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Predators?????????

 
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  #1  
Old 10-04-2008, 02:21 PM
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Predators?????????

what do you do when hunting/camping at night to stay safe from wolves/bear??????? is there some standard way of doing things. i know about keeping all the meat blood away from camp. but there out running at night looking for a ezee meal. a guy sleeping in a sleeping bag sounds like one to me?????????? has any one ever had trouble with this?????????

Last edited by jeff 300; 10-04-2008 at 02:37 PM.
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  #2  
Old 10-04-2008, 03:58 PM
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Location: Teton Valley, Idaho
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Re: Predators?????????

Wolves aren't really an issue.

Bears can be. You have to keep a clean camp, store food at least 500 ft. away from sleeping area, preferably in a bear canister and hung at least 20' off the ground and 20' out from tree trunk. You should also hang bloody clothes, toothpaste, etc. with food. Food prep area should be at least 500' from sleeping and food storage in a triangle.

It's not a good idea to sleep under the stars. A tent seems to be a barrier of sorts. Some experts say a tarp is better because it offers an unimpeded shot for bear spray.

You want to be as scent free as possible. If not hunting, things like cologne, strong deodorants, perfume, food smells etc.. can attract a bear. Same goes for hiking.

Keep bear spray close at hand light bulb.
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Old 10-04-2008, 08:50 PM
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Re: Predators?????????

I tend to keep a 460 s&w at hand.
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  #4  
Old 10-04-2008, 10:51 PM
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Re: Predators?????????

It's interesting this bear/wolf/mountain lion concern - and attacks happen often enough that it's worth being concerned.

That said, I've hiked, backpacked and traveled the wilderness for most of my fifty-odd years with very few problems with predatory animals. One time in Alaska a smallish black bear tore into our cooking area in the night and made quite a racket banging things around, looking for food. We scared him off easily enough, we were fishing and backpacking, not hunting.

Took these photos a few weeks ago on another fishing trip to Alaska. The presence of big bears does get my attention:






I don't recall seeing a wolf in the wild, although the possibility of that happening has become far stronger in the past ten years. I've heard them though. Quite a sound when backpacking alone or in a small group. Have come across a few cougars over the years - feel very lucky to have seen several of them in the wild. They never bothered me any, although after seeing one I do find myself looking around a little more, and over my shoulder quite a bit! Bears seem by far the most likely big predator to come into camp.

Some fine advice already posted above. Here's a few of my thoughts:

Travel in a group. I often violate this one - preferring sometimes to hike, ski, camp, fish and hunt alone - but am sure it's safer in a group.

Keep a clean camp. All food, and anything else that might attract bears & such should be kept well away from camp. Clean fish well away from camp. Any clothing that has the fish scent, or blood on it should be kept away from camp if possible. Sometimes when I'm backpacking, I have only one set of clothes and I'm not really into wandering around camp naked with my clothes 500 feet away, up a tree.

I do recall being a bit nervous after taking a nice bull elk, and getting all the meat down off the mountain and into camp. My partner slept with his .454 close to hand, and I kept my .44 and flashlight right next to my bag.

Tent or bivvy? Somehow that thin layer of nylon that a tent has seems to provide a bit of peace of mind. When I just lay there on the ground in my bivvy bag, I do feel a little exposed. Sort of like that old cartoon showing the backpackers all sleeping in their mummy bags and two bears looking at them saying "Look, tacos!" Is the tent really any safer? I don't know, but I sleep easier in it in the wilderness. Time to time though I save myself the weight and just use the bivvy bag - particularly in decent summer weather.

Bear spray - despite all the jokes - it has been proven effective. I've never used it, but am impressed with the stories about how well it can work. Will it always work? Nothing is "always" effective.

Bells on my pack - if not hunting, I don't mind making some noise while hiking through bear country. Again - lots of jokes about "dinner bells" as well as pepper scented bells in the bear scat... Yeah, okay. Good jokes. Still, a little man-made noise while hiking does serve to let the bear know you're approaching - avoids surprising the bear and scaring it into aggressive behavior.

A good stout handgun. Keep it with you. A friend of mine was making multiple trips on foot to set up his hunting camp. Came in with one load still on his backpack, and was charged by a medium size black bear in his camp. He shot the bear dead with his .45 sidearm. Was it a false charge? Was it the real thing? Who knows? He was told later by the game warden (yes he advised them that he'd had to kill a bear out of season) that there had been reports of a bear charging backpackers in that area. The backpackers would drop their packs and flee and the bear would enjoy the goodies he found inside their packs. Seems to me that the bear finally confronted the wrong backpacker!

I've backpacked, fished and hunted in grizzly and brown bear country too and have been advised by others who frequent such country to keep a good strong handgun with me at all times while doing so. A rifle has more power, but the handgun can always be on your person. Minimum that has been recommended to me while in bear country is a .44 mag with heavy bullets. In black bear country I feel adequately armed with my .357 mag, and it's a whole lot easier to carry. I've got a .500 S&W, but it's so bulky and heavy, I don't seriously consider hauling it along while backpacking. I'm usually trying to minimize the weight I carry, not haul along S&W's howitzer. Never shot a bear myself, so I'll defer all the arguments about which handgun and bullet combo to those who have. In grizzly country I carry a .44 loaded with 300 grain bullets. Seems a reasonable precaution.

Check in with the local ranger ahead of time. Is there a "problem" bear in the area? Might be worthwhile knowing...

Once, hunting and just bumming around in Wyoming, I came upon a series of drive-to campsites where signs were posted, advising that tents were not allowed, campers had to have "hard side" trailers to legally camp there - the grizzly problem in that area was well documented and folks were quite concerned about the big bruins. Locals advised against backpacking in and hunting alone. I took their advice and rented a small cabin as my hunting base. Asked how the locals hunt the area, and learned that they usually go in by horseback, in a group, and that having several hunters and horses tends to discourage bear trouble.

Hmmm. Typed too much. It's a topic that sparked my interest long ago and I've given it some thought over the years.

Regards, Guy
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Old 10-05-2008, 09:29 AM
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Re: Predators?????????

Quote:
I don't recall seeing a wolf in the wild, although the possibility of that happening has become far stronger in the past ten years. I've heard them though. Quite a sound when backpacking alone or in a small group. Have come across a few cougars over the years - feel very lucky to have seen several of them in the wild.

Travel in a group. I often violate this one - preferring sometimes to hike, ski, camp, fish and hunt alone - but am sure it's safer in a group.

I have only one set of clothes and I'm not really into wandering around camp naked with my clothes 500 feet away, up a tree.

Bear spray - despite all the jokes - it has been proven effective. I've never used it, but am impressed with the stories about how well it can work. Will it always work? Nothing is "always" effective.

Bells on my pack - if not hunting, I don't mind making some noise while hiking through bear country. Again - lots of jokes about "dinner bells" as well as pepper scented bells in the bear scat... Yeah, okay. Good jokes. Still, a little man-made noise while hiking does serve to let the bear know you're approaching - avoids surprising the bear and scaring it into aggressive behavior.

Asked how the locals hunt the area, and learned that they usually go in by horseback, in a group, and that having several hunters and horses tends to discourage bear trouble.

I've seen wolves in the wild. It's quite a sight.
My girl and I were just out scouting with our wolfdog a few nights ago and had a mtn.lion stalk us for 3 mi. About 500 yds. from the truck he got within 40 yds. Our wolfdog tucked his tail and began to sprint. Lions are the only thing here he is afraid of. I called him back and walked the rest of the way cocked,locked and ready to rock.

I often travel alone in grizz country. When not big game hunting I have my dogs with me. The wolfdog is super aware of animals. More than once he has stopped a potential disaster.

I always carry a set of clothes just for camp.

Here's a good article bear spray. I've never had to use it but I've had a dozen or so close encounters with grizzlies. None negative, only 2 bluff charges. Both same bear,same day.
Predator Xtreme :: Brought to you by Grand View Media

Bells actually attract bears out of curiosity. Your voice is best.

Glacier Park,MT rangers told me bears are afraid of people on horseback. The thought is that them being nearsighted and the size of a rider and horse intimidates them.

Chris
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Old 10-09-2008, 08:31 PM
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Re: Predators?????????

I wouldn't worry about wolves.

I've backpacked through a lot of griz country and have never had any problems in camp. Accidentally ended up about 10 feet from one last summer in the worst scenario possible. Thick cover, next to running water, wind in my face. That bear saw me, turned and went the other way. Maybe he noticed the .44 I was fumbling to draw and aim, but that was about as bad as a situation could be and he chose not to fight. I buy good quality cord from an outdoor store that is rated for several hundred pounds but still small in diameter and I'll use it to hang my bear bag high and away from camp. Just be aware. Try not to leave your kill and if you do, leave it in an area that you can visibly approach from quite a distance. Bear encounters seem to be more common in the last couple of years as the Yellowstone basin population grows and expands it's range, but I also suspect that there are more stupid people out in the woods. Have bear spray handy. You'll be in a world of hurt if you shoot a bear that wasn't really a danger to your well being, they will investigate so I recommend lethal force only when appropriate (which is almost never). I don't think bears look at us as an easy meal or there would be a lot more encounters.

I would worry about hypothermia, trauma, and other more common ways you could die in the woods.
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  #7  
Old 10-13-2008, 12:25 AM
CSB CSB is offline
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Re: Predators?????????

Ive never had any issues with bears and nobody I know personally has had any either. I could be very wrong but I feel like my odds of getting struck by lightning in the high country are shorter than my odds of getting attacked by a bear. Obviously if I lived in true bear country Id be concerned.
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