. If I manage to attach the picture to this post it is a pretty good approximation of the Bears view and the set-up that night.
 
schweady
distinguished member(8115)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
  
09/08/2022 10:31PM  
Northwoodsman: "...not aggressive or threatening, they are just curious."

I think that the word you are searching for is 'habituated.' Or, perhaps, 'nuisance.' Or, maybe, 'unnatural.'

We know that we are in their space. But the Bears of Horseshoe, just like the Bears of Agnes a few years back, are a human creation. Sadly, they make it overly uncomfortable for most folks to be around, wilderness experience or no.

CanoeViking - I believe that I know the Poplar outfitter you speak of, and have utmost respect for the way he runs his business. However, it's dangerous to assume that others ought to experience the wilderness in exactly the same way that you do. He may simply be attempting to protect against loss of business in his area. I'm not sure.
 
09/08/2022 11:58PM  

Fishman53 - I did have a campfire going at that time. Obviously it didn’t deter the bear from coming near but perhaps it did deter it from making a move inside the log benches where me and my food were. If I manage to attach the picture to this post it is a pretty good approximation of the Bears view and the set-up that night. "


Thank you for this information and sharing your experience. One of the reasons I like this board.

P.S. That hang you had gives you one hell of a view!!
 
Diego
distinguished member (375)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
09/09/2022 11:46PM  
Cobra317: "
schweady: "
Pinetree: "...I think we went thru this firearm vs spray debate last year..."

and


Pinetree: "On September 14 and 15,1987, a black bear injured two campers in unprovoked, apparently predatory, attacks in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Each attack followed the same pattern.



VERY RARE"

Agree and agree.



Lots of other threads are available on this forum and other places on the interwebs for general chatter about how bears do live in the wilderness and here's what you can do and reminders of the rarity of any danger and debate the pros and cons of guns and/or spray.



Can we get back to the OP's original purpose for posting? That is: nuisance bears seem to be quite active right now around Horseshoe Lake and the surrounding area. Take note and prepare. Or modify your plans.



It's like knowing that there are rocks in many places just beneath the water's surface in areas where you might not expect them. Having been told about a particularly dangerous area, I'm apt to avoid it. I don't tend to say, "Let's dive there. After all, there are rocks everywhere..."



So, I've gotten some side-eye for canceling my Lizz permit for September 11. "What's the matter? Afraid of bears? They live there, you know..." etc.



Yes, I know. We've had bear encounters on 4 of my 48 BWCAW trips, but they were always easily spooked or chased off, never to return. This situation is quite a bit different. Nuisance bears who have become accustomed to finding easy snacks being provided by careless campers are making the rounds with regularity in this rather popular area and are persistent in obtaining their goal. So, I figured that I had enough information to decide to steer away. My wife felt strongly enough about it all that she is willing to forgive our outfitter for denying my request to carry over our canoe deposit for use next year.



"



I am in your same predicament. I too have a Lizz permit on 9/18 and feel very uncertain about entering in an area that is known to have bear encounters who are learning quick how to get human food in these spots.


I called the outfitter on Poplar to ask their opinion at ground zero and they got very defensive and annoyed. “It’s only because of dumb people! Don’t be dumb and leave your food unattended or not hung! If you had a wedding ring on or $100 bill, you would know where it is at all times, and you should do the same with your food!”


Yeah okay, I understand have been going in for 7 years and have never had an encounter up close in camp. Just seen them from afar. The posters in this forum know what they’re doing and are experienced. I wouldn’t be so dismissive of their opinion like the outfitter was.


It’s likely that it’s due to amateur campers, but now that it’s happened and the bears have learned this behavior, there is no real fixing that problem now.


I think I will try to relocate to further down the Gunflint based on the posts thus far."


Unfortunatly, we used the same outfitters last month. I had nothing but good interactions with the prior owners, but was very disappointed with the current family running the place. I was immediately treated very rudely by one of owners for bringing my own canoes and not using theirs. Was also made to feel foolish by another owner/maybe an employee for not locating my name on a piece of paper outside the main entrance. Just a very bad vibe to the place overall and I won't be back.
 
straighthairedcurly
distinguished member(1995)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
09/10/2022 03:18AM  
Kermit: "Here's the notice on Recreation.gov from the Gunflint Ranger District:
"Areas around Stairway Portage from Duncan to Rose, as well as campsites on Rose, Duncan, Daniels, Clearwater, Flour, and Caribou Lakes have all had multiple bear encounters in the past few weeks. Please ensure you are being vigilant with food storage regardless of where you are camping."


And here's a video from some campers a few days ago on Rose Lake:
Rose Lake Bear Video


Definitely want to be extra cautious with your food storage as the bears are looking for calories to stock up on before winter. Many of the bears in northern Minnesota feed on bear bait piles, so bears getting human food this time of year can come from a lot of places, especially near the edges. "


Definitely an active bear. I haven't had bear walk into camp since my first BWCA trip 45 years ago, but I knew a bear was active in this area. When I arrived at the Rose site closest to the portage on Tuesday, I cleaned all the food wrappers from my day of travel out of my pant pockets and stowed them in my Opsak inside my Ursack. Proceeded to cook dinner and as I finished the last bite of dessert heard noises from around my tent. Shone a headlamp over there and 2 large eyes glowed in the dark. Screamed and yelled and got the bear to back off into the woods. When I checked what he had been into, I discovered I had stupidly forgotten about a tiny baggie with 2 empty wrappers that I had stashed in my PFD pocket during a distracted moment. He had ripped up the pocket and licked the wrappers. As I turned to dispose of the items properly I heard a clatter from the cooking area that I had left in a rush. He had done an end run around and was trying for the dessert bowl. Again he was easily scared off by yelling, though my travel partner had the bear spray ready if he returned a third time. We finished our meals while carefully guarding everything. That night we fully expected the bear to make an attempt on our food stores (mine in an Ursack with Opsack liners and travel partner's in a BV450/500 bear barrel), but apparently this bear doesn't bother trying those because never heard another rustle. Don't be careless like me...be very thorough with every bit of food and trash out there.
 
Northwoodsman
distinguished member(2065)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
09/10/2022 03:44PM  
I'm going to defend the outfitter named in the previous post. I have been using them for the past 6 years and have had nothing but extremely positive experiences and have recommended them to many that have had the same experience. I have rented canoes, purchased a canoe, rented bunkhouses, and this year rented a cabin and a motor boat. Just my $.02.

Getting back to the topic of the original post - if this were a dangerous bear situation the USFS would have closed campsites, portages, and/or the EP altogether. They would probably also reach out and cancel permits. But EP 47 has a lot of lakes you can get to easily within a few hours other than Caribou, Horseshoe or Gaskin.
 
09/10/2022 05:59PM  
I went out solo, with all my own gear and canoe from Rockwood in the middle of July this year for 8 days. Only rented one night in their bunkhouse (which was great), and did not rent any gear. This was my 35th trip to the BWCA and about my 15th solo. It was also the second year in a row going from Rockwood. Last year, one of my sons and I went to Meeds, and my son rented a Prism from them.

Both experiences with the "new" owner(s) (Carl and Mike I believe are their names), included first class service, great bunkhouse, a good sense of humor, and I would recommend them to anyone. Just saying.

Let's stick to bears. I had a bear in my island campsite on Phoebe on a solo around 2004. Sucker was given the old "Get the F+#% out of here talk, played catch with some large rocks, etc. He split and started swimming. About 15 minutes later, I heard loud screaming from the next island campsite, which was my bear-friend making the rounds. Never heard or saw him or her again after that afternoon.

Tomster
 
RetiredDave
distinguished member (373)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
09/10/2022 06:53PM  
I cancelled a solo canoe trip this past week (47 Lizz) because of all of the bear activity. At age 72 and being alone, I just didn't want to be out there thinking about it. Carl and Mike at Rockwood were very understanding. We have stayed there in a cabin, and I have used them as outfitters. They are top-notch outfitters.

I know that this thread is about bear activity, and I did cancel because of that. But we all need to think about how hard it must be to run an outfitter/lodge with only a few months to make ends meet, and how difficult it must be to meet everyone's demands. Many of us would be lost without good outfitters to supply our needs.

I did end up camping up on Gunflint Lake, kind of a pretend solo. I saw the Northern Lights for the first time!

Thanks for listening!

Dave
 
09/11/2022 12:59PM  
A post in another BWCA forum discussing the same topic reads, “We were at (Gaskin) 628 over the Labor Day weekend. Never saw it - but we suspect we heard it get shot over in the East Winchell/Gaskin area Sunday.”

With respect to the outfitter being mentioned - our first trip to that outfitter was this past July. They treated us as if we had been long time customers. Very accommodating and patient with our crew. Friendly and great conversations. Cannot wait to return!
 
09/11/2022 01:41PM  
I did not really have a bad experience with this outfitter. I believe it Karl who was exceptional and very helpful to me. I’m not sure the name of one other of their staff, butI think I caught them when they just woke up and they were not rude but they were not friendly.

If what was reported, was accurate, about the bears only going after dumb people, my comment about not being negligent was just to show that these bears are after food from even very careful campers.

With all that being said I appreciate the work that Rockwood did for me and my family. I do not put them on the same par as Voyaguer Canoe Outfitters but they did a fine job.
 
09/12/2022 01:56PM  
I was visited twice last Friday while camping at site #675 on Horseshoe - at about 8pm and 1:30 am. The bear was brave but not aggressive. The bear tried hard to get my food but I was able to send it away without too much coaxing. I talked to it, waved my arms, and told it to leave. It scampered off. I heard it visiting other campsites in the area later (lots of yelling and banging pots). Other canoeists had similar stories the next day as I paddled on to Winchell.

My Ursack (properly tied and hung) stood the test both times - the bear was able to puncture the Ursack, the OPsack inside holding my food, and also punctured a few food items but was not able to pull it off or down the tree.
 
yogi59weedr
distinguished member(2661)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
09/12/2022 11:44PM  
Fly, I gotta call ya out.
Neither one of your sacks were properly hung. If a bear can reach them, then, they aren't hung high enough.
 
Chieflonewatie
distinguished member (152)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
09/13/2022 08:20AM  
yogi59weedr: "Fly, I gotta call ya out.
Neither one of your sacks were properly hung. If a bear can reach them, then, they aren't hung high enough."


I believe these types of sacks just get tied to a tree.
 
ockycamper
distinguished member(1471)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
09/13/2022 09:30AM  
yogi59weedr: "Fly, I gotta call ya out.
Neither one of your sacks were properly hung. If a bear can reach them, then, they aren't hung high enough."


Ursacks get tied to the base of a tree. They are not hung
 
Northwoodsman
distinguished member(2065)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
09/13/2022 09:33AM  
Chieflonewatie: "
yogi59weedr: "Fly, I gotta call ya out.
Neither one of your sacks were properly hung. If a bear can reach them, then, they aren't hung high enough."



I believe these types of sacks just get tied to a tree."

Correct. Ursack provides instructions as to what type of knot to use and how to tie to tree. If you do a typical hang chances are a bear will get it down and run off with it. If you correctly tie it to a tree they will just smash your food. You can get a liner that is somewhat puncture resistant and you can use Opsacks which are odor barriers. The liner is a thin sheet of aluminum that you make into a circle and line your pack. I would think a piece of closed cell foam pad would do the same thing, what you're trying to do is keep the bear's teeth and claws from puncturing the food packaging giving them a sure indication of what is inside. If the packaging isn't compromised the food is still safe to eat even though in some cases it may be a little (or a lot) crushed.
 
yogi59weedr
distinguished member(2661)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
09/13/2022 09:39AM  
Silly me. I thought food packs were suppose to get hung.
 
ockycamper
distinguished member(1471)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
09/13/2022 09:56AM  
yogi59weedr: "Silly me. I thought food packs were suppose to get hung."


Time to step in to the modern age of Ursacks and Bearvaults! Experience the freedom. Join us!
 
09/13/2022 11:32AM  
yogi59weedr: "Fly, I gotta call ya out.
Neither one of your sacks were properly hung. If a bear can reach them, then, they aren't hung high enough."


I hear you calling. The ursack was tied as per instructions from the manufacturer.
I had it about 8' high tied to a 8" dia tree above a thick horiz. branch. Bears can't pull it down to the ground.
The bag did its job. The bear did not get the food. I still ate well during the rest of my trip. I'm not mad at the bear.
 
09/13/2022 11:36AM  
Indeed!
 
schweady
distinguished member(8115)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
  
09/13/2022 02:32PM  
I mapped out the reports provided of the "Horseshoe Lake Area Bears" from Aug 30-Sep 7. Mostly from this thread, plus some other first-hand accounts from FB posts.






Hopefully, this aids a few hunters. :-)
 
gravelroad
distinguished member(1042)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
09/15/2022 02:41PM  
schweady: "I mapped out the reports provided of the "Horseshoe Lake Area Bears" from Aug 30-Sep 7. Mostly from this thread, plus some other first-hand accounts from FB posts.




Hopefully, this aids a few hunters. :-)
"


Not as much as you might think. Hints that the feds will get to the bear(s) in question before I could have dissuaded me from altering my planned course.
 
schweady
distinguished member(8115)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
  
09/15/2022 03:11PM  
gravelroad: "Not as much as you might think. Hints that the feds will get to the bear(s) in question before I could have dissuaded me from altering my planned course."

Pretty much said in jest. But good luck to ya, wherever.
 
09/16/2022 06:02PM  
We were on Horseshoe mid August. We had heard that a bear had been visiting Gaskin at that time. Never saw it on Horseshoe.
Now, that outfitter. One guy treated us golden. The other was a complete horses a$$ to us as soon as we pulled in. The same issue someone else mentioned about finding names on the door. How many bad days can he have before he runs the entire business into the ground? I've NEVER been treated like that by any other outfitter. Ever. Thankfully the other guy was a complete gem .
 
schweady
distinguished member(8115)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
  
09/16/2022 07:50PM  
Posting this from the Facebook page of the U.S. Forest Service-Superior National Forest. Simply to emphasize that this particular situation is way past the usual "bears live here, we are but visitors." If only this cycle wasn't continually reinforced in this area by repeated successful food thefts by these nuisance bears:

"FOOD CONTAINER DILIGENCE - BEAR NOTICE mid-Gunflint Trail area in the BWCAW: Caribou (north of Gunflint Trail), Duncan, Alder, Moon, Clearwater, Rose, Canoe, Gaskin, Caribou (south of Gunflint Trail), and Horseshoe Lakes have been reporting damaged or taken property (primarily food containers). We have asked all permit issue stations to highlight proper food storage with EVERY visitor. It is IMPERATIVE that you are vigilant with food storage - how, when, and where, when traveling in bear country. Click below for food hanging diagrams. For areas with no available trees, use IGBC approved, product-tested bear containers – and work with your guide/cooperator for best solutions.
https://igbconline.org/programs/bear-resistant-products/

Notices are posted at the following entry points: Lizz & Swamp Lakes 47; Meeds Lake 48; East Bearskin Lake 64; Daniels Lake 61; Duncan Lake 60; Clearwater Lake 62; South Lake 58.

LEARN more about the BWCAW - Trip Planner & FAQs: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/superior/recarea/?recid=84168"

 
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