Bear country & leaving the campsite

Discussion in 'Camping Around Wildlife' started by jamielynn, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

    IF there are campground rules regarding bears, I obey them 100% of the time. I even take the time to read notices posted on bath houses to be sure I am not missing anything.
    Mamie likes this.
  2. ArkansasDon

    ArkansasDon Member

    Mar 7, 2018
    As a camper & hunter, we (Sally & I) disperse camp always in deep bear country. What I found IMO about camping in the wilderness is wildlife in general, especially black bears. Black bears are attracted to many things that campers do irresponsibly. Spring time I run into areas that had dispersed camping & trash is left behind by the pervious campers. Right their just sends a signal food & future food source. Remember spring time bears come out of hibernation, adult male bears (boars) are first to emerge then mothers (sows) with her cubs come next.
    The only thing that is on a bears mind is food, I found with my experience as a hunter & die heart disperse camper is people are the problem. Thinking feeding wildlife is a cool or normal thing to do. What these people fail to understand is campers do not consider what brings bears or any wildlife to your camp site. Like I said bears or wildlife are not the problem, people are, & what they lack in knowledge & common sense food, garbage as of proper storage, proper disposal of trash & uneaten food is the attractant & will make for a problem.
    Here's something to ponder ever smelled a day after beer bottle? seriously IMO not a pleasant smell, a bear up wind will catch that scent in a heart beat. A bears nose & smell is so acute that they can detect animal carcasses upwind from anywhere 15 miles to 20 miles away. I know this because I hunt & have been since I was 12 yrs old & I am 58 yrs old.
    Another attractant to bears is undone (unwashed) dishes left out during the night until morning, as well as dirty dish water dumped too close to camp. Bears are nocturnal & usually forage by night but can be seen @ day light hours feeding too.
    Bears are naturally afraid of humans, but may become accustom to people by their lack of bear proof knowledge, stupidity & their poor camping behaviors.
    This is why some bears will become nuisance animals & will have to be relocated or even dispatched. IMO "I" feel too many unseasoned amateur campers cause the problem for others, the more experienced & bear worthy campers who like to camp in good bear country. These same types of campers that have the attitude "I" know it all mentality when in reality they know nothing & are the ones who cause the bears to become problematic. You do not feed the wildlife, & shouldn't leave your camp site vulnerable or unattended either in wilderness. This why these people have the problems in deep wilderness camping.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2018
    Fbird and Orchid like this.
  3. nineoaks2004

    nineoaks2004 Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday

    Oct 15, 2006
    Graceville, Florida
    I agree with you, in Fl. we have black bears and they are usually ,but not always afraid of us, but it is not just bears that a dirty campsite attract, there is a lot of others too, tho not as destructive as bears, and are more of a pest than anything else, however a coon can really tear a campsite up. The same things you mentioned bring them and others around. Being an ex L/D Backpacker, and still at 75 I am tripping solo mostly in my 12 ft canoe I keep my site as pristine as possible, including cleaning up after the slobs that left a mess prior to setting up camp. Keep up the good work, enjoy you hunts and be safe.. Good Luck and Happy Camping
    Orchid likes this.
  4. ArkansasDon

    ArkansasDon Member

    Mar 7, 2018
    I've always like what the Overlander Community says..."Tread Lightly" leave cleaner when you leave. We always have a Trasharoo mounted on our spare tires for this purpose. To pick up after the ones who do not care about our public lands. We pick up the trash coming in to camp as well as heading back home from camp.
    Orchid and jnc like this.
  5. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

    Parents need to teach their children this, then we wouldn't need communities to do so. My parents taught us to pick up any trash we saw, way back in the 60's, before the "green" movement. To this day, I teach my grandchildren the same.
    jnc likes this.
  6. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

    @ArkansasDon - I am trying to wrap my mind around your trailer. It looks really cool, but I can't figure it out. Is it a camping trailer or a cargo trailer that carries your camping stuff? Do you have any photos of it set up?

    EDIT: I just found your build thread so looking at pics now, never mind. Very cool!
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
  7. eric sprague

    eric sprague New Member

    Mar 28, 2018
    Ok so in ALASKA, its all bear country, even downtown Anchorage, but we all know what to do and what to carry, and it isn't bear spray, every year someone gets mauled and killed because they went in the ALASKAN woods unprepared, you have to use common sense and be VERY bear aware here, it doesn't take long for that tall grass to start moving, and your already out of time. as far as PC, politics has 0 place in the woods when safety and risk of life are involved, 0...!!!
    Fbird and Orchid like this.
  8. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

    You wouldn't catch me in the woods in Alaska! The closest I'm every coming to that is watching it on TV. I don't think I would be comfortable camping in a pop up in Alaska, even in a populated area. I would love to see the state before I die, but camping there is way out of my comfort zone.

    I also can't imagine being unarmed in Alaska, but have no idea how that would work, having to pass through Canada to get there. I may have to worry about that one day, but for now, I am way more concerned about alligators than bear, since we are water people.
  9. f5moab

    f5moab Retired from the Federal Government

    May 7, 2013
    Somewhere in Idaho
    I won't go into the laws on handguns and Canada cause it is misunderstood; and honestly it is a royal pain (no pun intended to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police). However, with a Non-Resident Firearms Declaration, you can take a shotgun through Canada.

    Firearms Allowed, Restricted and Prohibited
    Approval of the Non-Resident Firearms Declaration allows only standard rifles and shotguns commonly used for hunting and target shooting to be transported into or through Canada.

    And you do not have to be a resident of the state to purchase a rifle/shotgun; provided the rifle/shotgun is also legal in your state of residence. So an FFL in Alaska could legally sell you a 12-gauge and ammo, IF IT IS LEGAL in your state. And I would hazard to guess a 12-gauge is completely legal in FL. All the FFL has to do is run the standard NICS check and verify via a book they should have, that the item in question is legal in FL. NOTE: Not all FFLs will do this. I purchased my Weatherby Mark V .460 years ago in a different state cause I happened upon it, held it, fell in love with it, and had to have it....THEN.:D

    So now you know, it is time to head north.:D

    And I don't believe the grizzlies in MT, ID, WY are any different than the grizzlies in AK. And I can confirm that on two occasions bear spray did work. Now that polar bear in AK.....that is a total different subject.
  10. 05Kinquad700

    05Kinquad700 New Member

    Mar 31, 2018
    There are coolers that are certified by the IGBC as bear resistance, they need to be locked with a pad lock or nut and bolt to qualify The Yeti Tundra series are one such cooler the Cabelas Polar and an Ozark Trail coolers are rated. I plan on using a pad lock to lock my coolers up and chain them to a tree or something away from the pop up. Thaty way my food and the bear will be protected. I plan on using my yeti for cold food, and ozark trail cooler as a dry food bear box. I know for a fact i camp in black bear country, i seen one with my own 2 eyes.

    Whay it takes to be certified by the IGBC as beat resistant

    Link to the IGBC website.
    Byrd_Huntr likes this.
  11. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

    Sep 1, 2012
    Northwestern New Jersey
    To me it doesn't matter whether it can get into or not. I don't want it in my camp trying. A cooler is a lure.
    Orchid likes this.
  12. BBQdave

    BBQdave Member

    Aug 31, 2016
    North Carolina
    Cabin camping in Pigeon Forge TN. Near each cabin was a wood garbage (large container) box with 4 to 5 garbage cans down in them - lids on the garbage cans. Oddly no closing lid on the large wood box. Family and I was on the porch of the cabin when a mama black bear and 3 cubs came along. At first I was ready to heard the kids inside, but those bears could care less about us. We watched them as they reached down into the wood box and popped all the lids off the garbage cans. They then grabbed the one can we were filling, pulled it out and took it a ways from us. When they were done with it, you could here them popping lids off all the cans in the neighboring cabins.

    The porch was up and a good ways from the garbage cans. Not good they were in the garbage, but we gave them space and enjoyed watching them. And I was watching closely, any movement toward us, and I would have had the kids quickly in the cabin. None of us (bears included) felt threatened.
  13. Bowman3d

    Bowman3d Active Member

    Apr 13, 2015
    LaLa land
    I’ve actually been pretty close (with in 10ft) to a few bears Dave. As long as you respect them and give them their space you’ll be ok. The problem arrives when they feel threatened. And unless your use to bears you might not see the warning signs til it’s to late. As I tell my wife. “ bears don’t scare me, little bears scare me”
  14. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

    I "feel" like I've been within 10' of a bear. The reality was it probably more like 50' to 100' away. Thankfully, only saw it's big butt as it took off running away from us, through the woods.

    Also saw a mama bear and two cubs through binoculars, and that's as close as I ever want to be to a bear with cubs. It was obvious what they were to the naked eye, but couldn't see detail without binoculars. Because we were in a safe location, we got to watch them for quite awhile.

    Both of those incidents were many years ago, in Western MD. Most recently, last summer, we saw fresh bear poop, not far from the camping area, at a FL state park. It was verified to be black bear by the park ranger. Never did see the bear it came from, but have a picture of the poop. [LOL]

    And just yesterday, I saw my first Grizzly at Harbor Freight:

    Last edited: Apr 2, 2018
    Bowman3d likes this.
  15. BBQdave

    BBQdave Member

    Aug 31, 2016
    North Carolina
    Yeah, when I saw the mama black bear with cubs - my first instinct was to get my own kids inside the cabin. Do not want to worry mama bear. When the kids first saw them, they started jumping and talking loudly with excitement. Immediately got them quiet and calm. We all kept are "cubs" safe and were calm around each other.

    Caution and calm go a long way :)

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