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  1. #1

    Exclamation Bear problem returns, hidden pond

    I was was out for a two-nighter right before Thanksgiving and one night was spent at hidden pond. A bear came by my campsite just after midnight and tried to get in to my bear can. Fail. It moved the can about 15 feet from some bushes where I had placed it but gave up soon after. It scared some family campers close to the main fire pit before wandering off. I did not find out if it got their food.

    Not sure if this is the same bear but it came in just after midnight, same with the last problem bear.

    Can pics. IMG_0299.jpgIMG_0300.jpgIMG_0297.jpg

  2. #2

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    Those are some cool battle scars on your food cannister. Mine is still pristine.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by SWODaddy View Post
    Those are some cool battle scars on your food cannister. Mine is still pristine.
    Be thankful yours is still pristine. Your bears are better-behaved.


  4. #4
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    Looks like Iíll keep passing through that site....good lunch stop...how much can u fit in the contender realistically? I doubt Iíll ever use on FT but will grab one for next Sierra trip...


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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by saltysack View Post
    Looks like Iíll keep passing through that site....good lunch stop...how much can u fit in the contender realistically? I doubt Iíll ever use on FT but will grab one for next Sierra trip...


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    I hiked through Ocala NF two winters in a row a couple years back. First time through camping at hidden pond didnít line up. I made a point to stay there the next year. Hidden Pond was one a my favorite camps in the forest. The sunset over the African savanna like views out behind the pond was terrific! I had no bear problems. Great spot!

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by saltysack View Post
    Looks like I’ll keep passing through that site....good lunch stop...how much can u fit in the contender realistically? I doubt I’ll ever use on FT but will grab one for next Sierra trip...


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    I can fit 5 days in it. I'm FBC guy and nothing is in original packaging. It fits under the brains of my new Gorilla, perfectly.

    Since the last bear problem at HP, I've had camping down a the prairie a bit and didn't have any bear issues. Saw more wildlife, as well. This time I camped at the spot off to the right as you head out towards crooked springs. There's three bigger oaks in this spot. I won't be staying there again. The crowd was kind of light for that time of the year, too, so I am pretty sure others had this bear come visit.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by notbad View Post
    I hiked through Ocala NF two winters in a row a couple years back. First time through camping at hidden pond didn’t line up. I made a point to stay there the next year. Hidden Pond was one a my favorite camps in the forest. The sunset over the African savanna like views out behind the pond was terrific! I had no bear problems. Great spot!
    This particular bear problem first showed up last Feb. There's another thread in this section I made about the encounter. Juniper was closed for a couple of weeks not long after my stay out there as several other campers had close encounters with this bear. I've been going out there for years and have not had a problem bear until earlier this year.

  8. #8
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    I was shocked at the amount of scat i saw on the trail in ocala over the holidays. Never seen anything close to it on the AT. I kept waiting to see a furry little guy around a bend, but wasn't meant to be.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by notbad View Post
    I hiked through Ocala NF two winters in a row a couple years back. First time through camping at hidden pond didnít line up. I made a point to stay there the next year. Hidden Pond was one a my favorite camps in the forest. The sunset over the African savanna like views out behind the pond was terrific! I had no bear problems. Great spot!
    Thx..planning to do the ONF section again in January...looking forward to using my hammock between the awesome live oaks....if mileages work out Iíll definitely stay.


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  10. #10

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    I too will be doing the ONF section in January. Either the 2nd or 3rd weekend. Weather dependent.
    Bought a can for the trip thinking that hanging might be difficult in some areas. I would prefer to not carry it.
    Beta on areas that hanging would be difficult or impossible that I should avoid would be appreciated.

    I might take the can nyway. Thing only weighs about a days worth of food. It is sort of a pain to pack.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by martinb View Post
    This particular bear problem first showed up last Feb. There's another thread in this section I made about the encounter. Juniper was closed for a couple of weeks not long after my stay out there as several other campers had close encounters with this bear. I've been going out there for years and have not had a problem bear until earlier this year.
    Bummer... juniper is cool area! The kayak run from the state park was very cool too! Hopefully the bears and the people can come to some sort of agreement in the juniper prairie wilderness. I was very pleased the giant ancient lizards were friendly on the kayak run. We donít have those in my parts! Love Ocala in the winter!

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by swisscross View Post
    I too will be doing the ONF section in January. Either the 2nd or 3rd weekend. Weather dependent.
    Bought a can for the trip thinking that hanging might be difficult in some areas. I would prefer to not carry it.
    Beta on areas that hanging would be difficult or impossible that I should avoid would be appreciated.

    I might take the can nyway. Thing only weighs about a days worth of food. It is sort of a pain to pack.
    I've never run into a problem with finding a spot to hang in ONF. For me, the can gives me peace of mind and it's worth it. If you do hang, especially at hidden pond, do it PCT, and do not cut corners.

  13. #13

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    Updates:

    A notice has been posted on the new board at Pat's trailhead.

    31534538137_a97ed196e7_n.jpg

    I was out overnight on the 22nd. A group of five hammockers were camped at the main firepit and said a bear came in, very early morning, and they ran it off with pot-banging. No bears came by their or my camp overnight (we were the only ones out there).

    I did see momma and cub prints in the soft sand just before the scrub-climb to hidden pond from Pat's side. Looked morning-fresh.

  14. #14
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    Was out at the Yearling trail today and saw a similar sign plus some fairly significant prints--at first I though someone was walking barefoot through the sand. Didn't see any critters tho.
    "I am learning nothing in this trivial world of [humans]. I must break away and get out into the mountains to learn the news." --John Muir

  15. #15

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    [QUOTE=saltysack;2229399]Looks like Iíll keep passing through that site....good lunch stop...how much can u fit in the contender realistically? I doubt Iíll ever use on FT but will grab one for next Sierra trip...

    Florida...do they make a Gator Can?
    "Adam & Eve are the first two persons who failed to read the Apple Permissions & Exclusions."

  16. #16
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    Was back at Hidden Pond Tuesday and Wednesday night (1/1/19 & 1/2/19). Nothing on Tuesday--there were at least four groups out there that night, maybe more and nothing happened. Wednesday night, it was just me out on the peninsula site and two guys at the main site above the pond. Bear came in around 9PM to their site twice in about a twenty minute period. I grabbed my pot and pan and decided to sleep with them!

    I saw the shadow about ten minutes later. It was around 2-300lb bear, pretty scrawny but tall--maybe a young adult? Very curious. Yelling and making noise didn't really do anything to scare it. It actually started walking toward me at one point so I started lobbing shoes. Fortunately, the second shoe did the trick and the bear scurried off. Didn't sleep much that night.

    I think that HP gets a little too much love personally and it's starting to show. In the future, if I'm ever out overnight in the JPW, I will try to camp somewhere else and just grab water there.
    "I am learning nothing in this trivial world of [humans]. I must break away and get out into the mountains to learn the news." --John Muir

  17. #17

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    That sounds like the same bear that got my hung food back in Feb, last year. I didn't see it that time but the guy I camping next to me said it was about 200lbs and skinny-looking. The one I saw trying to get into my can fit that description.

    I was out there last Thurs, camped on the left (out of the main fire pit area) about 200 yds. down. There were four guys camped between me and the fire pit and five kids and three dads camped at the main fire pit. Around 8:30 the kids started yelling that they had seen a bear so everyone was out looking around with headlamps but it was not seen. No bear came into my camp overnight.

    The problem at HP is poor food storage. I've seen so many horrible food "hangs" out there. It's easy pickings for a bear that isn't too scared. The four guys camping next to me did not hang. The dads/kids and two big bear cans, I was kinda shocked-happy.

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