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  1. #161

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredt4 View Post
    I've also hiked in the GSMNP for years and have had many encounterS with bears over the years. Bear attacks are so rare that no one can explain why. Park personal must protect humans and must take actions that are questionable. A study of bears shows that bears normally will not attack humans, but attacks can occur. Proper behavior will minimize the possibility of an attack, but even improper behavior doesn't lead to an attack. Unfortunately this incident occured and Park action was mandated, and everyone can speculate as to the reasons. Unfortunately we will never really know. Hopefully this attack will remain an aberration and we will learn nothing from it.
    I wrote about the attack, because there are lessons to be learned.

    Do everything that you can to minimize an attack. An attack can still occur even if you have a clean camp. Fight with all you've got if one still occurs. Carry bear spray in areas where there are bears.

  2. #162
    Registered User aztarheel's Avatar
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    Thanks for taking the time to create an account and share what happened Peach Peak.

    It is obvious some of the people haven't read what you posted, don't mind them.

    Glad you are healing well and getting back on the trail shortly.

    Maybe you can give us an update as you make your way SOBO.

  3. #163

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    Quote Originally Posted by aztarheel View Post
    Glad you are healing well and getting back on the trail shortly.

    Maybe you can give us an update as you make your way SOBO.
    I started training yesterday. I've lost some conditioning, but I'll get back to speed quickly.

    I may post my preparations and progress to the wordpress blog.

  4. #164

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    Quote Originally Posted by martinb View Post
    Black bears are not predators of humans. Yes, they are capable of predatory behavior. This is why running from a black bear (or any bear) is not wise. Polar bears are the only bear that is an acknowledged predator of humans. I have hiked for decades in GSMNP. I see or have encounters with black bears on at least 75% of my trips there. If black bears were true predators, i'd either have very interesting stories to tell or I would have no stories to tell.
    That's simply not true and it sounds like the old meme spread some years ago that predators only go after certain prey, period. Wrong, while predators (and all animals in general) are largely creatures of habit, they do, on occasion, exhibit behavior outside the norm. And it's no different than when a large dominate male black bear makes the decision to prey on humans.

    I'm not peddling fear and I acknowledge that this behavior is very, very rare; the fact is, I still won't bother carrying bear spray, I'll continue keeping my food in my tent and I'll continue to be far more fearful of an animal countless thousands of times smaller, i.e. ticks.

    However, it's important to not deny facts. This article has been posted before, so no excerpts, but it clearly proves that sometimes a black bear will prey on humans. Just a fact of life.

    Learn it, live it, love it http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/11/sc...ears.html?_r=0

  5. #165

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    As I mentioned, they are capable of predatory behavior but they are not classified as predators. An article in the NY Times does not make it a "fact".

  6. #166
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    Except in the case of this individual bear, it exhibited predatory behavior and as an individual would be classified as "predatory".

  7. #167
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    Quote Originally Posted by martinb View Post
    As I mentioned, they are capable of predatory behavior but they are not classified as predators. An article in the NY Times does not make it a "fact".
    Where are you getting this idea. A quick google search finds many educational sites which list black bears and the animals they prey upon including fish, fawns, mule deer calves, elk calves, and black bear cubs.

  8. #168
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    Bears are apex predators. They are at the top of the food chain in their environment.

  9. #169

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkeeterPee View Post
    Where are you getting this idea. A quick google search finds many educational sites which list black bears and the animals they prey upon including fish, fawns, mule deer calves, elk calves, and black bear cubs.
    Let me make this simple

    http://www.dictionary.com/browse/predator

    Black bears are omnivores.

  10. #170
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    I will make it simple too..... search for Dr Tom Smith 2012 NOLS Faculty Summit on youtube. He studied black bear and grizzly bear behavior for decades. Then count how many times he uses "predator" in the context of black bears.

  11. #171

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    Quote Originally Posted by martinb View Post
    As I mentioned, they are capable of predatory behavior but they are not classified as predators. An article in the NY Times does not make it a "fact".
    This sentence kind of ends the argument, if the are capable of predatory behavior, then they are capable of being predators. Classifications don't mean a lot when one discovers they are being hunted by an omnivore, its a distinction with no difference.

  12. #172

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    I didn't realize we were splitting hairs. How many predatory attacks by black bears have there been on the AT in the last 50 years? How many AT hikers and miles hiked in that timespan? How many black bears have been encountered? If you crunch all those numbers you will find that a the predation rate of black bears on human beings to be below single digits. Folks, the numbers don't lie. Black bears do not naturally prey on humans. That is the point.

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    Folks, the numbers don't lie. Black bears do not naturally prey on humans. That is the point

    thats how i feel about it.....

    as for numbers----the Park has only had one fatal bear attack in its history...........and that was 16 years ago....

    if bears naturally preyed upon humans----that number would be higher....

  14. #174
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    thats how i feel about it.....

    as for numbers----the Park has only had one fatal bear attack in its history...........and that was 16 years ago....

    if bears naturally preyed upon humans----that number would be higher....
    It is a learned behavior to not be afraid of humans. When they learn not to be afraid of humans attacks will happen. With the increase of bear/human population in certain park/other areas more attacks will happen. Bears have a great memory...what they learn they cant unlearn.

  15. #175
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    How heavy is an air horn? Wonder if they make teeny tiny ones that are still crazy loud. If you see a bear anywhere near your camp, just one small blast should send them on their way, yes? If one sneaks up on you in the night near your tent, again, a blast should send them running I would think. We have to re-establish the fear of humans without actually hurting them.
    " Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt. "

  16. #176
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lnj View Post
    How heavy is an air horn? Wonder if they make teeny tiny ones that are still crazy loud. If you see a bear anywhere near your camp, just one small blast should send them on their way, yes? If one sneaks up on you in the night near your tent, again, a blast should send them running I would think. We have to re-establish the fear of humans without actually hurting them.
    Interesting thought.

    Along those same lines, I have wondered how a bear would react to the blinding flashes of my tactical flashlight, but can't say I am anxious to do field test.

  17. #177
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    a blast should send them running I would think


    or firecrackers.......although i think that is frowned upon by the Park...

  18. #178
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    Along those same lines, I have wondered how a bear would react to the blinding flashes of my tactical flashlight, but can't say I am anxious to do field test.


    at the new campsite 88 (not the old one) along lakeshore trail, a couple of miles west of hazel creek-----i had two bears, maybe a mom and her yearling, or maybe two yearlings come through my camp around 11 pm when i was still stitting around the campfire....

    while not a tactical flashlight----i used my bright flashlight and shined it right on them and it didnt faze them at all..........

    they only ran off when i yelled at them and scared them away......

    the next morning coming down to hazel creek, i ran into a huge bear that was sleeping in the berm near a creek...............he wasnt fazed by my yelling whatsoever....

  19. #179
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    Yeah... Air horn. Something obnoxious and harmless. I'm always afraid fear will take my voice in a real emergency and I won't be able to yell. Big bear in the vicinity of my tent in the middle of the night and we have a fear episode.
    " Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt. "

  20. #180
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    Thumbs up Advantages of air horn

    > firecrackers.......although i think that is frowned upon by the Park

    With an air horn, you just pick it up and pull the trigger -- done.
    With fire crackers (illegal at all times in all national parks, all national forests, and several AT states) you have to pick them up, find their ignition source, light them, then throw them into an area with absolutely no dry tinder -- doing the last part (usually) in the dark.

    Firecrackers aren't frowned upon because rangers hate fun-times, it's because they injure (sometimes kill) people and cause wildfires.
    http://www.nfpa.org/~/media/files/re...orks.pdf?la=en
    Remember that, if a fire starts because of your use of firecrackers, you will be responsible for all damage & cost of fire suppression.
    http://www.steamboattoday.com/news/2...d-hayden-wild/

    Here's what I had to say about five years ago, when firecrackers were also mentioned.
    http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/show...t=#post1208420
    http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/show...t=#post1208448
    Last edited by GoldenBear; 06-08-2016 at 18:21.

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