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  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by FreeGoldRush View Post
    Being smart about bears doesn't require a gear and logistics interrogation by a government "expert".

    Issuing hunting permits in a quantity that is designed to maintain the bear population at an historic norm would work wonders. Bears would fear humans again in the GSMNP.

    There is an estimated two bears per square mile in the GSMNP. That is the largest ever recorded. The bear population there has been artificially managed into something that has never before existed. Their predators were removed. Hunting the bears would return the bear population to an historic average while also teaching them to avoid people.

    This will eventually be the solution as unlikely as it may seem today.
    Unfortunately your idea has way too much common sense in it for it to ever be adopted as public policy. (This is a bit TIC as I think NJ finally had to move in this direction awhile back iirc.)

  2. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by Burrhead View Post
    Patman, had you ever cooked, ate or kept food in that tent that got shredded? I haven't had any trouble with the bears in the Smokies and wondering if it's things that I do or just dumb luck. My girlfriend and I had 2 bears have a territory fight while we were in the tent at campsite 77 last month. The loser was all ready running by the time I got out of the tent but the winner just walked off when I yelled at him. Still nothing was messed with over the rest of the night. Skunks on the other hand are my arch enemies. Had one spray me while I was running through the woods with toilet paper in on hand and trowel in the other. Another one stole my ramens when I walked ten feet away to get my water.
    At the time that happened there was nothing in the tent but a sleeping pad and a pair of dirty socks under the vestibule. I can't say I've never cooked in that vestibule ( I admit that I do that in other places and especially in winter 'cause I like breakfast in bed) as the tent was used for several years in all kinds of locales. But it was the overflow camps (more than a full shelter that night) just south of Cosby Knob which gets problem bears every year. I happened to speak with a park biologist after the event (he called me back to ask questions after I reported the event to the Backcountry office) and he said they identified the bear from others photos from the same night as one that was running a circuit from Walnut Bottoms to Cosby, to TriCorner and back at least once a day. So this was a highly habituated bear and probably had learned to "open" any tent he came across. That same bear entered the shelter the next morning (full of people) and was sniffing the hanging packs. Several awoke and started shouting at it and it causally backed out and strolled down to the cables and stood on it's hind legs shook each cable one by one trying to knock the bags loose.

    I figure my chances of incident are probably higher just because I'm there so much. I'm usually in the park 25 weekends a year or so. But really , considering that I've spent a couple hundred nights there over the last decade and only had a handful of issues, they are statistically insignificant.

  3. #43

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    One of the experienced professional bears. I'm going to have to deal with one of those at some point. Girlfriend is still sort of new to hiking and has fell in love with the Smokies. I don't think there is much that can be done in the national parks. Outside the parks, maybe just spreading out more and staying away from the shelters would help but when the bubble comes through you are still going to have too many people around.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by FreeGoldRush View Post
    Being smart about bears doesn't require a gear and logistics interrogation by a government "expert".

    Issuing hunting permits in a quantity that is designed to maintain the bear population at an historic norm would work wonders. Bears would fear humans again in the GSMNP.

    There is an estimated two bears per square mile in the GSMNP. That is the largest ever recorded. The bear population there has been artificially managed into something that has never before existed. Their predators were removed. Hunting the bears would return the bear population to an historic average while also teaching them to avoid people.

    This will eventually be the solution as unlikely as it may seem today.
    100% Agreed... its the most logical natural remedy.

  5. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    ...and the way to cull this population is to hunt them...

    or find some other way to instill fear into bears...
    As others have stated, hunting will likely happen. Lottery for permits, like FL did, blah blah blah.
    Until then, and people don't seem to take me seriously when I suggest this, use firecrackers.
    Anecdote time:
    A friend had trouble with a bear getting into his trash repeatedly.
    Eventually, he caught the bear in the act and tossed a pack of firecrackers out the door toward it.
    He didn't have trashcan trouble from bears for a long time.
    .
    So I believe that if bears learned to associate us humans with painfully loud noises, they would stay away from us.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burrhead View Post
    More Hikers with less skill in food storage. Obsession with weight leading to more hikers, even experienced ones, trying to burn trash. This leaves more food smells around shelters. The main thing in my opinion... less hunters. Most of the bear hunters I know only want to take a large bear, females with cubs are off limits. So for years you had cubs and younger bears getting chased by a pack of dogs and run up trees, then humans would show up and take the dogs away. They learned from an early age that dogs and people are very bad things and the scent of either should be avoided at all cost. Looking forward to hearing other opinions on this.
    I would say the above is spot on, except are more hikers burning trash than did 10 or 20 years ago?
    Time is but the stream I go afishin' in.
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  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailmercury View Post
    ?

    not following this
    Bear poachers going for gall bladders (Chinese market) have been cracked down on. Before that, they were hunting bears illegally, thus making the bears afraid of people.
    Time is but the stream I go afishin' in.
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  8. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by MtDoraDave View Post
    As others have stated, hunting will likely happen. Lottery for permits, like FL did, blah blah blah.
    Until then, and people don't seem to take me seriously when I suggest this, use firecrackers.
    Anecdote time:
    A friend had trouble with a bear getting into his trash repeatedly.
    Eventually, he caught the bear in the act and tossed a pack of firecrackers out the door toward it.
    He didn't have trashcan trouble from bears for a long time.
    .
    So I believe that if bears learned to associate us humans with painfully loud noises, they would stay away from us.
    Fireworks are a terrible idea from a wildfire perspective.
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  9. #49

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    It's not just the SE. It seems the Adirondacks have had a big increase in bear/human interactions this summer. The bears have become pretty bold. Swimming out to islands to raid canoe campers, waiting for campers to open there bear cans in the evening and then displaying intimidating behavior, taking rock climbers' backpacks as they are up on the cliffs as well as mid-day trail confrontations for hikers. The dry summer is what seems to be to blame as I guess the bears natural food sources are scarce.

    Although bear canisters are currently required for a small portion of the Adirondacks I can very easily see it being required throughout the park in the future.

  10. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by perdidochas View Post
    Bear poachers going for gall bladders (Chinese market) have been cracked down on. Before that, they were hunting bears illegally, thus making the bears afraid of people.
    They shouldn't ever allow illegal hunting!

    I am in favor of places with bears problems allowing more legal hunting

  11. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alligator View Post
    Fireworks are a terrible idea from a wildfire perspective.
    Hmm, yes. That hadn't occurred to me.
    Also messy. :/

  12. #52

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    There aren't too many bears, (mountain lions, pikas, eagles, wolves - place another name assigned to any other creature here) rather too many irresponsible humans teaching bears to associate humans with food rewards. The idea that hunting bears would instill a fear of humans in them is a simple fantasy perpetuated by those with trophy hunting mentalities and/or financial motivation. Who can tell us if licensed hunters kill more bears per year than auto drivers, ranchers, or dogs? Each of them look the same to the bears so in their perspective they are being hunted from all directions year 'round. Still ain't too skeerd huh? Not to mention that nowhere has their home been more extensively jeopardized and covered with asphalt, concrete, stucco, monoculture and other various forms of destruction than the east coast. Bears, like most other living things, are simply reacting to your actions and those of your fellow humans. Bear canisters should be required on most public lands but sadly still represent nothing more than placing a bandaid on a major hemorrhage.

  13. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by August W. View Post
    There aren't too many bears, (mountain lions, pikas, eagles, wolves - place another name assigned to any other creature here) rather too many irresponsible humans teaching bears to associate humans with food rewards. The idea that hunting bears would instill a fear of humans in them is a simple fantasy perpetuated by those with trophy hunting mentalities and/or financial motivation. Who can tell us if licensed hunters kill more bears per year than auto drivers, ranchers, or dogs? Each of them look the same to the bears so in their perspective they are being hunted from all directions year 'round. Still ain't too skeerd huh? Not to mention that nowhere has their home been more extensively jeopardized and covered with asphalt, concrete, stucco, monoculture and other various forms of destruction than the east coast. Bears, like most other living things, are simply reacting to your actions and those of your fellow humans. Bear canisters should be required on most public lands but sadly still represent nothing more than placing a bandaid on a major hemorrhage.
    In places where bears are protected, bears see humans as food opportunities. Places like GSMNP exascerbate this by concentrating humans.

    Unless you backcountry camp in your Subaru, your auto analogy is also silly (humans look like dogs?).

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by August W. View Post
    There aren't too many bears, (mountain lions, pikas, eagles, wolves - place another name assigned to any other creature here) rather too many irresponsible humans teaching bears to associate humans with food rewards. The idea that hunting bears would instill a fear of humans in them is a simple fantasy perpetuated by those with trophy hunting mentalities and/or financial motivation. Who can tell us if licensed hunters kill more bears per year than auto drivers, ranchers, or dogs? Each of them look the same to the bears so in their perspective they are being hunted from all directions year 'round. Still ain't too skeerd huh? Not to mention that nowhere has their home been more extensively jeopardized and covered with asphalt, concrete, stucco, monoculture and other various forms of destruction than the east coast. Bears, like most other living things, are simply reacting to your actions and those of your fellow humans. Bear canisters should be required on most public lands but sadly still represent nothing more than placing a bandaid on a major hemorrhage.
    I’m not against hunting but your are correct...rampant human overdevelopment is driving up conflict....we live we’re the used too.


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  15. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by saltysack View Post
    I’m not against hunting but your are correct...rampant human overdevelopment is driving up conflict....we live we’re the used too.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I'm not against hunting either. I have many great memories of hunting and the meals enjoyed afterwards, though these days I'm more prone to hunting with a camera or a fly rod than rifle or shotgun.

  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by August W. View Post
    I'm not against hunting either. I have many great memories of hunting and the meals enjoyed afterwards, though these days I'm more prone to hunting with a camera or a fly rod than rifle or shotgun.
    Agree sounds just like me......last animal I took was a black bear with my bow in Canada over 15 years ago....serious remorse...no desire to hunt on land ever since, still love spearfishing. Hunting made me appreciate walking in nature....which brought me to hiking.....


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  17. #57

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    If it's true that the bear population is such that the density is 2 bears per square mile then I am surprised the habitat can support those numbers.At some point I would think they will have to manage the numbers whether they want to or not.No?

  18. #58

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    For what it is worth I noticed a set of claw marks on the tree my hammock was hanging on all night at Deep Gap, NC.
    Also saw a bunch of bear poop on the trail between Deep Gap and Betty Gap Creek this week.

  19. #59
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    Default Don[t worry

    If you look at death and severe injury statics, you can see that bears aren't a very prominent threat. Traveling in a car to get to/from the trailhead is pretty dangerous. I've seen many black bears on the A.T. - one very close, and bluff charging me. Instead of worrying about bears, think about the poisoned water sources, or ticks, or mosquitoes. Or think about the (miniscule) number of weirdos who want to do you harm.
    I've learned....
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  20. #60
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    Probably the biggest danger from a bear is hitting one with your car getting to trail head.

    There is much more large game in southeast in last decade. Used to we would drive to Cades Cove to see deer or sold turkeys. No we often see both without leaving our neighborhood.

    Bear sightings have increased also, not sure if there is a connection. Once rare to hear of bear outside national forests but very common now. My father saw one in his yard this summer, north of Knoxville. Brother in law saw sow with cub in middle Tennessee a few weeks ago.

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