BWCA High Bear Activity - Caribou, Horseshoe, Gaskin Boundary Waters Trip Planning Forum
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09/12/2022 10:43AM  
Just a heads up for anyone tripping and camping on Caribou, Horseshoe, and Gaskin.

There is a bear (or two) that has been visiting many if not all campsites on these lakes. This is confirmed by the gunflint ranger station and some rangers I saw on trail this past week.

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 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 stood the test both times - the bear was able to puncture the Ursack, OPsack, and a few food items but was not able to pull it off or down the tree.

The bear appeared to be an adolescent male - 3 years old?

 
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Mocha
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09/12/2022 05:11PM  
Of course the bear would be interested in your food,,look at all those yummy items!
Northwoodsman
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09/12/2022 05:16PM  
I'd be going after that All-American Works Burger too. I've always been tempted to try that, I like their products.
ockycamper
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09/12/2022 05:23PM  
Just a question. . .if the first time a bear came into camp they were hit with bear spray. . .would that not condition them to not do it again, rather then just come back or go to the next camp? Do most people not carry bear spray? It would save the bear as they would learn the cost of trying to steal food.
09/13/2022 11:27AM  
Northwoodsman: "I'd be going after that All-American Works Burger too. I've always been tempted to try that, I like their products."

It was only okay. I like many of their other products better. :)
09/13/2022 11:28AM  
ockycamper: "Just a question. . .if the first time a bear came into camp they were hit with bear spray. . .would that not condition them to not do it again, rather then just come back or go to the next camp? Do most people not carry bear spray? It would save the bear as they would learn the cost of trying to steal food."

Good question. Clearly this bear has been very active in this area for the past few weeks. He's had some success. For some inexplicable reason, I had neither my bear spray nor my air horn with me on this trip.
Laker Taker
Guest Paddler
 
09/13/2022 12:33PM  
ockycamper: "Just a question. . .if the first time a bear came into camp they were hit with bear spray. . .would that not condition them to not do it again, rather then just come back or go to the next camp? Do most people not carry bear spray? It would save the bear as they would learn the cost of trying to steal food."

These are my thoughts. I spend a lot of time in bear country and hunting in bear country. There is only one critter in the lower 48 states that justifies the risks associated with carrying bear spray and there aren’t any grizzlies in the BWCA. As far as discharging pepper spray at a campsite. The bear that gets sprayed might avoid that site for the rest of its life but any other bears in the area are going to be very intrigued by the strong smell of pepper all over your campsite. You might as well have a honey burn going.
gravelroad
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09/14/2022 10:30PM  
Laker Taker: "There is only one critter in the lower 48 states that justifies the risks associated with carrying bear spray and there aren’t any grizzlies in the BWCA."

This will come as news to these folks:

Reason # 2
09/16/2022 10:19PM  
I absolutely LOVE the All American Works.

My absolute FAV though is the Austentatious Tortilla Soup. So good.

I’ll be heading into the ‘bear’ area soon, and plan on bringing both bear spray, safety whistle and an air horn.

I had been curious about which URSAK you had. I have both the White (stronger one) and a black one. I still might bring my white one if my food will fit in it, as its a more secure bag.

Did you do the square knot that the instructions show, or anything different?
09/18/2022 11:00AM  
MN_Lindsey: "I absolutely LOVE the All American Works.

I had been curious about which URSAK you had. I have both the White (stronger one) and a black one. I still might bring my white one if my food will fit in it, as its a more secure bag.

Did you do the square knot that the instructions show, or anything different?"


I used the original all-white Ursack - with a square knot as per instructions and a half-hitch/stopper knot on the free ends tight to the square knot.

09/19/2022 12:54PM  
IBFLY: "MN_Lindsey: "I absolutely LOVE the All American Works.

I had been curious about which URSAK you had. I have both the White (stronger one) and a black one. I still might bring my white one if my food will fit in it, as its a more secure bag.

Did you do the square knot that the instructions show, or anything different?"


I used the original all-white Ursack - with a square knot as per instructions and a half-hitch/stopper knot on the free ends tight to the square knot. "


If you haven't seen it already, you might want to check out this knot that is demonstrated on the Ursack blog:
Ursack knot with carabiner
Solobob1
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09/23/2022 07:01AM  
I was on a wilderness trip with my dog from September 8 to the 18th. I put in on Poplar, portaged to Lizz ... my dog smelled and reacted to a bear waiting for me to leave a pack on the portage from Lizz to Caribou. Met a couple leaving Caribou telling me of a bear in their camp at the southern end of Caribou that morning. They told me the camp just across from the portage ( Lizz into Caribou 73 rod ) had a note on the fire grate - do not camp bear activity high. The camp to the west of the portage had 3 ladies rapidly breaking camp ... bear sniffing around their tent that morning.

I paddled to the western most camp on Meeds lake . Had a bear walk into camp 2 times ... and a rutting moose on a third day before I boogied south to get away from it all. Bear activity seems to be absent on Southern Horseshoe, Insula and western lakes like Jake and Luz. I did hear of bear issues on both Gaskin and Winchell Lakes, but I have no first hand experience there.

Bob.
Solobob1
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09/23/2022 07:11AM  
IBFLY

I am real glad your URSAK worked for you ... I use them as well and this helps my confidence level. Mine is the black one ... hope it is strong enough, have been told not as durable as the white ones.

Bob.
09/23/2022 07:59AM  
Ausable: "IBFLY: "MN_Lindsey: "I absolutely LOVE the All American Works.

I had been curious about which URSAK you had. I have both the White (stronger one) and a black one. I still might bring my white one if my food will fit in it, as its a more secure bag.

Did you do the square knot that the instructions show, or anything different?"


I used the original all-white Ursack - with a square knot as per instructions and a half-hitch/stopper knot on the free ends tight to the square knot. "


If you haven't seen it already, you might want to check out this knot that is demonstrated on the Ursack blog:
Ursack knot with carabiner "


Thanks for the video link! Going to try this.
CampingJon
member (7)member
 
09/28/2022 03:33PM  
We were just in this area Friday 23rd through Monday 26th and the Bear or Bears is/are still active for sure. We saw one along the shoreline of Horseshoe at the south end of the lake near the portage to vista. Then he came into our camp in the southeastern site on Horseshoe. I quickly scared him off and luckily we never saw him again despite the fact that we base camped at the same spot for 3 nights. However, we talked to many people over the weekend that were dealing with him being more brazen in his efforts. The one we saw was did not appear to be adolescent though. He was a big boy. Sounds like maybe multiple bears in the area.
09/29/2022 11:45AM  
CampingJon: "We were just in this area Friday 23rd through Monday 26th and the Bear or Bears is/are still active for sure. We saw one along the shoreline of Horseshoe at the south end of the lake near the portage to vista. Then he came into our camp in the southeastern site on Horseshoe. I quickly scared him off and luckily we never saw him again despite the fact that we base camped at the same spot for 3 nights. However, we talked to many people over the weekend that were dealing with him being more brazen in his efforts. The one we saw was did not appear to be adolescent though. He was a big boy. Sounds like maybe multiple bears in the area. "

They have their own massage forum to discuss which lakes have campers with the most delicious food, so it's no surprise. It was only a matter of time until they figured out the power of the internet...
09/29/2022 12:41PM  
bumabu: "CampingJon: "We were just in this area Friday 23rd through Monday 26th and the Bear or Bears is/are still active for sure. We saw one along the shoreline of Horseshoe at the south end of the lake near the portage to vista. Then he came into our camp in the southeastern site on Horseshoe. I quickly scared him off and luckily we never saw him again despite the fact that we base camped at the same spot for 3 nights. However, we talked to many people over the weekend that were dealing with him being more brazen in his efforts. The one we saw was did not appear to be adolescent though. He was a big boy. Sounds like maybe multiple bears in the area. "


They have their own massage forum to discuss which lakes have campers with the most delicious food, so it's no surprise. It was only a matter of time until they figured out the power of the internet... "


Made me laugh; thanks for that!
ockycamper
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09/29/2022 01:32PM  
bumabu: "CampingJon: "We were just in this area Friday 23rd through Monday 26th and the Bear or Bears is/are still active for sure. We saw one along the shoreline of Horseshoe at the south end of the lake near the portage to vista. Then he came into our camp in the southeastern site on Horseshoe. I quickly scared him off and luckily we never saw him again despite the fact that we base camped at the same spot for 3 nights. However, we talked to many people over the weekend that were dealing with him being more brazen in his efforts. The one we saw was did not appear to be adolescent though. He was a big boy. Sounds like maybe multiple bears in the area. "


They have their own massage forum to discuss which lakes have campers with the most delicious food, so it's no surprise. It was only a matter of time until they figured out the power of the internet... "


"They have their own massage forum"

There is a massage forum?!
 
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