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View Full Version : Any bear problems VA Mi 576 to Mi 546?



tommaloney
10-20-2020, 15:28
Iíve got a friend whoís originally from VA. He hasnít walked on AT in a while. Weíre doing a section SOBO from Mi 576 VA 623 to Mi 546 VA 617 starting Thursday.

Anyone who is familiar with this area know of any bear problems in this section?

Dan Roper
10-20-2020, 16:40
I think you're talking about the section from roughly Hunting Camp Creek south to around I-81. If so, I did most of that section 8/29 to 9/1. I saw a big bear a gap north of Walker Gap, and other backpackers reported a bear loitering around Jenkins Shelter. I stayed at that shelter, had it to myself, and didn't see any bears. I was solo and didn't have any issues with bears on that trip (the big one near Walker Gap skedaddled down ridge when it caught sight/scent of me).

GoldenBear
10-20-2020, 17:14
Bears might appear on (pretty much) any mile of the AT, and there's no way to know ahead of time whether or not they will be a problem. 500 people might hike a section and not even see a bear, but the 501st might have a bear try to get a snack from a pack -- all because in between number 500 and number 501, a stupid tourist thought it a good idea to feed a bear.

In other words, the fact that even dozens of people tell you, "No problem", doesn't mean squat as far as whether YOU will have problems.

All you can do is be bear aware on every mile of The Trail, obey all regulations (no matter how much you might hate them), and make your food safe from opportunistic bears. Here's advice from the Virginia DWR:
https://dwr.virginia.gov/bear-aware/

JNI64
10-20-2020, 19:06
If there was would you still go? And would you tell your hiking buddy or would you spare him the news?

And you know you just have to be a little faster runner...

If you're lucky you'll get to see one and maybe get a pic.....

tommaloney
10-20-2020, 20:04
If there was would you still go? And would you tell your hiking buddy or would you spare him the news?

And you know you just have to be a little faster runner...

If you're lucky you'll get to see one and maybe get a pic.....

Yep Iíd definitely go. Hoping to finally see one and get a pic of its backside as it distances itself.

Haha I could stick around and see how his bear spray works out.

On the other hand, donít want an encounter with us between a momma and her cubs.

JNI64
10-20-2020, 21:31
That's a good answer .

My only bear cub story. A couple years ago right before the Grayson Highlands area which was closed to camping because of bear activity, I had to plow through the 18 miles and camp on the other side. But I was taking a break right on trail had my pack off,shirt off hanging in tree drying and eating a Scooby snack and out of the corner of my eye I see something walking down the hill i stood up and looked about 40' away a bear cub came down the hill and turned up the trail i just came from. I started putting my shirt and pack on saying out loud where's momma as I walked down the trail i never did see momma bear. Thank goodness she wasn't walking up the trail i took!