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  1. #1

    Default Active Bear at Story Spring and Kid Gore Shelters--June 2017

    An active bear has been reported at Kid Gore and Story Spring shelter. It has taken food hung from trees (an insufficient distance from ground/branch/trunk) and within the shelter (hikers were camped in tents). So this critter is well aware of the goodies provided by hikers and how to get to them.

    It is the responsibility of trail visitors to protect their food (and the bear) by using effective storage techniques.

    Cosmo

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    Rain Man's Avatar
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    Dang. I plan to stay at Story Spring next month! Those lazy, irresponsible hikers are endangering ME!
    ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: ... Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit..... Numbers 35

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  3. #3

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    Yep...multiple NOBO hikers report this problem at both shelters. It's a shame because it was rare to have bear problems in that location in previous years.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rain Man View Post
    Dang. I plan to stay at Story Spring next month! Those lazy, irresponsible hikers are endangering ME!
    Maybe you should be thinking about how high you want to hang that hammock!
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

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    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher & Snacktime View Post
    Maybe you should be thinking about how high you want to hang that hammock!
    Or, as my wife calls it, my "bear pinata"?!!! YIKES!!!
    ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: ... Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit..... Numbers 35

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    Last year while staying at one of the pay sites in VT I was BSing with the ridge runner and I mentioned my surprise at how I hadn't seen any bear boxes, given that CT and MA to the south have them at nearly all their campsites. His response was more or less "we don't have bear boxes because we don't have bear problems in VT." I didn't bother pointing out the obvious flaw in that logic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarcasm the elf View Post
    Last year while staying at one of the pay sites in VT I was BSing with the ridge runner and I mentioned my surprise at how I hadn't seen any bear boxes, given that CT and MA to the south have them at nearly all their campsites. His response was more or less "we don't have bear boxes because we don't have bear problems in VT." I didn't bother pointing out the obvious flaw in that logic.
    He /she was telling you the truth, VT DIDN'T have a problem, but due to improper food storage, they do now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by capt. photon View Post
    He /she was telling you the truth, VT DIDN'T have a problem, but due to improper food storage, they do now.
    i think the point may have been that bears are capable of migrating. a bear who was made into a problem bear in northern MA could very well just decide to venture a few miles further north.

    or perhaps its that the same hikers that created problems in CT and MA also, in a fashion, migrate north very commonly, and bring their bad behavior with them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rain Man View Post
    Those lazy, irresponsible hikers are endangering ME!
    This is an underappreciated point. Those who inadequately secure (or dispose of) food put in danger not only themselves but hikers that follow, for once attracted to an area, bears and other critters will keep coming back.

    I hope you have a safe & enjoyable trip, Rain Man.

  10. #10

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    I forget what those two shelters have for trees around them, but in many cases it's mostly pines and birch. Neither type is very good for hanging food from.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  11. #11

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    The whites didn't have a bear problem at AT shelters until a few years ago. They had to put in bear boxes at all AT shelters as they are a problem now. One campsite off the AT, Thirteen Falls has problems that the bears are charging at campers while they are cooking as they have figured out that when someone is cooking the food is not in the bear box. NH Fish and Game have indicated that the bear population is at record highs. Human habituated bears feeding off easy food sources are having record numbers of cubs as there is food to support them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by capt. photon View Post
    He /she was telling you the truth, VT DIDN'T have a problem, but due to improper food storage, they do now.
    Quote Originally Posted by tdoczi View Post
    i think the point may have been that bears are capable of migrating. a bear who was made into a problem bear in northern MA could very well just decide to venture a few miles further north.

    or perhaps its that the same hikers that created problems in CT and MA also, in a fashion, migrate north very commonly, and bring their bad behavior with them.
    The point that I was trying to make to the ridge runner was that CT and MA, where historically there have had relatively few bear issues on the trail, had decided to mitigate bear/food interactions by putting in the lock boxes before issues became frequent and that I was surprised the VT maintaining club had not done the same. The maintainers in VT spend an incredible amount of time and effort keeping their heavily used trails and shelters in good shape, and it seemed to me that adding bear boxes would be a relatively easy task to accomplish compared to some of their larger trail projects, especially at the fee based shelters.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    I forget what those two shelters have for trees around them, but in many cases it's mostly pines and birch. Neither type is very good for hanging food from.
    What type of hang does everyone recommend when you can't find a decent branch for a PCT hang?
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    Quote Originally Posted by somers515 View Post
    What type of hang does everyone recommend when you can't find a decent branch for a PCT hang?
    My honest answer is that in those cases I keep a clean campsite and keep my food in my direct possession at all times.

    Barring that there is a complicated two tree hang you can check out the alternate method in this video. Fast forward to about 2:30 for the secondary method.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarcasm the elf View Post
    My honest answer is that in those cases I keep a clean campsite and keep my food in my direct possession at all times.

    Barring that there is a complicated two tree hang you can check out the alternate method in this video. Fast forward to about 2:30 for the secondary method.

    Thanks Sarcasm. I currently feel comfortable hanging with a good limb but I struggle when there isn't a good limb to be found.
    LT End-to-Ender 2017; AT from Lehigh Gap to Hudson River; NH 26/48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarcasm the elf View Post
    The point that I was trying to make to the ridge runner was that CT and MA, where historically there have had relatively few bear issues on the trail, had decided to mitigate bear/food interactions by putting in the lock boxes before issues became frequent and that I was surprised the VT maintaining club had not done the same. The maintainers in VT spend an incredible amount of time and effort keeping their heavily used trails and shelters in good shape, and it seemed to me that adding bear boxes would be a relatively easy task to accomplish compared to some of their larger trail projects, especially at the fee based shelters.
    for reasons not entirely clear to me (though also not entirely opaque) bear boxes seem to be considered a last resort move of desperation nuclear option sort of thing.

  17. #17

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    Bear boxes become trash boxes quite quickly. Unless there is caretaker or volunteer carrying it out, it will be quickly be filled with trash. Frequently water gets in them and the trash get soggy and possibly rotten. It also can lead to the bears as I described earlier making charges at campers while they are cooking as the bears figure it out that the hiker doesn't have the food in the bear box while cooking. While I was sectioning NJ prior to the return of the bear hunt, High Point shelter had a mother and cubs that would visit during supper. The bears would come from nearby stream bed and the cubs would bounce on the bear box shaking it to see if they could open it, the mother bear would then charge into the shelter stealing whatever food was out and then hauling it out in the woods. There were warnings posted including photos of the bear inside the shelter.

    In the whites there was a family of bears that would charge into a shelter and grab whatever backpacks smelled good and then hauled them down the trail to rip them apart. This was done while hikers were present but they learned that hikers may make noise but don't hurt them. It was generally regarded that as long as the bears didn't hurt anyone that it was management tool to reduce camping at that shelter. The bears rotated between a couple of locations and unfortunately the FS opened a showpiece back country parking area and the bears started visiting that location and started breaking in cars. Once they were an issue to the general public they were quickly dealt with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarcasm the elf View Post
    ... keep my food in my direct possession at all times.
    Isn't this rather dangerous?

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    Quote Originally Posted by capt. photon View Post
    Isn't this rather dangerous?
    Far less dangerous than most people think, so long as I actually keep the food with me at all times. Keeping my food with me at all times is actually quite a hassle and I much prefer to use a bear box, bear cables, or a proper PCT hang, but if a good tree isn't available I won't leave my food in a bad bear hang.

    It's a topic that is the subject of colorful debates on this site at least a couple of times a year. The link below will direct you to one of our more recent arguments on the subject:

    https://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/sho...od-in-the-tent
    Last edited by Sarcasm the elf; 06-16-2017 at 18:43.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmo View Post
    An active bear has been reported at Kid Gore and Story Spring shelter. It has taken food hung from trees (an insufficient distance from ground/branch/trunk) and within the shelter (hikers were camped in tents). So this critter is well aware of the goodies provided by hikers and how to get to them.
    Anyone have any guesses what will happen to this bear? I've read that "problem" bears will some times be captured by local authorities and relocated. If that's correct, how many days/weeks/months before action is usually taken?

    If you do want to hang your food bag at Kid Gore or Story Spring shelters, and assuming you know the PCT method (and alternate described above), does anyone recall if there are decent trees for hanging? Is one shelter better than the other in that regard?
    LT End-to-Ender 2017; AT from Lehigh Gap to Hudson River; NH 26/48
    "Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in." - Isaac Asimov

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