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firefly
03-30-2004, 12:41
Has anyone heard of any problems with Bears on the Georgia section of the trail. There are warning notes about bears posted on the top of Springer. Does anyone know of any close encounters?

torch
03-30-2004, 13:34
I've heard second hand accounts, but nothing I would verify. Basically, bears are almost everywhere along the trail, so proper bear caution is always advised. There are a few posts on Wingfoot's "trailplace" by people who claim to have run into problematic bears in Georgia, but I don't feel comfortable relaying that information directly as I have no idea of it's validity.

Noggin
03-30-2004, 14:01
Has anyone heard of any problems with Bears on the Georgia section of the trail.
I've heard numerous reports of aggressive bears along the Georgia section. Hang your food outside the shelters when you're there. Here are some reports from my shelter notes:

Whitley Gap Shelter
On December 12th, a couple from Florida had a bear come to the shelter 3 times during the night trying to get their foodbag. Numerous bear dens were confirmed in the valley between Hogpen Gap and Cowrock mountain so that is probably why you have so many bear visits at this shelter.

Stover Creek Shelter
A bear had gotten the food just a few days earlier. Around the same time a bear was able to get food from the bear lines at the Springer shelter as well. Presumably the same bear.

Hawk Mtn Shelter Bear reports.
Woods Hole Shelter. Bear activity.

Peaks
03-30-2004, 17:43
Has anyone heard of any problems with Bears on the Georgia section of the trail. There are warning notes about bears posted on the top of Springer. Does anyone know of any close encounters?

OK Bluebeary, how about piping in here.

Yes, the AT is Georgia is notorious for bear incidents. Where there are bear problems along the trail, there is usually a bear box. These sections include Georgia, Great Smokies, Shenandoah, and New Jersey. Elsewhere, the bears are still there, but not as much of a problem.

Jeff
03-30-2004, 20:05
Which shelters in Georgia have bear cables or bear boxes????

Chip
03-30-2004, 20:23
Heard there has been some bear activity at Low Gap Shelter in the past. Never heard anything else about
Georgia. I hiked that section back in Oct. 2000. No problems only saw one deer. Hope to hike that section again this year with my wife. Appreciate the updates !
Thanks,
Chip :)

Peaks
03-31-2004, 08:49
Which shelters in Georgia have bear cables or bear boxes????

I believe that most of the Georgia shelters have bear cables.

chris
03-31-2004, 09:04
As of 2002, and the best of my memory.

Stover Creek does NOT have cables.
Gooch Gap does have cables.
Low Gap does have cable.
Tray Mountain does NOT have cables.
Plumorchard does have cables.

In 02 a bear got most/all of the food on the mouse hangers at Stover a few nights before I got there. I saw lots of bear warnings, but little bear sign the rest of GA, and no recent bear reports until I got to Siler Bald (the first one, you know), where there was a resident bear toying with the hikers. Some packs were lost then. All of the shelters from Mollies Ridge north to Spence Field (maybe Derrick Knob) will be under a bear warning when you hike through. Had a 30 minute encounter with one at Spence Field in 02, but that was my only bear sighting between Springer and Damascus.

Uncle Wayne
03-31-2004, 09:25
We hiked from Springer to Neel's Gap during November 2003 and all the Georgia Shelters we passed in that section had bear cables.

Happy
03-31-2004, 09:34
Have not heard of but a few encounters last year, and I personally am not aware of any this year.

However, 2002 season was remarkable. In late April, my daughter and I hiked from Neel's gap southbound to Springer, to meet and talk with the aspiring thruhikers. This late in the season the bears have learned that shelters have food every night.

We met numerous hikers along the way, and people at Gooch, Hawk, Stover and Springer all had encounters and some lost food. A bunch of hikers stopped to camp just before three forks and during the early morning they heard a bear outside where they hung their food, and one bag had been shook down, so they had the fortune to watch it eat for 15-20 minutes.

The worst story was the couple in their tent that had a bear rip the side of it during the night...so many people that year were sharing food with others and then hitching from Woody Gap to Suches to pick up food to make it to Neels Gap.

Tater
03-31-2004, 12:25
The worst story was the couple in their tent that had a bear rip the side of it during the night...so many people that year were sharing food with others and then hitching from Woody Gap to Suches to pick up food to make it to Neels Gap.
Wow. Do you know if they had food in their tent?

Chappy
03-31-2004, 19:02
Which shelters in Georgia have bear cables or bear boxes????

Blue Mountain Shelter has them. I was there in February.

Hammock Hanger
03-31-2004, 20:17
Guess no one has ever heard of a bear bag... That said I rarely hung my food unless I saw or heard that it was a bear area. The one night the bear came to visit me twice, north of Abington my food was hung. HH

Tater
03-31-2004, 20:36
Here's a creepy story of Whoa's (GAME 2004) encounter with an aggressive black bear in British Columbia. Swiped his head. Seems the black bears in Canada are not so shy as in the U.S.

http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=53678

Happy
04-01-2004, 00:27
Wow. Do you know if they had food in their tent?


Yes they kept a couple bags of GORP and their toothpaste in the tent!

steve hiker
04-01-2004, 00:45
The worst story was the couple in their tent that had a bear rip the side of it during the night...
Probably had sex too. The scent attracts bears.

bearbait2k4
04-01-2004, 01:50
When I was out last year, a "problem" bear tried knocking down some food bags from the bear cables at the Springer Mt. Shelter, cruised around in the tenting area, then walked right past the shelter. In the a.m., while talking to Gizmo about the incident, he mentioned that this bear no longer hibernates, and has become somewhat of a problem for the area.

The next night, at Hawk Mt. Shelter, a man unwittingly rolled out his sleeping bag directly underneath the bear cables. In the middle of the night, I awoke to hear him shoo-ing and yelling at a bear, who was trying to knock food off the cables. The bear ended up leaving after knocking someone's rain suit from the cables and grabbing them. The man, while slightly disturbed by his resting place being overrun with a bear, did not acquire any injuries.

My days and nights in Georgia were bear-free from that point on.

Youngblood
04-01-2004, 10:43
When I was out last year, a "problem" bear tried knocking down some food bags from the bear cables at the Springer Mt. Shelter, cruised around in the tenting area, then walked right past the shelter. In the a.m., while talking to Gizmo about the incident, he mentioned that this bear no longer hibernates, and has become somewhat of a problem for the area.

The next night, at Hawk Mt. Shelter, a man unwittingly rolled out his sleeping bag directly underneath the bear cables. In the middle of the night, I awoke to hear him shoo-ing and yelling at a bear, who was trying to knock food off the cables. The bear ended up leaving after knocking someone's rain suit from the cables and grabbing them. The man, while slightly disturbed by his resting place being overrun with a bear, did not acquire any injuries.

My days and nights in Georgia were bear-free from that point on.

The bear cables can be vulnerable to bears. The bear cables are basically wire cables that the bears can't break. A cable is suspended between two trees and then several other cable loops are attached to this cable with pulleys. One end of the cable loop has a snap hook to attach to an 'eye hook' that is screwed into one of the trees. The other end of the cable loop usually has a couple of 'S hooks' to hook your food bags on. Barriers are strategically placed to stop rodents from climbing the cables. I think some of the bears have discovered that if they shake the cable loop hard enough that they can sometimes get the food bags to dislodge from the 'S hooks'. I would recommend a 'biner or to tie your food bag and don't depend entirely on a 'S hook'.

Now, about rodents getting to your food bags on the bear cables... I always try to use a cable loop where the rotating sleeves (used to dump critters that try to climb the cable loop) actually rotate. Maybe someday I will remember to bring some WD40.

Youngblood

Happy
04-01-2004, 10:52
When I was out last year, a "problem" bear tried knocking down some food bags from the bear cables at the Springer Mt. Shelter, cruised around in the tenting area, then walked right past the shelter. In the a.m., while talking to Gizmo about the incident, he mentioned that this bear no longer hibernates, and has become somewhat of a problem for the area.

The next night, at Hawk Mt. Shelter, a man unwittingly rolled out his sleeping bag directly underneath the bear cables. In the middle of the night, I awoke to hear him shoo-ing and yelling at a bear, who was trying to knock food off the cables. The bear ended up leaving after knocking someone's rain suit from the cables and grabbing them. The man, while slightly disturbed by his resting place being overrun with a bear, did not acquire any injuries.

My days and nights in Georgia were bear-free from that point on.


Most of the problem bears are located and shot with a dart gun, tagged and relocated to a more isolated hiking area, many miles NW of the trail...if they continue to harrass hikers they are killed!

Talked to Gizmo on February 29th and he was so excited to be able to spot a "black mountain lion", only two weeks earlier...a VERY rare and exciting encounter!

steve hiker
12-13-2004, 23:20
Iím re-reading Grizzly Years and Doug Peacock tells of his encounter with a bear he calls the Bitter Creek Griz when he was in Yellowstone in early spring one year:

After a few minutes I saw the bear pass below me, cross my tracks, then pick up and follow my snowshoe tracks heading away from the thermal swamp and out onto the snow. If he knew I was up there, he didnít show it.

I sat nervously for ten minutes, then dropped down and stared at the tracks heading into he timber. I followed, but the light was dim. I could barely see the bear tracks over the crosshatch marks of my snowshoes. I followed the trail for twenty feet into the trees. Something made me stop short; I sensed the chill of premonition. I hurried back to the hill and looked for a safe place to set up for the night.

At dawn I slipped over the hilltop and followed the prints out onto the crusted snow. The grizzly tracks followed my snowshoe trail for nearly a hundred yards, then veered off to the right in a tight circle to an icy depression behind a large deadfall ten feet off the trail. More tracks led away.

The story was clear: Last night the Bitter Creek Griz had backtracked me, then circled around and bedded, waiting for me behind a log ten feet from where I would walk. Had I gone further into the timber that night he would have been right there. The icy bed told me he lay in wait a long time.

steve hiker
12-15-2004, 00:13
That is really REALLY scary. You knowwhat that b-bear was getting ready to do :eek:


Iím re-reading Grizzly Years and Doug Peacock tells of his encounter with a bear he calls the Bitter Creek Griz when he was in Yellowstone in early spring one year:

After a few minutes I saw the bear pass below me, cross my tracks, then pick up and follow my snowshoe tracks heading away from the thermal swamp and out onto the snow. If he knew I was up there, he didnít show it.

I sat nervously for ten minutes, then dropped down and stared at the tracks heading into he timber. I followed, but the light was dim. I could barely see the bear tracks over the crosshatch marks of my snowshoes. I followed the trail for twenty feet into the trees. Something made me stop short; I sensed the chill of premonition. I hurried back to the hill and looked for a safe place to set up for the night.

At dawn I slipped over the hilltop and followed the prints out onto the crusted snow. The grizzly tracks followed my snowshoe trail for nearly a hundred yards, then veered off to the right in a tight circle to an icy depression behind a large deadfall ten feet off the trail. More tracks led away.

The story was clear: Last night the Bitter Creek Griz had backtracked me, then circled around and bedded, waiting for me behind a log ten feet from where I would walk. Had I gone further into the timber that night he would have been right there. The icy bed told me he lay in wait a long time.

illininagel
12-15-2004, 00:23
Iím re-reading Grizzly Years and Doug Peacock tells of his encounter with a bear he calls the Bitter Creek Griz when he was in Yellowstone in early spring one year:

I read Grizzly Years several years ago. I loved that book!

:jump

Grizzly Years (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0805045430/qid=1103084505/sr=2-1/ref=pd_ka_b_2_1/102-8035072-7901746)

Jigger Johnson
01-01-2005, 02:58
You guys should check out "Alaska Bear Tales", and "More Alaska Bear Tales" by Larry Kaniut. He has lived in the Alaska backcountry for years and boy does he tell some scary stories!!:)