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  1. #1
    Registered User Ramble~On's Avatar
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    Default Bears. Are you worried about them ?

    After reading a bunch of threads I'd just like to ask you.....Are you affraid of Bears ? It seems that there are a good many people who watch too much tv and think that East Coast bears are out to digest them.
    Are you worried about bears while on the AT ?
    Have you ever had a reason to fear bears while on the AT ?
    What's you reason for the worry.
    Please keep in mind that I am only asking about the AT...not Montana, Alaska.

  2. #2

    Wink

    I just got in from hiking the AT in NJ- we ran into several hikers who told us about an incident in Pa just a few days ago. A women hiker- Lucky Star- was in her bivy when a bear grabbed it and started dragging her. She torn her sleeping bag getting out of it. She yelled, threw what she could find, and fought the bear. It finally backed off. From what we were told by the hiker who talked with her, she was not seriously injured. I don't know how I would react, but I am very wary when hiking. Make noise- talk , sing, whatever. There were 3 of us in NJ for 6 days. We did not encounter a bear on the trail. We did see a mama and 3 babies as we were going into a camping ground at the end of our hiking time.

    Be safe out there.

  3. #3
    Addicted Hiker and Donating Member Hammock Hanger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by littledragon
    I just got in from hiking the AT in NJ- we ran into several hikers who told us about an incident in Pa just a few days ago. A women hiker- Lucky Star- was in her bivy when a bear grabbed it and started dragging her. She torn her sleeping bag getting out of it. She yelled, threw what she could find, and fought the bear. It finally backed off. From what we were told by the hiker who talked with her, she was not seriously injured. I don't know how I would react, but I am very wary when hiking. Make noise- talk , sing, whatever. There were 3 of us in NJ for 6 days. We did not encounter a bear on the trail. We did see a mama and 3 babies as we were going into a camping ground at the end of our hiking time.

    Be safe out there.
    I heard about the bivy incident... wasn't sure it was true. Even so it is an isolated incident. -- I had many bear spottings and a number of up close encounters, one while I was sleeping in my hammock. No problems a little off key singing couldn't take care of.

    When hikers leave trash about, or feed bears it causes them to become nusiance bears. As the bear population and the hiker population grow there will be more and more encounters. Hopefully we will learn to co-habitat with the bears...

    BTW: In answer to your question am I afraid of bears, no. But I give them the respect and distance that is appropriate.

    Sue/HH
    Hammock Hanger -- Life is my journey and I'm surely not rushing to the "summit"...:D

    http://www.gcast.com/u/hammockhanger/main

  4. #4
    American Idiot
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    I can't remember, it was 1999 when I was living in Jersey and I think they had just allowed for a bear hunting season. Seems there were quite a few black bears running around, more than one would expect. Are there bear hunting seasons in the other AT states?

  5. #5
    Geezer
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hammock Hanger
    I heard about the bivy incident...
    But I give them the respect and distance that is appropriate. Sue/HH
    Give them distance. Exactly what the woman being dragged off in her bivy was thinking, "MORE DISTANCE. I WANT MORE DISTANCE!"
    Frosty

  6. #6

    Default

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    NJ held its first bear hunt in 33 years in Dec. 2003.

    I'm not scared of those AT bears, but I know some folks that are. Saw a bear once in a tree while hiking. Figured I had enough time to turn around and scoot. That bear came down the tree like a fireman on a pole and...

    it
    took
    off
    in
    the
    other
    direction.

  7. #7
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    Default

    I'm not just worried about bears, I'm scared to death of them. They got these real long claws and big sharp teeth in these powerful jaws that will put a big pair of vice-grips to shame and they can grow over thousand of pounds. And they STALK and ATTACK and EAT HIKERS!

    Now I read about this b-b-b-b-bear in NJ that just dragged a woman out her tent and tried to EAT her -- in ways I would never try. It's so bad ordinarily, I go in my tent and crawl in my sleeping bag by sundown cause that's when them bears come out of the shadows. When I'm hanging my food and the forest is getting dark I think I see bears in dark places. Then every noise I hear I'm afraid it might be a bear come around looking for food and MEAT.

    And when I read them news stories and books about hikers like this new jersey woman and wildlife biologist minding their own business and a bear jumping on them and eating them one bite at a time I don't know what to do but bury down under the covers. I know more people are killed by spiders but bears get me so nervous and scared.

    Quote Originally Posted by littledragon
    I just got in from hiking the AT in NJ- we ran into several hikers who told us about an incident in Pa just a few days ago. A women hiker- Lucky Star- was in her bivy when a bear grabbed it and started dragging her. She torn her sleeping bag trying to get out. She yelled, threw what she could find, and fought the bear. It finally backed off.

  8. #8
    American Idiot
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    So who has the avatar Bear Scared? I would guess Lone Wolf, but he typically doesn't get so long-winded in a p-p-p-ost.

  9. #9
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    Default It's getting WORSE

    Now they're coming through windows to get us. You can't even drink a cup of coffee anymore.

    "Bears can detect sugar that has caramelized in the bottom of a used coffee cup. Something like that probably was what attracted a bear to a home in Orono, where it was interrupted by the homeowner as it tried to scramble through a first-floor window Wednesday night, he said. The bear was scared off, but not before its claws caused minor damage to the siding and the window."

    http://www.pressherald.com/news/local/040612bears.shtml

  10. #10
    Dainon
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    While it's most certainly irrational (as are most fears), I'll be the first to admit that I'm scared to death of bears. The thought of them has made me seriously consider changing my AT section hike to the bear-free Sheltowee Trace trail. I've read all the threads that I can find on AT bears and acknowledge that the risk of death/dismemberment from bear attacks is almost nonexistent, still I can't help thinking (knowing with absolutely certainty) that I'll be bear food. It'll probably happen when I'm in a sleeping bag (a bear tortilla) or I'll trip over a bear cub, thus making dear mom thoroughly enraged, who will then run me down like an Olympic sprinter.

    Laugh or call me a total wimp, but I'm planning my Sept. section hike in whatever area is known for the least number of bears. I'm serious.

  11. #11

    Default

    Many people have phobias. If you feel that your fear is irrational and you truly enjoy hiking, it might help to seek a counselor.

    Here's a good link to helpful information on bear behavior. The information on predators of black bears was very interesting. (Don't know if this was posted previously.)
    Bear.org

    same site
    Camping with black bears

    1997 population numbers by state (same site)
    bear populations

    Be careful Bear Scared, there are pictures of live bears on the site!

  12. #12
    American Idiot
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dainon
    ...still I can't help thinking (knowing with absolutely certainty) that I'll be bear food.
    I'm scared of bears too. There's nothing wrong with being scared, sometimes it's just that which keeps us alive. As for 'absolute certainty', what makes you so certain you will be alive to hike any trail, much less wake up from your sleep tonight? If being afraid of bears puts you off, focus your energies into something else, be it a hobby or sport. There are so many other things to do in life, too bad we can't live longer to enjoy them all.

  13. #13
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    Default Bears & other wildlife

    First, thanks for a great link, Alligator.

    Maybe I've been lucky, but my experience is that mice and skunks have been a much bigger pain in the neck than bears. I hang a bear bag most nights, but that's to keep my food from being ransacked by mice more than fear of bears.
    Me no care, me here free beer. Tap keg, please?

  14. #14
    Section Hiker 500 miles smokymtnsteve's Avatar
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    My son, SmokymtnRed...who is working in Healy,AK this season..will be climbing Mt. Healy in Denali National Park tomorrow,,,now they got some BEARS to be scared of up there.
    "I'd rather kill a man than a snake. Not because I love snakes or hate men. It is a question, rather, of proportion." Edward Abbey

  15. #15

  16. #16

    Default Bears are everywhere!!!

    http://www.roanoke.com/news/roanoke/6589.html

    This happened about 30 miles south of Roanoke, Va.

  17. #17
    American Idiot
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    Thumbs down

    Yeah, that bear seemed like a real imminent threat...

    Now if they didn't have any reasonable way to tranquilize it, tough luck for the bear.

  18. #18
    Addicted Hiker and Donating Member Hammock Hanger's Avatar
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    Per the article, NO ONE was hurt... That is man's way of thinking. The bear was hurt, he was killed!! And the reported also noted that the only mess to the hospital was the bear's fluid...

    If the bear was locked in a room couldn't they have waited for a wildlife officer?

    HH
    Hammock Hanger -- Life is my journey and I'm surely not rushing to the "summit"...:D

    http://www.gcast.com/u/hammockhanger/main

  19. #19
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    Default Can you believe it - a bear near Charleston, SC

    Just watched the local news and the wildlife folk are trying to trap a bear tonight about 20 miles North of Charleston, SC. It had tried to go into one ladies house.

    These things must be everywhere.

    I reckon we will just have to learn to co-exist with them. A forum like this is a great way to get out the information on how to live with them.

  20. #20

    Default Another story WITH A PIC

    http://www.wsls.com/servlet/Satellit...76089495&path=

    I hope this link works..........

    They did think about darting the bear but thought otherwise being that the bear would likely go off.

    With the threat of rabies and a big bear in a hospital with kids and older folks around. I think they did the only thing they could do. Oh, I guess they could have put a leash around it and walked it back outside.

    First reports had this bear weighing between 100 and 200 lbs. Then it was 200 to 300 lbs. And now it weighs around 350lbs. Tomorrow it could be up to 500lbs, hehe....Proves the difficulties with estimating the weight of these animals.

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