Bear proofing

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by thomo, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. thomo

    thomo Well-Known Member

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    What do most of you do to bear proof you camping tent in bear country.
    Just curious as i've seen some good setups just recently and unfortunately did not have camera or iphone to get a picture. cheers lightbulb
     
  2. phorwath

    phorwath Well-Known Member

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    I don't use them, but the battery operated electrical fences are reportedly working well. Airplane owners use them in Alaska to help keep bears from tearing up their planes when they fly out to hunt and leave them in the wilds to go hunting and fishing. I know folks on Kodiak Island that use them in remote settings to protect their homes and gardens from bear break-ins - reportedly with success. They don't weigh too much and they're affordable.
     

  3. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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    Since you didn't mention hunting or where, I have a Karelian Bear Dog that instinctively patrol our campsite. :D:):cool:

    I have a couple friends that backpack in bear countries of CA with their KBDs.

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrKGuSdGvhY"]Dogs 101: Karelian Bear Dog - YouTube[/ame]


    [​IMG]
    (Thor treed a deer leg).
     
  4. thomo

    thomo Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Feenix an interesting idea I will have a look at the history.
    Cheers
    Sorry the area's I go Oregon and Montana.
     
  5. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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    The closest breeder I know from you is in San Diego >>> California Karelians: Bear Dogs in action ... in Montana, the Wind River Institute (Wind River Bear Institute: Karelian Bear Dogs, Bear Shepherding) is at the top.

    My scout troop and I backpacked (84 miles in 10 days) the bear country of the Bob Marshall Wilderness a few years ago. We worked very closely with Ranger District and they provided us with a checklist but I can't seem to find it. Anyways, a couple of things stands out for me ...

    - Pay special attention to where you pick up your tent. Look for signs; tracks, scats, kills, etc ...

    - Absolutely no food inside your tent, including candy, tooth paste, etc ... Don't cook/prep food, or eat near your tent. Clean up before bed; change clothes (no food scent). Hang your food. If they want your food so bad, let them have it.

    - Insure you have proper bear defense in place and readily deployable when the need arises. lightbulb

    Good luck!
     
  6. thomo

    thomo Well-Known Member

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    Thanks phorwath that was one of the setups I had seen around one of the tents.
    And Feenix they say not to even pi$$ near camp sleep with one eye open ?
    very helpful info.
     
  7. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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    Yep, that also goes with brushing your teeth. A wildlife biologist we were talking to showed us a footage he took of bears feasting on toothpaste.
     
  8. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    I have done a lot of hunting, fishing, hiking and backpacking in bear country including Yellowstone Park and not a problem yet. Basically what FEENIX said, keep it clean and hang your food and anything like toothpaste etc., 10' up and 4-5' away from the trunk.

    Once when backpack hunting in the Franck Church Wilderness, I woke up to about an inch of fresh snow and bear tracks that passed within 20' of my tent. My food was high and I and my tent were clean.

    Cool dogs Ed, I have Yellow Labs. They've done some barking in the dark hours. Who knows at what. Now I worry more about wolves killing them.
     
  9. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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    Thanks!

    Yep, likewise, there was a national geographic (IIRC) about wolves sending decoys (bitch in heat) to be chase and lure them to the pack. Those wolves are clever.

    Ed
     
  10. phorwath

    phorwath Well-Known Member

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    I've often not taken all the precautions commonly recommended. Not saying they're not good practice. For example, when I'm sheep hunting there are no trees to hang stuff in. And after I've shot and field dressed an animal and have meat, hide and skull in my pack, it's pretty tough not to smell like a Dall sheep when I'm overnighting 5 miles from base camp. I sleep with the rifle loaded and a flashlight at the ready. It does cause anxiety. There are bears basically everywhere I hunt and spike camp. I do what I can reasonably do, to prevent luring them in to my tent site for a meal. And then I try to always be prepared to defend myself if I haven't done enough.

    I was hunting black bear about 6 springs ago, and was lying on my back taking a nap on the mountainside after several hours of glassing the hillsides. I would periodically lift my head up to view the openings in the alders. Around 4 pm I lifted my head and was scanning the openings several hundred yards in front of me when I saw two black ear tips come into view 12 yards directly down wind of me. I knew these belonged to a black bear, and sure enough the next thing happens is the bear takes another step or two up towards the knoll I'm napping on and his forehead comes into view. I'd leaned my rifle against a scrub branch about 8 feet away from me and my first thought was - great, I'll never get to my rifle before this bear runs off into the alders. However the bear is staring directly at me and continues to approach. Next thing I'm thinking is great, this bear could be on me before I'm able to get to my rifle. I couldn't tell if the bear was curious or evil. I slowly scooted over to my rifle with the bear in plain sight - now about 8 yards away. I got the rifle in my hands and readied it for action. The bear veered broadside to me at about 20 feet. I rather quickly brought my rifle up to the ready and the bear feigned as if he was going to bolt at these motions I'd made, but the next thing happens it squares back off with me and stares at me like a dog prepping for a fight. I'd seen enough at that point and pasted him just aft of the shoulders through both lungs. The bear jumped ahead and off into the alders. He was an average sized boar, and died within 35 yards of my position.

    Just an example of what can happen in short order when a guy lets his guard down. I no longer nap without a firearm within easy reach. I'd been lying at this location for a couple hours before this bear followed my scent trail in from down wind. Still don't know what his intentions were, but I'd lost curiosity after he squared off with me and gave me the dog confrontation/fight stare. My lesson from this experience was: bad encounters with bears can happen on their terms and timing - not necessarily ours. Need to be prepared. . .

    Keeping a clean camp is certainly good advice. I've tented any number of times with game meat in the immediate vicinity of my tent-camps because the options were so limited. I sleep less soundly when doing so.
     
  11. thomo

    thomo Well-Known Member

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    Good post Phorwath i don't think i will sleep next time out or just take a bomb shelter with me