View Full Version : Predatory black bear attack in NJ

steve hiker
08-12-2003, 11:49
Here's the link:


steve hiker
08-12-2003, 16:52
Woman fends off attack by bear

Tuesday, August 12, 2003
Star-Ledger Staff

She was a 5-foot-3, 105-pound hiker, out for a Sunday walk. He was a 400-pound hulking young bruin officials described as "predatory," looking for a meal.

She said he came up behind her on a trail in Wawayanda State Park in Sussex County, chased her down and tackled her.

She said she did the only thing she could. She threw a hard elbow at his snout, and caught him flush, stunning the bear and giving her time to escape.

"This bear was in predatory mode," said Jack Kaskey, a state Department of Environmental Protection spokesman. "This was classic predatory behavior. The bear was out to eat her. She had to fight for her life."

The 18-year-old woman, whom wildlife officials refused to identify, escaped with only a set of 4-inch welts on her midsection after the encounter, which wildlife experts say is rare.

"Predatory black bear attacks are extremely rare, and I've never heard of one quite like this, in which someone punches or elbows the bear and is able to get up and run," said Lynn Rogers, a renowned bear behavior expert with the North American Bear Center of Wildlife Research Institute in Minnesota. "It's baffling that, if it was a predatory attack, anyone could escape a bear so easily and without injury."

The attack occurred Sunday at 12:30 p.m. The victim, who lives near the park, was hiking there on Wingdam Trail. She was alone when the attack occurred and no one saw the incident, officials said.

The young woman saw the bear standing on a bridge, which she had just crossed, officials said. As it stood about 30 yards behind her, she starting backing slowly away when she saw the bear and tried to run when it charged her, Kaskey said.

The bruin, a 2- or 3-year-old male, tackled her from behind, Kaskey said.

The woman told officials she managed to pop the bear in the snout with her elbow, startling it enough so that she was able to get up, run about 40 yards and hide behind a tree. She then told officials that she watched as the bruin stood on its hind legs and sniffed the air.
The bear came close by, but didn't find her and eventually wandered off. The woman then ran to her home in Highland Lakes, which is about three-quarters of a mile from where she told officials the attack took place. She lives with her parents, and her father called authorities.
Authorities have now closed the trail where the incident occurred and have set a trap for the bear, Kaskey said. The rest of the park remains open.

It was the latest high-profile bear incident in recent months, coming amid debate over the state's first bear hunt in 33 years, scheduled for December. It also was the second report of an unprovoked bear attack on a human this year; the other occurred on May 20, when a bear swatted at a toddler outside his home in Sparta.

Three days after the Sparta attack, a West Milford man was injured when he jumped on a bear that was fighting with his dog. The man was cited by the DEP for leaving trash out that may have attracted the bruin.

Despite these encounters, the DEP says bear incidents in New Jersey are down from last year. Nuisance and damage complaints have dropped, from 1,069 in 2002 to 784 this year during the same period. The DEP figures may not include all incidents reported to local police agencies.

The complaints may be down overall due to a long, brutal winter that kept bears in their dens longer, as well as an increased awareness in the state's bear country -- north of Route 80 and west of Route 287 -- about how to coexist with the animals, Kaskey said. The bear population in the northwest has increased, ranging between 1,350 and 3,200 bears.

"Maybe the bear education is getting through," Kaskey said. "Maybe people are taking better care of their garbage."

While the number of complaints has dropped, some police say the severity of bear incidents has increased this year. Many Vernon Township residents have stopped calling police for bear sightings, and instead call only about problem bears, like the one that broke into a Vernon home in June, trapping a woman and her two children in a bedroom.

"Now, it's 'they're inside the house' or 'they're acting aggressively in the yard,'" said Vernon Police Chief Roy Wherry.

Staff writers Kristen Alloway and Brian Murray contributed to this report

Russet Apple
08-12-2003, 16:55
these NJ girls can handle bears? Blimey, they sound cool. Does anybody know any that can suck an orange through a hosepipe?

08-12-2003, 18:02
I lived 10 minutes from this area for the last 14 years until this past April. The whole incident is unfortunate. Of course, the hiker did exactly what you should not do with a Black Bear (or a Cougar). She ran. Perhaps standing your ground is easier said than done. I'm glad she is alright.

08-13-2003, 10:10
Russet Apple has amply proved himself to be a nasty troll, any admin out there want to delete his account? We don't need that sort of depraved garbage around here. Hiking is a family activity.

08-13-2003, 10:23
I agree with Iceman. There are plenty of other sites that deal with the subjects Russet Apple is interested in. I would hope that the celebrated "english humor" had some boundries; apparently not.

Lone Wolf
08-13-2003, 10:28
It's time for that bear hunt in Jersey to begin.

08-13-2003, 13:40
AMEN Iceman!!

AMEN Lone Wolf!!

steve hiker
08-13-2003, 13:51
Lighten up folks. It absolutely amazes me that some people here actually took his posts literally! I kid you not. Go back and read the replies to his post. A few folks read his post with absolute dead seriousness. Like the psychotic or autistic kid who takes everything hyper-literally.

I've noticed this on other forums also. What's going on here? Perhaps after several generations of Puritan-type fear and contempt of humor, some Americans are now biologically incapable of even recognizing it -- especially the dry British type. Like the funny bone in their brains has been turned "off."

Stay around Russett, you're a riot! And your humor may be exactly what is needed to stimulate the humor region in some folks' brains back to the "on" position. That's it -- Russet shock therapy. Bring on the cattle prods!

08-13-2003, 14:41
Usually wouldn't condone censorship in any way, shape or form but Russell should be put on notice that his form of humor is not appreciated. Ribald humor is one thing, base and crude is another. I vote if he can't refrain from making obscene posts, delete them.

08-13-2003, 14:45
I love humor. I encourage at every opportunity. Discussing some poor 18 year old girl that got attacked by a bear like she is some porn star is not my idea of humor. There are many women on this forum and I’m sure most are offended by this type of post. I suggested this forum to my 20 year old daughter! I would not like her to think that this is the type of stuff that I enjoy and condone.

Let’s stick to the trail and matters of the trail without the filth that we’ve had over the past few days please.


08-13-2003, 17:25
This bear walks into a bar. The Bartender says, "What'll you have?" The bear says, "I'll have a gin and.......tonic." The bartender says, "Okay, but if you don't mind me asking, what's with the pause?" The bear says, "I'm a bear you jackass! I was BORN with them."

(I'm deeply sorry if i offended any bartenders, bears, jackasses, drinkers of gin and tonics, or people who tend to speak with pauses.)

08-13-2003, 17:32
Heres another.

A bear and a rabbit are taking a crap in the woods. The bear looks over at the rabbit and asks, "Say, does **** ever stick to your fur?" "Yes." So the bear wiped his ass with the rabbit.

(I'm deeply sorry if i offended any bears, rabbits, or people who wipe their asses with rabbits.)

08-13-2003, 18:33
humor......what a great change of pace:p

08-13-2003, 22:06
Humor is one thing, but there are limits. One of the essential problems with our society is that people do not accept that there are times and places where certain activities, subjects, etc. are not appropriate. They refuse to restrain themselves, giving offense to others and eventually forcing someone else to restrain them by rules and regulations.

As far as Russett's brand of humor is concenred, it did not escape me that he wasn't being serious. I called him a troll from the get go, for that's what he is, he's just stirring up trouble. I don't find his brand of humor innocent, nor is it suitable for a general audience that probably includes children and young teenagers (older teenagers are probably worse than he is, but lets not get them jumpstarted too fast.

This is a hiking forum not a lap dance forum, or a prostitution forum or a drug legalization forum. We talk about hiking here and issues directly relating to hiking. Sometimes we go off on tangents only distantly related to hiking, but Russett's stuff is just plain offensive, and intended to offend, which is more important. We can all live without it and he should have the class and character not to subject the community to it.

steve hiker
08-14-2003, 03:02
It was a Thursday morning a couple of weeks ago. I wanted to get an early start so I could make it past Neels Gap and to the next shelter in time to toke a joint with the regulars.

About 3 miles after I headed out, I heard someone coming down the trail ahead of me. Turns out it was a really cute young lady with one sock on. We spoke briefly and I learned she'd be working my shelter later that night. With thoughts of this girl in my head, I wasn't paying as good attention to things as I should have.

Day dreaming as I hiked along in a light mist, I head a loud huffing noise in the rhododendron to the left. My heart beat fast as I tried to make out what it was. As I slowly moved back, with a flash and a large crash, a huge bear came tearing through the green curtain of leaves before me. Forgeting all my knowledge I turn and fled like a kitten running from a rabid wolf. Screaming like a little girl, my foot caught a root in the trail and down I went, face first into a pile of horse poop. Covered in horse crap, I sobbed deeply and knew my lustful thoughts were to blame for all this misfortune.

But wait, I remembered I bought the $uper duper Backpacker-endorsed Bore-Tex with the optional poop remover. Boy was I glad I did. Pressing the button on the sleeve, the poop wicked away instantly. Remembering the reason I fell in the first place, I looked behind me just as the 1,000 lb bear lunged at me...."

(to be continued ........)

Blue Jay
08-14-2003, 07:00
Why am I not surprised that someone who, in front of children, advocates bringing guns on hiking trails does not have a sense of humor? The NJ crack was old, stupid and not very funny. I find your posts far more offensive, but also far more interesting.

08-14-2003, 07:07
Some folks are working really hard to turn this into a moderated forum. For what its worth, I hope he succeeds.

08-14-2003, 08:43
Blue Jay,

Why do you wish to revisit old posts? At lest if you’re going to bring up old posts please get them right. Iceman never advocated bringing a gun on the AT. He was mostly talking about self-defense. All forms of self-defense.

Quote from Iceman:
That said, I am strongly pro-firearms rights, but there are a multitude of federal, state and municipal laws and regulations restricting citizen's rights to defend themselves and their neighbors. We have to live with that and it dictates the range of options we have to choose from when considering defensive tools for a thru-hike. Fortunately the threat level on the AT is low enough that this handicap isn't that big.

With that said I have no problem you, or your views. We don’t agree on most views, but a least you are honest with them and consistent. I can respect that. The honest and open exchange of opinions is a good thing when kept at an intellectual level, not a personal one.

Great jokes!
Now that is humor!

As for Russet Apple, there is no honesty in any of his posts. From his first post were he claimed to be 91 to his latest here he has done nothing but try inflame this community. I don’t like contentious discourse. I will find another forum if this continues.

steve hiker
08-14-2003, 09:57
The strangest thing happened at that moment... The bear, landing on all fours, straddling me, looked down, deep into my eyes, and said "I think you dropped this" handing me my water bottle. I thanked him and nervously stood to my feet, still smelling like horse poop. As the bear walked off he said "only you can prevent forest fires."

Thinking my adventure was over, I started up the trail again. My heart still racing nervously from my encounter. Then I heard a voice from behind. "You should be more careful." I turned around and saw no one. Damn, I must be going crazy, I thought to myself. Just then I saw it...or rather them. Moving quickly among the giant trees, goblins, hundreds of them. "You need to come with us" one of them stated. As it completed it's sentence, I suddenly became entangled in vines and couldn't move. Then the goblins revealed themselves to me completely. They picked me up and carried me towards a cave. I don't remember anything from that point until...."

(to be continued ...)

08-14-2003, 10:08
Blue Jay, if that was directed at me, you may note that if you read my previous posts carefully you would find that while I am an advocate of personal firearms rights, I DO NOT advocate carrying a gun while hiking. I can foresee some situations under which I might choose to do so, but I do not advocate it. If someone is set on carrying a firearm while hiking, I will offer practical advice, but I still usually recommend against it. The risks brought on by pinheads who can't grasp the concept of inanimate objects being unable to wreak havoc on their own diming out the hiker to the cops combined with the practical problems of keeping a firearm concealed, but available and in good condition, outweigh the benefit of having the thing on the extremely off chance that one is attacked by a predatory animal either 2 legged or 4 legged.

I have explained this over and over.

As far as humor is concerned. We all see humor in different ways. I find cracks about finiding drugs and prostitutes on the AT to be non-humorous and intentionally disruptive.

08-14-2003, 13:08
I think it might be best to return to the topic of this thread. There are threads already established in which firearms are discussed. I certainly encourage anyone interested in further discussion of the topic to please move to that thread, or if really needed create another for the purpose of discussing the topic.

furthermore, some of the more offcolor jokes being posted on this and other threads are getting a little offensive and i think that those responcible should reconsider what they have to say before hiting the submit reply button. I really dont want to have to edit or delete others posts but please remember that children do occasionally browse through Whiteblaze, and yes it is partially their parents responcibility to sensor what their children view, but it is also our responcibility to run a respectable website. afterall that is what whiteblaze was created to be, an informational website where trail concerns can be discussed freely and openly without harrasment. i am personally shocked at the turn this site has has taken in the past few months. i hope that everyone can act more mature in the future, thank you for your cooperation.

Russet Apple
08-14-2003, 13:24
that girl is no fun she didn't want to get eaten....

last attack in the smokies by a bear was when the bear ate the woman..

bear like to eat women don't you?

Great bear jokes guys.

Here's mine (not quite to those standards but decent all the same):

What do you call a bear without an ear?

A b...

Moving on to other trail wildlife jokes:

What do you call a fish without an eye?

A fsh

What do you call a blind deer?

No idea

What do you call a blind deer with no legs?

Still no idea

What do you call a blind deer with no legs and no knob?

Still no f***ing idea


(Leave it Mod! :mad: )

Rock & roll

See all my super friends next year. Training is going swimmingly.

08-14-2003, 13:55
Back to the bear attack thing and way from the debate on what is funny or not. I heard a story in a survival class I took in college about a Marine who was attacked by a Brown Bear in Alaska and he did his only instinct He punched the bear straight in the nose and got in several good shots. He walked away from the incedent the bear left him alone and I guess had some pretty hurt feelings too. Good thing the girl used her 1st instinct to fight it.

squirrel bait
08-14-2003, 14:18
A good one on the nose does wonders. Had a bull one time that always knocked the feed bucket out of my hand, everytime, really got annoying. Well one day my knee accidently touched the solar powered electric fence while I was pointing and yelling at him when the biggest blue spark lept from my finger tip right on to hisbig wet nose. Funniest damn thing that bull never knocked that bucket out of my hand again.

08-14-2003, 14:30
SB you have me laughing just thinking about that one!


steve hiker
08-14-2003, 14:33
I think the diversion to humor over the last month or so may be attributable to the summer doldrums. At least where I live, there is no summer hiking without traveling close to 1,000 miles because of the heat and humidity. So without recent hiking, many folks blow off steam and boredom with a little humor. Me included.

Things will return more to normal with the fall hiking season. I myself will kick things off with a trip next month to Colorado (knock on wood). Ahhhhhh, nothing better to releive the suffering of a long, hot Louisiana summer than the aspens in the fall.

08-14-2003, 14:38
You may be right about the humor I havn't hikes since the second week of june and it was so hot I almost gave up and went home and that was in Asheville NC. I'll keep paddling for another month or so then back to the trails.

Oh by the way everybody
Waterbuffalo is back in da house!


08-18-2003, 19:12
i also think that things will return to normal when the current thruhikers return to the site and begin posting their thoughts again.

steve hiker
09-02-2003, 03:18
Friday, August 29, 2003

NJ Herald Staff Writer

A Frankford man who chased a black bear out of his home by punching him in the face has come to the defense of the Wawayanda bear attack victim.

The 18-year-old woman, who declined to have her name released, was attacked by a bear in Wawayanda State Park in Vernon earlier this month. Some members of the Bear Education And Resource Group have questioned the validity of the attack. Jo-Ann Floridia, a member of the group, said that the main concern was that an innocent bear was not put down because of the incident. Some doubt whether a 105-pound woman would be able to fight off a bear in predatory mode.

Tom Thum disagrees. Thum was thrust into the spotlight back in 1998 when a bear tried to break into his house by smashing in his screen door. Fearing for his family, Thum socked the 250-pound bear on nose. His blow knocked the bear off of his porch and, according to Thum, the bear sneezed, then wobbled off as if intoxicated. The bear stopped at the back edge of the yard and sat down, sneezing five or six more times before Thum chased him off. Thum said he didn’t see the bear again for more than six months.

“I can attest that if you crack a black bear at the end of his little black nose, he will run away,” Thum said. Thum believed it was his duty to defend the woman because from his experience, “there is no possible way this didn’t happen.” While he admitted that at 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, he is much larger than the Wawayanda victim, Thum said size doesn’t matter when it comes to pressure points. “A good shot in the nose and you’re going down,” Thum said.

Floridia said it isn’t that the group doesn’t believe the woman, just that her story seems very strange. She said it doesn’t make sense that the bear would have attacked the woman out of nowhere because this is not a behavior that the group has had with bears before. “We are not trying to call her a liar, we are just trying to understand what happened,” Floridia said. “It may very well be that it went down the way she said. Maybe she packs a heck of a wallop.”

Thum believes the bear was probably unable to find the woman hiding behind a tree because he wouldn’t have been able to see or smell properly after receiving an elbow to the snout. Thum said he finds it hard to believe that everyone who claimed to be in the park at the time of the attack were all members of the BEAR Group.

The BEAR Group has consulted with several professionals, who have also questioned the story surrounding the attack, according to Floridia. She said that the group would like the woman to call Director Lynda Smith because they are just trying to understand the series of events.

“The BEAR Group should shut up. I think they should leave it up to the experts,” Thum said. “They are just a bunch of people (upset) because they are not getting their way.”

09-02-2003, 10:24
or jokes about bears smoking dope??

what's the world coming to????

Flash Hand
12-15-2003, 04:30
About bear attack, I learned in here that elbowing or punch in the bear nose is the best last thing you can avoid a serious injury. So, can anyone care to explain me what is the BEST way to avoid an incident like this? Stand still? what would you do if bear walk or run toward you?

Lil Allan

12-15-2003, 08:46
If a bear comes toward you, I believe the best precaution is to stand up and make your self as big as possible by extending arms, etc. Then back slowly away.