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Getting too primal

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  • Getting too primal



    I was hiking this morning and had a rather primal encounter with a bear. I've seen black bears in the woods and my backyard at least a 100 times in the last ten years and I'm not normally concerned about an encounter with them, but this was different.


    Kiko (my dog) and I were topping out a hill when we see a good sized black bear about 150 feet away. I stop and yell "hello bear" to it. It looks at us for a couple seconds and starts coming right at us at a walk. I yell and throw a stick and it stops. When we start walking away it starts following us. I stop and yell again and it stops. This goes on for a good ten minutes, with multiple stare downs. Twice it was close enough that I could have hit it by throwing a stone at it. Kiko was all excited and I was too. It was getting pretty scary as it was clearly stalking us and gave me a big, heart pounding adrenalin rush. I even thought about the advice to imagine a large carnivore is chasing you when you do sprints. This seemed to qualify.


    I'm thinking about carrying something to scare them with; not sure what. This one was way too aggressive and *not* afraid of people. I'd say he was about 250 pounds or more. Pretty freaky.


    bruce b.


  • #2
    1



    If you're of substantial build, carry a large knife (Kabar was originally named so because a fur trapper wrote them and noted how good it was when he had to 'kill a bar'). If not, carry a pistol in a substantial caliber/energy at minimum. .357 magnum, .357sig, .40s&w, .44mag, and any of the larger and more ridiculous would work fine. A levergun in one of those pistol calibers (like a Marlin 1895) would work well too, as would any rifle in a hunting caliber or military caliber .30+.


    Note that due to an amendment to the recent credit card reform bill, the concealed carry laws of the state now apply to national parks in that state.


    That said, I did read a story of a woman who encountered a black bear and ran, for about 2 hours, back home while engaging in a running fistfight with the bear. She was scratched up but okay. Of course many people just get killed by them, too.

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    • #3
      1



      wow bruce, that must have been scary. glad to hear you and kiko were unharmed.


      i think hikers often attach bells to their packs so that bears will hear them coming. i thought usually they want to stay away from humans but it sounds like this guy was kinda agro. maybe an air horn would scare him off? or a fox 40 whistle.

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      • #4
        1



        I am glad I live in NYC. Could Pepper spray work?.

        “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
        "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
        "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull

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        • #5
          1



          Where do you live? You need to call whatever authorities are responsible for wildlife control in your area and report this- it's highly unusual for a black bear to be so overtly predatory and this bear is clearly becoming a "problem bear".


          That said, Nick's advice is sound. Would be arming up more for a grizzly, but black bears aren't quite as, ah, armored. A bear that's completely unimpressed by shouting and other primate threat behavior probably isn't going to turn a hair over air horns or pepper spray either and if it's close enough for the latter things have gone to ohcrapsville.

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          • #6
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            lmao! pepper spray! are you from Brooklyn?


            -one question: Was his name YOGI?

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            • #7
              1



              New Mexico. Black bears visit my yard, too, but our bears are circumspect and don't bother anyone. (So far.)


              Believe it or not, I actually have seen a lot of people touting pepper spray as an anti-bear measure. If I just want to piss it off, I'll use a pointy stick...

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              • #8
                1



                This was in Morris County, New Jersey, at Pyramid Mountain Park.

                http://www.morrisparks.net/aspparks/pyrmtndir.asp


                This is the first time I've ever had a black bear act aggressively..... quite a surprise.

                I'm hoping this behavior isn't a trend. I'm not yet ready to get a gun. It did stop advancing when I stopped and yelled so perhaps a loud whistle, as someone suggested, might help. I like knives so maybe this is a good excuse to get a nice big one. As of now I'm assuming this is unlikely to occur again. It did get me really jazzed! I could always Grok out and make a spear. Hmmm.


                bruce

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                • #9
                  1



                  Now you have a good reference for doing sprints. Glad you're okay.

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                  • #10
                    1



                    I think a loud whistle will work one like a referee has. I think they make whistles for bears as well. Besides if you're hiking they can be helpful if you get lost.

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                    • #11
                      1



                      Haha, New Jersey. Forget carrying a gun. 2nd amendment is null and void there practically.

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