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      How many people have had to spray a black bear in the BWCA?     
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tumblehome
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08/06/2013 10:09AM
There are a few posts this week about the desire or need to carry pepper spray for a bear attack in the BWCA (not talking about grizzlies in the west).

I've spent a fair amount of time in the woods and have had many bear sightings and a few encounters with them in camp over the years. I've never even had a close call with a threatening bear to my well-being. I did one time throw a rock at one that was wanting my food pack but that's about it.

People keep talking about needing to spray an attacking bear in the face with spray, or the use of a firearm, or the use of pyrotechnics or air horns. Is there an abundance of attack bears vs. people out there?

Here's my question, how many readers to this forum have had to spray or shoot a black bear while camping? Or how many had felt their lives were in danger enough to have wanted to do so?

Thanks,

Tom
 
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ozarkpaddler
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08/06/2013 10:29AM
I WISH I had bear spray once when we had an aggressive bear on Horseshoe lake in the '80's. He was close enough to spit on a couple of times (CLOSE ENOUGH, I COULDN'T HAVE HAD ENOUGH SPIT TO LICK AN ENVELOPE). That's why I always have it with me nowadays.

It's just like wearing a PFD. I'm not likely to drown without one, but why take the chance? Contrary to Disney, all bears are not fuzzy, docile, creatures that will leave you alone if you leave them alone.
 
08/06/2013 10:31AM

Never!
 
Savage Voyageur
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08/06/2013 10:33AM
I only wish I had a bear encounter. I have been tripping since 1980 and only seen one bear. Never sprayed a bear to answer your question.
 
LuvMyBell
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08/06/2013 10:46AM
From reading bears threads on this forum over the last several years, I suspect that the vast majority of responses to your question will be 'I've never had to spray a bear'. I also suspect that the vast majority will say they've never had an encounter with a bear in camp.

In my mind that doesn't negate the need to be prepared, just in case. Bears are wild animals and capable of doing serious harm should they decide to.

I think the decision to carry bear spray or even a firearm is a personal decision. That decision also carries a responsibility to know how and when to use/when not to use.

I have nothing against those that choose to carry just like I have nothing against those that choose not to. I do have an issue with those that chide, belittle or tease those that choose to carry. Frankly, I'm not interested in your opinions on my decision to carry or not. I am interested in your opinions on why YOU decide to carry or not.

 
08/06/2013 10:58AM
Never had a problem
 
caribouluvr
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08/06/2013 11:07AM
quote LuvMyBell: "In my mind that doesn't negate the need to be prepared, just in case. Bears are wild animals and capable of doing serious harm should they decide to.

I think the decision to carry bear spray or even a firearm is a personal decision. That decision also carries a responsibility to know how and when to use/when not to use."

+1. It's easy to deny ever needing to be prepared for something unless and until you have had a bad experience yourself.
That being said, I personally do not feel the need for bear spray in the BWCA.
 
mooseplums
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08/06/2013 11:08AM
Never a problem
 
Canoearoo
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08/06/2013 11:15AM
Does spraying a 1/2 wolf dog on our country road count? No?

I have never had to spray a bear- but I do bring spray when berry picking at home just in case I run across any animals that are grouchy.
 
mutz
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08/06/2013 11:18AM
Have not had the need for it yet. Do we carry it yes and would not have a second thought about using it if I felt it was needed.
 
08/06/2013 11:29AM
I personally do not see a need to carry bear spray, yet I have 2 cannisters I bring every trip. Why? because the people I go with feel safer and enjoy their trip more knowing we have a back up plan other than just making noise. If we never use the the bear spray that will be fine by me.

Maybe OldScout will chime in. He told me a story once about a bear near Malberg that tried to take his food pack on a portage, I think he hit it with a stick but couldn't deter it, then a buddy came in with the bear spray and the bear took off saving the food pack. Unfortunately since Old Scout was "dueling" with the bear he got a little spray as well. Sounds like it worked though.

I know there are several studies that indicate bear spray is a great deterent.

T
 
bapabear
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08/06/2013 11:36AM
No. A quick mental count reveals I've seen at least 7 moose in BWCA and never a bear, yet. I've seen 4 bears in northern WI while fishing on foot but never close enough to have a problem.
 
08/06/2013 11:47AM
It probably bears mentioning that using a firearm against a bear (ie: shooting it) ONLY after your food pack is a definite no-no. Unless of course it's bear season and you have a license.
 
08/06/2013 12:16PM
Due to the low incidence of encounters carrying spray was never an issue. But like said, when we recognize a danger being prepared is wise. Hence the PDF and rain suit, etc. Now the decision is the risk enough to justify the weight/space issue. I leave a lot of things home it would be nice to have, but not really necessary.
I carried a quality (expensive) unit with me in the Tetons and would where risk is higher. Perhaps on a BWCA trip into areas where bear sightings are reported, but not otherwise. And thanks to this forum I feel comfortable knowing where those places are.
 
misqua
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08/06/2013 12:40PM
I've had bears in camp twice in the BWCA, on one occasion we chased it off, on the second there were 2 of them so we decided to pack up and leave. They were not aggressive, more curious.

I do however, carry bear spray when hiking/backpacking/flyfishing in Montana. Although, I don't carry it when I'm in Colorado though (I live in CO). I'm more worried about the big Griz in Montana than the black bears in Colorado, and I've had a few of them in my camps here too.

I also think that I would consider carrying it in Colorado if the food situation had been excessively bad that year. But basically I've never had a bad encounter with the bears I've come across. That includes the moma and two cubs in the Cranberry Wilderness in West Virginia that I came upon while backpacking.
 
LuvMyBell
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08/06/2013 01:04PM
misqua, just curious why you packed and left after your second 2 bear encounter since they were just curious and not aggressive?

Not having had a bear or bears in camp it's easy to sit here and say what I'd do but..... my first thought is I'd think I'd try to get the bears to leave before I would contemplate leaving myself.

We always have a large group of guys (6 - 9 people), most with bear spray, so I can't see getting run out of my camp. I've had extremely close encounters with bears outside the BWCA and they usually run away when they spot us.
 
AndySG
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08/06/2013 01:34PM
Never carried bear spray in the BW and have yet to even see a bear. If I ever camp in griz country, I'd likely bring my 12 gauge only as a last resort for self defense.

I once tripped with a guy who's idea of a bear repellant was to make a long pole from a dead sapling and whittle a point on one end. He claimed if a bear came into camp he would use it to repeatedly poke the bear until it left. Well, no bears were seen and the pole was converted to fire wood when we left. Too bad, I'd have loved to see if such deterrent was effective.
 
alpine525
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08/06/2013 02:01PM
Never had to use bear spray - but we do carry it. In the many years we have taken BW trips, we only had a bear in camp once - during the night. Nothing was disturbed as our food pack was properly hung.
 
OldGuystilltripping
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08/06/2013 02:54PM
I've seen a few and never even considered it.
 
neutroner
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08/06/2013 03:11PM
I have had three encounters with black bears in camp. Every time a yell and a couple noisy pots did the trick. Maybe i'm lucky, but I have had no need to try the spray.
 
Basspro69
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08/06/2013 03:31PM
Nope.
 
CanoeKev
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08/06/2013 03:43PM
No, but did have one bear encounter many years ago, on our last night out. We woke in the morning to find our food pack gone. My first reaction was anger that someone had come in to camp and stollen it. What kind of a scumbag would do that?! Then I noticed a trail of silverware and other implements leading down the path into the woods. We put two and two together and realized that a bruin was responsible. My buddy, who was much more (ahem) foolish than I, went into the woods looking for the culprit. He found the beast sitting on his haunches with the food pack on his lap, feasting on the leftovers from our trip.
Some yelling and arm waiving convinced the creature to relinquish the torn up pack, who then ambled back into the woods, well fed.
 
08/06/2013 04:14PM
Wish I could say yes but no. My answer is a sad no.
 
HowardSprague
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08/06/2013 04:38PM
Once on a portage between Little Sag and Elton, I was surprised by the sound of a rather gravely, grunty voice behind me. I turned around and there was a large, older heavy-set black bear.
"Excuse me, buddy, but would you mind taking this bottle of DEET and spraying my back? These bugs are drivin' me nuts!"
So I sprayed him, we chatted and shared a Clif bar, and went our separate ways.

That was the only time so far.
 
08/06/2013 06:06PM
No and have had several encounters with no problems. I live in bear country and have encountered them at home and in the blueberry patch also. Never a problem! I'd be more worried about pissing off a bear with the spray or worse a firearm. Just because you shoot a bear doesn't mean your going to kill it. Funny how you see mocho guys out there with their 45's and such ready for them bears... Then you paddle a few yards and some young lady's are paddling with nothing more than their paddles for defense and they are just fine. Some people I think just need an excuse to carry a firearm. :)
 
Beaverjack
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08/06/2013 06:38PM
quote nctry: "No and have had several encounters with no problems. I live in bear country and have encountered them at home and in the blueberry patch also. Never a problem! I'd be more worried about pissing off a bear with the spray or worse a firearm. Just because you shoot a bear doesn't mean your going to kill it. Funny how you see mocho guys out there with their 45's and such ready for them bears... Then you paddle a few yards and some young lady's are paddling with nothing more than their paddles for defense and they are just fine. Some people I think just need an excuse to carry a firearm. :)"

I've had bear problems of the griz and blackie type, but the griz were scarier. I still think a last line of defense is smart - I also wear a seat belt.
 
hobbydog
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08/06/2013 06:42PM
Never had a problem. If I did get a bear in camp I would grab my camera.
 
riverrunner
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08/06/2013 08:10PM
quote nctry: "No and have had several encounters with no problems. I live in bear country and have encountered them at home and in the blueberry patch also. Never a problem! I'd be more worried about pissing off a bear with the spray or worse a firearm. Just because you shoot a bear doesn't mean your going to kill it. Funny how you see mocho guys out there with their 45's and such ready for them bears... Then you paddle a few yards and some young lady's are paddling with nothing more than their paddles for defense and they are just fine. Some people I think just need an excuse to carry a firearm. :)"

I also live in bear country we have had 3 bear attacks in Wis. this year. I see a couple a week some times more I had them on the deck and in the yard.

I am not worried about pissing a bear off With a firearm If I shoot a bear it is going to die very soon if not instantly. Matter of fact every bear I have shot with one has died right off. I been in on the killing of quite a few bears. I hunted them in several states AK and Canada. Even one in the BWCA one shot one dead bear wasn't hard at all.

Bears are not that hard to kill with a good firearm. Place a decent bullet from a decent caliber in the right place and the bear dies rather quickly. Why do you think they wouldn't die it is not that hard to do. They also taste very good.

You must need some good firearms training. Being a professional firearms instructor I could help you with that. I offer training from the basics to advance tactical training. I could help you to become very good with a firearm and you wouldn't have to be worried about it.
 
Scout64
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08/06/2013 08:22PM
I started coming up to the BWCA in 1973 - I have yet to see a bear out in the wild (saw one run across the highway on the way up). I guess I would rather see a happy bear eating my food than an angry bear that I just maced or shot. I am guessing the bear that you just injured is more likely to attack.
 
riverrunner
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08/06/2013 08:38PM
quote Scout64: "I started coming up to the BWCA in 1973 - I have yet to see a bear out in the wild (saw one run across the highway on the way up). I guess I would rather see a happy bear eating my food than an angry bear that I just maced or shot. I am guessing the bear that you just injured is more likely to attack. "

I been coming to the BWCA from 1968 and only had two bears in camp one we chase out with rocks. The other I shot the legal distance from camp during season with the proper permit.

I see many wild bears in a year matter of fact saw one this evening when I was out MT biking.

Where to you get this BS about a angry bear have you ever sprayed one or shot one.

I shot many if they were angry I couldn't tell they died. You could be right getting shot and dying most likely didn't make them happy. But they are animals and couldn't talk to me to tell me so.
 
PINETREE
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08/06/2013 10:02PM
quote Canoearoo: "Does spraying a 1/2 wolf dog on our country road count? No?


I have never had to spray a bear- but I do bring spray when berry picking at home just in case I run across any animals that are grouchy."


or a black lab that tore my gore tex rain gear while biting my leg.
 
08/06/2013 10:43PM
While at one level I disagree with hunting for anything but food and taking more than I could eat or provide to others is waste. I can respect others views and ask only the same in return.
To riverrunner, a well trained individual with the right equipment can do wonders. How would you feel about an untrained person carrying a high caliber weapon and firing at some "movement" in the brush? And how many BWCA trippers are willing to go through the training to make a responsible use of a weapon? I really believe there is a better way and hope threads like this help us all think about things and have a plan, just in case. Now I think I will go sharpen a long stick.
 
AdamXChicago
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08/06/2013 11:10PM
quote hobbydog: "Never had a problem. If I did get a bear in camp I would grab my camera."

+1 :-)
 
Jeriatric
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08/06/2013 11:33PM
I never have even taken bear spray to the BW. I did carry it in YT and Alaska and now have it available to take to the BW should I decide to do so.
I may have taken one of those tear gas canisters, key ring size, for the 2,000 mile drive to the BW. Two legged vermin are more worrisome to me than black bears.
 
Canoearoo
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08/06/2013 11:49PM
quote PINETREE: "quote Canoearoo: "Does spraying a 1/2 wolf dog on our country road count? No?



I have never had to spray a bear- but I do bring spray when berry picking at home just in case I run across any animals that are grouchy."



or a black lab that tore my gore tex rain gear while biting my leg."

The owner of the half wolf half lab I sprayed was warned that I was going to spray it if it tried to bite on my jacket again. The owner said he was just being friendly (the dog weighed more than me) and that a spray was good for him. Later the dog jumped up on me and began to rip on my jacket so I sprayed him in the eyes. Man I hated that dog
 
h20
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08/07/2013 12:09AM
I wear a bear bell while hiking..for my peace of mind
 
sst6313
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08/07/2013 01:04AM
LOL...love it!!!!



quote HowardSprague: "Once on a portage between Little Sag and Elton, I was surprised by the sound of a rather gravely, grunty voice behind me. I turned around and there was a large, older heavy-set black bear.
"Excuse me, buddy, but would you mind taking this bottle of DEET and spraying my back? These bugs are drivin' me nuts!"
So I sprayed him, we chatted and shared a Clif bar, and went our separate ways.


That was the only time so far."
 
08/07/2013 03:43AM
quote riverrunner: "quote Scout64: "I started coming up to the BWCA in 1973 - I have yet to see a bear out in the wild (saw one run across the highway on the way up). I guess I would rather see a happy bear eating my food than an angry bear that I just maced or shot. I am guessing the bear that you just injured is more likely to attack. "


I been coming to the BWCA from 1968 and only had two bears in camp one we chase out with rocks. The other I shot the legal distance from camp during season with the proper permit.


I see many wild bears in a year matter of fact saw one this evening when I was out MT biking.


Where to you get this BS about a angry bear have you ever sprayed one or shot one.


I shot many if they were angry I couldn't tell they died. You could be right getting shot and dying most likely didn't make them happy. But they are animals and couldn't talk to me to tell me so."








Never felt the need to shoot a bear myself. But have dealt with a bear someone else wounded and he was a problem... Mostly to dogs and such as he didn't back down like they normally do. Neighbor ended up shooting him. Now grizzly's are a different story... I would be concerned there. And yes a bear isn't hard to kill, but it isn't hard to wound either and there are many people carrying guns without the proper training to do that. As far as three bear attacks in Wisconsin? Keep your bears over there... :)That would be like big news since black bear attacks are so rare. Please post these news clippings.
 
riverrunner
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08/07/2013 06:25AM
quote bhouse46: "While at one level I disagree with hunting for anything but food and taking more than I could eat or provide to others is waste. I can respect others views and ask only the same in return.
To riverrunner, a well trained individual with the right equipment can do wonders. How would you feel about an untrained person carrying a high caliber weapon and firing at some "movement" in the brush? And how many BWCA trippers are willing to go through the training to make a responsible use of a weapon? I really believe there is a better way and hope threads like this help us all think about things and have a plan, just in case. Now I think I will go sharpen a long stick."



As with any skill one develops it is up to the person having those skills to know their limits with that skill.

I lot of people who carry firearms do practice and have the skills needed to use them properly.

You may want to believe there is a better way but that does not make it so. Wishing and hoping does little for one that is being attacked.

 
riverrunner
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08/07/2013 06:39AM
quote Exo: "It probably bears mentioning that using a firearm against a bear (ie: shooting it) ONLY after your food pack is a definite no-no. Unless of course it's bear season and you have a license."


From MN DNR site

Killing and trapping of problem bears

Sometimes a bear causing problems must be killed. This method should be used only after exhausting all other options. A person may kill a bear to protect their property; however this option should be used only if the bear is causing immediate danger or significant property damage. A bear may also be killed by local law enforcement officers or a Conservation Officer if it is determined a public safety issue. Bears are the property of the State of Minnesota. The killing of a problem bear must be reported to a Conservation Officer within 48 hours. When feasible bears killed will be salvaged

One would have to decide if killing a bear would meet these requirements
 
HowardSprague
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08/07/2013 06:52AM
I'm surprised nobody has brought up the viability of calling in a good negotiator. I got my Certificate in Ursine Mediation about twenty years ago, but sadly have not stayed current. But from what I remember, most bear "problems" are really misunderstandings that can be rectified by reasoning with the bear. Once they know you understand where they're coming from, they usually back off. If it has to escalate, they're particularly vulnerable to sarcasm.
 
Jeriatric
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08/07/2013 09:46AM
quote HowardSprague: "I'm surprised nobody has brought up the viability of calling in a good negotiator. I got my Certificate in Ursine Mediation about twenty years ago, but sadly have not stayed current. But from what I remember, most bear "problems" are really misunderstandings that can be rectified by reasoning with the bear. Once they know you understand where they're coming from, they usually back off. If it has to escalate, they're particularly vulnerable to sarcasm."
Yes....misunderstandings. LOL.
 
TheBrownLeader
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08/07/2013 10:48AM
I must be very fortunate. I see bears in BWCA and Quetico all the time. Never in my camp, either. I tend to see them swimming most often, and sometimes, up in trees. I always love the guys that feel like they can keep a messy camp because they are on an island. Bears don't swim! Sure. Like otters can't walk.
 
misqua
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08/07/2013 11:03AM
We were just being cautious, and didn't want to press the issue.
 
AndySG
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08/07/2013 11:12AM
quote misqua: "We were just being cautious, and didn't want to press the issue."
You made the right decision. I'd have done the same.
 
thebotanyguy
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08/07/2013 11:29AM
quote HowardSprague: "I'm surprised nobody has brought up the viability of calling in a good negotiator. I got my Certificate in Ursine Mediation about twenty years ago, but sadly have not stayed current. But from what I remember, most bear "problems" are really misunderstandings that can be rectified by reasoning with the bear. Once they know you understand where they're coming from, they usually back off. If it has to escalate, they're particularly vulnerable to sarcasm."

Something like this?

"I hear you, and I understand your that your feelings are valid, as are mine. I need for you to understand that your feelings of hunger, though valid, place unwanted pressure on my need for personal space. If you could show a small amount of respect for my needs, we can coexist in the same forest."
 
Echo01
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08/07/2013 11:44AM
Never brought in spray. Had many encounters. There was one that I will always remember. Bear came into camp at night. Did a lot of noise making etc. and he would not leave. We got into the canoe and paddled out a bit. Once we thought he was gone, we headed back into shore. To our amazement, he was still there and when we got close to shore, he came into the water heading right at our canoe. We just paddled back out and waited some more. He did eventually leave. We returned to camp and within 30 minutes we could hear pots and pans banging from a nearby camp. Hang up your food properly and you should be OK. But yes they are wild animals and you can never feel comfortable when they are near. Good luck and sleep tight!
 
OldScout48
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08/07/2013 11:50AM
quote HowardSprague: "I'm surprised nobody has brought up the viability of calling in a good negotiator. I got my Certificate in Ursine Mediation about twenty years ago, but sadly have not stayed current. But from what I remember, most bear "problems" are really misunderstandings that can be rectified by reasoning with the bear. Once they know you understand where they're coming from, they usually back off. If it has to escalate, they're particularly vulnerable to sarcasm."

Well that's easy to say until you get one of those young "know-it-all" bears, then it's my recommendation to get yourself an 18" stick and let him/her know who's the boss.
 
Clyve
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08/07/2013 12:07PM
Bear spray might have helped in this situation.

http://thedrydenobserver.ca/2013/08/man-describes-bear-attack-at-sandbar-lake/
 
LuvMyBell
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08/07/2013 12:09PM
quote Echo01: "Never brought in spray. Had many encounters. There was one that I will always remember. Bear came into camp at night. Did a lot of noise making etc. and he would not leave. We got into the canoe and paddled out a bit. Once we thought he was gone, we headed back into shore. To our amazement, he was still there and when we got close to shore, he came into the water heading right at our canoe. We just paddled back out and waited some more. He did eventually leave. We returned to camp and within 30 minutes we could hear pots and pans banging from a nearby camp. Hang up your food properly and you should be OK. But yes they are wild animals and you can never feel comfortable when they are near. Good luck and sleep tight! "

Dealing with a situation like this is why I carry bear spray. I can't imagine abandoning my camp without trying to discourage the bear to do so. I'm thinking that bears who are hard to convince to leave have been conditioned by people who let them have their way.

If I were a solo or a 2-person group, I could see backing away and giving the bear space, but with larger groups, especially carrying spray, I think the best course is to challenge/confront the bear and let them know they are not wanted in your camp.
 
PINETREE
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08/07/2013 12:13PM
quote Clyve: "Bear spray might have helped in this situation.


http://thedrydenobserver.ca/2013/08/man-describes-bear-attack-at-sandbar-lake/"


The bear spray has worked very well on Grizzly,it should work also on the much smaller black bear. Rangers in the parks out west like it. Just make sure what you buy.
 
08/07/2013 12:22PM
I try to spray at least one bear on every trip
 
HowardSprague
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08/07/2013 12:31PM
As a last resort, I still won't use bear spray because of the fluorocarbons it releases into the air. If it comes down to it, I would open a jar of "bear-repelling balm ointment" and gently spread it onto said bear's facial/snout area, using the cotton applicator included with the jar. (Being careful, of course, not to get it into the bruin's eyes.)

 
nojobro
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08/07/2013 12:41PM
I haven't tripped with bear spray...yet. (haven't seen a bear in the BW, either). But I would consider buying it and bringing it, but my reason is not to feel safer, but rather to spray a bear that is interested in our food as a conditioning mechanism for the bear so that the bear is (hopefully) less likely to be interested in food at camps later on.
 
bojibob
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08/07/2013 02:28PM
Adam issues all the Mods this.... I'm not sure it will work with Bears

 
OBX2Kayak
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08/07/2013 08:35PM
Never needed bear spray anywhere, especially in the BWCA.

On a small island in the Albemarle Sound, I once had a habituated bear and her cubs in camp but felt no need for spray or any other kind of protection. My friend had a gun that would have just pissed her off. I insisted that he not to use it.
 
h20
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08/07/2013 08:45PM
quote bojibob: "Adam issues all the Mods this.... I'm not sure it will work with Bears


"
LOL..please use liberally!
 
Freddy
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08/07/2013 09:15PM

In the backcountry or in the BWCA we always carry bear spray. We have had numerous encounters with both black and grizzly bears but never had to use it and hope we never do.
 
mjmkjun
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08/08/2013 06:28AM
quote bhouse46: "While at one level I disagree with hunting for anything but food and taking more than I could eat or provide to others is waste. I can respect others views and ask only the same in return.
To riverrunner, a well trained individual with the right equipment can do wonders. How would you feel about an untrained person carrying a high caliber weapon and firing at some "movement" in the brush? And how many BWCA trippers are willing to go through the training to make a responsible use of a weapon? I really believe there is a better way and hope threads like this help us all think about things and have a plan, just in case. Now I think I will go sharpen a long stick."


:-). Well said. And, last statement brightened my morning. Thanks for the chuckle.
 
oldirtybassturd
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08/08/2013 06:51PM
quote Ragged: "I try to spray at least one bear on every trip"

Same here, but when the trip is almost over and you still have a full can, it is fun to use on anything that moves.
 
ozarkpaddler
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08/09/2013 09:00AM
Well, it appears that most have never had to deal with an aggressive bear. If I responded to this poll after the first several years, I too saw no need for spray. Every bear I'd seen ran from me like I had the plague. But one experience changed that forever for me. Probably changed the attitude of the previous campers on that site too; the trippers who had left several odds and ends as they apparently left in a big hurry?

We've seen or heard bears in the BWCAW twice subsequently. Never another issue, and the one time we had a bear spend most of the night in a raspberry patch behind camp while we watched the Aurora (we were grateful for that one, since we would have missed out otherwise). You may never see or deal with an aggressive bear after dealing with a thousand bears? Or, the FIRST one you see may be that one?

A small can of Bear Spray makes all our trips with us. Just like my PFD and front tie downs on the canoe, it's cheap and easy insurance. If someone looks down their nose at me and thinks they're braver than I for NOT carrying, so be it. But if I'd had it that night on Horseshoe, that particular bear may have been taught a lesson that night? Instead, he received capitol punishment a few weeks later I was told.
 
MrBreeze
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08/11/2013 05:57PM
Nope, never.
 
lundojam
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08/11/2013 06:45PM
Sprague-
Real funny. Mediation doesn't work, if ya ask me. Last time I was in mediation with a bear, things got real ugly real quick. I and this adolescent male with DEET on his back were working out a fairly minor point about some Richmoor stroganoff when all of a sudden he takes a poke at me! Just a straight left hand aimed right at my jaw! So what I done was, I sort of turned to the side, grabbed his arm and --using the bear's own momentum--and spun him around into a hammer lock, and I'm really wrenching on his arm, he's swearing a blue streak and trying to elbow me with his other arm, when all of a sudden he just throws his head back, hard-like, and head-butts me in the mouth and splits my lip! Now I'm real hot under the Columbia brand 100% nylon collar. So I broke his neck and ate him. He tasted real good too, like a skunk. So anyways, that's my two cents about mediation. Until you have an experience with it you don't really know. Only I know.

Thank you! Good Night! Drive Safe!
 
wildernessfan2
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08/11/2013 07:31PM
I am amazed how many people think a persistent bear is aggressive.. Paranoia sells and kills. What a petri dish this planet has become.
 
ozarkpaddler
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08/12/2013 11:17PM
quote wildernessfan2: "I am amazed how many people think a persistent bear is aggressive.. Paranoia sells and kills. What a petri dish this planet has become. "

Hmmm, so you can assess someone's incident not having been there? Have you ever spent several minutes less than 10' from a bear that growled, huffed, and popped it's teeth at you? In our situation no food was involved. AND, the bear was sneaking up behind us. We heard it in the brush behind us and jumped up to face him. No food was in the campsite area or on our persons. But, even if it was a food pack situation or possibly just a pesky or persistent bear as some others have had, who are YOU to judge? You were NOT there!

I don't judge someone whether they feel better bringing bear spray, a firearm, a SPOT, or a satellite radio. Their call, whatever makes them feel more comfortable. But, I'm pretty darn sure there's not one person out there who's faced an aggressive or even just "Persistent" bear in close quarters and doesn't carry spray or some means of protection?

So go ahead and look down your nose with that "Superior" air if it makes you feel better.
 
starman
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08/13/2013 06:24PM
Bears have never bothered me much had one in camp a couple years ago as we were out fishing he left before we got back on shore but the wolves that seem to be getting more used to people every year are starting to make me a little nervous.
 
HowardSprague
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08/13/2013 07:33PM
Lundo - Thanks for sharing that experience, it's truly food for thought. Would have been something to see!
Guess I was looking at bears through rose-colored Bolles, as only reasonable creatures who really want what we all want - peace and happiness. A bit naïve I suppose. That could have gotten me a broken nose or worse.
 
riverrunner
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08/14/2013 08:31PM
Link to a Aug 6 2013 bear attack in ONT.



http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=aug%206th%20bear%20attack%20ontario&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&ved=0CC8QFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.windsorstar.com%2Fnews%2Fcanada%2Fsaves%2Bcamper%2Battacked%2Bbear%2Bnorthern%2BOntario%2Bpark%2F8751576%2Fstory.html&ei=ki4MUuH8JoLp2QXf3YHgCw&usg=AFQjCNGLqrRkxswww8LH5Bx2kyJOKWPJBw
 
wildernessfan2
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08/15/2013 03:26AM
I have had a number of close encounters with black bears. Yes I have had them repeatedly try to bed down for the day very close to camp on a point. Casing the same bear off within feet of me. Woke up to bears just outside my tent.. Some more persistent than others. Never have they actually ran at me or took a swipe at me. Sure they are fairly big animals and look tough but, in all reality they are just normal cute bears looking for food. I don't care what you bring to protect yourself it's still no guarantee something bad could happen. Sure each situation is unique but, that's life with anything we do or death as so many want to focus on in this pristine cabbage patch world. All animals will take advantage of weaker or afraid creatures..fortunately black bears do not have human on their diet or the guy in ONT would have been dead. I am not trusting any spray to save me. Heck it can't even stop mosquitos the real blood lovers of the woods.
 
08/15/2013 07:26AM
Article on Predatory Black bears
Very rare but happens.
 
08/15/2013 07:29AM
quote wildernessfan2: "I am amazed how many people think a persistent bear is aggressive.. Paranoia sells and kills. What a petri dish this planet has become. "

This is a good article on how to tell if a black bear is predatory, mentions an attack in the BWCAW...
How to tell if a bear will attack

FYI--Met Mr. Clevelend on a tow--got the hear the story first hand---whew. 30 years later he was still going to the BWCAW no fear of bears--but there was a healthy respect. First couple of years back they were paranoid though.

Basically most bears never will try to eat people---so I would have no fear, not paranoid (way more things to be diligent about) but also not ignorant--history has shown a persistent bear can and has attacked and became predatory.

T
 
wildernessfan2
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08/15/2013 08:07AM
The links all sound logical T. I think some of the issue is people not really understanding until they go through something seemingly dramatic because of an encounter. They don't really understand them and thus don't have a full respect for them. Granted some people just watch too much TV and have preconceived ideas before even venturing into the woods. Understanding the signs an animal gives is important but, as we know a rare few are plain freaks.

When I have an encounter I kind of look at is a duty to scare and chase the bear(s) off so it does not ever want to do it again..or it will..bears are hungry all the time. Nip that persistence for encounters! While the spray may work it may also give people an unrealistic comfort factor and thus they put themselves in position for trouble because they are "protected" by a spray. Ain't nothing going to stop the freaks but, a gun and hopefully on an accurate first shot. Not easy do in a panic situation even for an experienced hunter. Sticks n stones or pots n pans with some attitude work. If you look and act like a victim you are one.

The article is kind of tell tale of how rare it really is when almost all attacks were by Males versus the common thought that the female with cubs are the most dangerous. Anything can go rogue freaky. Education and attitude is key with all wild animals.
 
PINETREE
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08/15/2013 08:57AM
If I go out west this is what I carried.

actual use
 
riverrunner
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08/15/2013 02:31PM
This is what I carry

http://www.taurususa.com/product-details.cfm?id=226&category=Revolver&toggle=tr&breadcrumbseries=CF2

well some times other times it is a 41 mag or 357 mag.

There is normally a can of spray around also.

"Ain't nothing going to stop the freaks but, a gun and hopefully on an accurate first shot. Not easy do in a panic situation even for an experienced hunter. Sticks n stones or pots n pans with some attitude work. If you look and act like a victim you are one."

Bears need to learn to respect/fear humans if they don't bad things can happen.

If one does not feel that one has the training and skill level to make the shot one needs more practice and training. If your panicking you all ready lost the battle.

Being cool and in control takes practice, training and the proper mental attitude.

The time for the shakes come afterwards.
 
northallen
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08/15/2013 02:54PM
OK - so now I'm curious. For those who've used bear spray what brand/type did you use? Which is most effective?
 
PINETREE
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08/15/2013 05:15PM
quote northallen: "OK - so now I'm curious. For those who've used bear spray what brand/type did you use? Which is most effective?"

I just know Counter Assault(I think under a different name once) been around and has been used on Grizzly Bears. I talked to the rep years ago and back than the can failed for some reason on a black bear to spray,so the guy threw the can at the bear and it took off.
I believe counter assault(as I mentioned above) is the original company that came out with bear spray they introduced after testing on captive Grizzly. There has been different cases used on Grizzly and has worked every time that I know of. I think a couple of individuals did get a couple of teeth marks. Sprayed to late or during the attack,I don't know?

I also think maybe people getting away with to much black bear scare,yes it can happen and yes you may be one in unlimited odds you may get attacked so if you want to be prepared that is fine.
I do believe in keeping them wild and afraid of humans,it is usually other humans by mistake have made the bear want the free lunch or tamer.
Bear problems usually occur at campsites that are used a lot.

Did a lot of back packing in the Yellowstone back country and there I paid attention to everything I did. Even my clothes I used during the day fishing,I hung those clothes like a 100 yards away at night,because of fish smell.

Ever see a Grizzly run? In a sprint were no match.

Side note: When I talked to the guy who invented it back about 30 years ago,he was telling me why law enforcement was switching to pepper spray from mace about than. Apparently someone on drugs, the mace will not effect them at times.Pepper spray will.


Counter Assault is the developer of the high emission “atomized” fire extinguisher style spray used in all bear deterrents. Counter Assault Bear Deterrent was developed in conjunction with the University of Montana, has the maximum active ingredient strength allowed by both the US EPA and Health Canada, and exceeds Bear Biologist and Wildlife Specialist recommendations for bear spray. Counter Assault is both an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Health Canada establishment and was awarded the Grizzly Bear Stewardship Award for research and development of bear deterrent pepper spray.

For over 20 years Counter Assault has been a leading worldwide manufacturer of bear deterrent, military, law enforcement, and self defense pepper sprays and accessories. High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) testing by independent laboratories and our stringent internal quality control insures high quality pepper spray products with consistent heat levels. Counter Assault products are used worldwide as a non-lethal protection aid. Just a few of the Agencies utilizing our products are:


 
riverrunner
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08/15/2013 08:35PM
pine tree almost sounds like you own part of the company.

Spray like tazers, non lethal rounds and firearms all have their place.

I seen good results with them all and I seen them fail.

But if I knew that I needed to stop an deadly attack on my person.

I'll take a good quality firearm with good quality ammo over the rest.
 
PINETREE
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08/15/2013 09:13PM
Not at all on ownership or really knowing the company. Whatever one chooses or does not choose,that his or her decision. Just mentioned one of the options I am familiar with. But even that field has expanded so much in recent years and I have not kept pace with the changes.

In the BWCA or Quetico when I been with somebody else I never carry anything extra. Once in a rare while by myself I do the pepper spray.

Do I expect anything to happen-no,not at all. Almost 50 years of the BWCA and nothing happened yet. Can something happen,absolutely. I feel safer in the BWCA than much of the so called real world. I worry more when I am pickup camping and pull of the road in some location,and worry about the human kind. They are more irrational.

Been there done that in bear country with the 44 magnum in the Bob Marshall doing solo hikes. Been other areas with the pepper spray only. What will I bring next time in Grizzly country,maybe both I don't know. The grizz is much more carnivorous than a black bear and a it's different ball game.

To be honest with you the one I am scared of is cats,like mountain lions,I can't figure what goes on in their mind. So unpredictable. To me they are creepy.

 
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