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  1. #1

    Default Bears in October?

    Hi,

    I'm headed to Shenandoah in early October and (unlike many folks, I imagine) and am hoping to see some Black Bears. Just wondering where people tend to see them in the Fall. I plan to do some good day-hikes, but am not averse to taking a stand-and-wait approach if there are likely spots to stake out.

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    Default

    If it's bears you want, think about going to New Jersey and hiking the AT there. It would be more unusual not to spot a bear at some point during your hike.

  3. #3

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    Appreciate that---though Shenandoah it is. The bear-sighting would be an added bonus, not the main attraction

  4. #4
    Registered User Rebel's Avatar
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    Default Bears in October?

    Be surprised if you don't see bears in SNP. When I went through there I saw 5. I'm not sure you can pick an exact spot....just start walking.
    Rebel

  5. #5

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    I saw 14 two years ago when I hiked through SNP. There really isn't one particular place to see them. Like Rebel said, just start walking and try not to make noise.

  6. #6

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    That's the plan, then---thank you. Guess I was just wondering if October is still a likely time to see bears, and whether certain areas/trails are more likely than others to attract them because of the presence of pre-hibernation food sources. But it sounds like it's just hit-or-miss, huh. I will plan to cover some ground!

  7. #7
    Registered User canoe's Avatar
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    Just got back from 10 days in the SNP. Saw 8 mostly in the central section but saw some in all 3 sections. Just walk. you will see em.

  8. #8

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    "whether certain areas/trails are more likely than others to attract them because of the presence of pre-hibernation food sources."

    Acorns, but in my experience they are either everywhere or spotty and concentrated. Can't really say how it will be this fall or where to find them. Maybe call the park before you go. They may be able to tell you then.

  9. #9

    Default

    Thank you, guys---this has been helpful (even if it's not the "easy" answer . The more responses the merrier, but it's seeming like the consensus is "walk."

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    I have heard the best time to see the most wild life is to be on the trail early in the morning or late afternoon/evening. It worked for me in SNP in July, saw four around 730 pm.

  11. #11
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    I saw a HUGE black bear on the AT headed SB in SNP last weekend. It was the middle of a thunderstorm, which I think helped me sneak up on it. Once it looked at me, it lumbered away. I'm 6'6" and 250 lbs and I felt tiny compared to this beast.

  12. #12
    Wanna-be hiker trash
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Train Wreck View Post
    If it's bears you want, think about going to New Jersey and hiking the AT there. It would be more unusual not to spot a bear at some point during your hike.
    You mean hike New Jersey SOLO. I hiked it with my buddy and we were usually within 50ft of eachother, never saw a bear. Most of the people we spoke to that were hiking by themselves had a bear sighting story.

    Same logic applies to SNP, if you want to see one then hike by yourself and don't make too much noise.
    Last edited by Sarcasm the elf; 09-06-2013 at 19:40.
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  13. #13
    Registered User johnnybgood's Avatar
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    Default

    Black bears can be active anytime ,day or night ,likely foraging for food before their winter slumber.
    Your first bear sighting will likely occur driving to the trailhead in the park if you get there before sunrise.
    Getting lost is a way to find yourself.

  14. #14
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    All my bear sightings , during hikes and or during everyday normal activities have mostly been early morning or early evening. I don't think you can hike NJ without seeing a bear..at least every time Ive hiked NJ Ive seen one, or two...

  15. #15

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    Agree with the postings above about NJ. When I went through my home state of NJ I saw two bears. Here is a photo of a nice sized one no too far from the Mohican Outdoor Center. I hike every day with my dogs in Morris county and see bears at least once a weekScreen Shot 2013-09-07 at 5.22.20 AM.jpg

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnybgood View Post
    Black bears can be active anytime ,day or night ,likely foraging for food before their winter slumber.
    Your first bear sighting will likely occur driving to the trailhead in the park if you get there before sunrise.
    Just got back from spending two days hiking in SNP. The first bear I saw was while driving in just after daylight Friday, The next 5 were at noon. Momma and two cubs Friday eating hickory nuts on the ground and a momma and one cub today up in a tree eating white oak acorns. I posted some of the pictures in my gallery. Like Johnny said, they are packing on weight for winter so they could be anywhere at anytime.
    Last edited by Deer Hunter; 09-07-2013 at 23:43.

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  17. #17

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    In August, my kids and I saw 11 bears Elkwallow Wayside picnic area. Driving skyline drive we saw another 7 between Thornton Gap and Front Royal. The kids were really excited.

  18. #18
    Hopeful Hiker QHShowoman's Avatar
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    Hiked 11 miles in SNP and saw 5 bears - 4 were up in the trees behind the ranger cabin at mile post 22.1. They were there at 10am when I got there and still there at 3:30 when I finished up. Was a mom, 2 cubs and a male. Ranger says there are two sets of mamas with cubs that frequent the Elkwallow Wayside and campers that spent the night in Matthew's Arm said there was a bear in their camp all night.
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  19. #19
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    Bears ca consume 30,000 calories a day preparing for their mating season and hibernation in November, so they are very active in October and November, day and night.

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