July 16, 2019

One Simple Tip on Dealing With Attacking Bears

On the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (hat tip to Critter News) website, I was directed to the “dos and don’ts” about bears. In particular this absolute charmer:

If you come in close contact with a bear:

Stay calm and avoid direct eye contact, which could elicit a charge. Try to stay upwind and identify yourself as a human by standing up, talking and waving your hands above your head.

It’s easy to tell people to “stay calm.” Does anybody who makes up these tips ever experience the realities of life? Nobody is going to stay calm when they “come in close contact” with a bear.

Supposing you do stay calm enough and can remember all the other nonsensical advice; “avoid direct eye contact.” What human being is going to WANT to have DIRECT eye contact with a bear at close contact? By the way, what is close contact?

So, while I’m staying calm, looking over at the blooming Queen Anne’s lace, so as not to make direct eye contact, I wet my pointer finger and cast it to the wind in an attempt to determine the direction of the wind – so I can “stay upwind.” I demand the bear stays where he is while I maneuver around so he can smell me. (Note: This might actually be good advice. Seeing the bear, in close contact of course, you have just shit yourself. What bear would want to hang around and whiff that odor?)

“Identify yourself as a human.” “Hello, there. I’m Tom. Are you new to the neighborhood?” Oh, wait. There’s a bit more to that isn’t there – “standing up, talking and waving your hands above your head.”

Evidently when I first encountered this bear at “close contact,” I was down on the ground looking at the Queen Anne’s lace. Maybe I was having a picnic, eating a can of sardines or a tuna fish sandwich. Now I can stand up, remain calm, while still admiring the bountiful crop of lace, testing the wind, introducing myself, and waving my hands above my head. Dang! I forget to remember to stay calm.

And then I hope?

But, if I begin waving my arms, I might spill my sardines and drop my sandwich. And there is no step here of what I need to do with my cellphone. You do realize there is extreme danger and risk at dropping your cellphone if you begin waving your arms above your head?

I’m still texting. It’s next to impossible to stop texting. Do I text somebody, calmly of course, and tell them that you are testing the wind, avoiding eye contact? Or take a picture or shoot some video. It could go “viral” and you would be a giant Youtube/Facebook/Twitter/Snapchat LOSER!

Tip number one and the ONLY tip should be: Do not, under any circumstances, allow any damned bear to get your cellphone.

That should be about it. Anybody who thinks a bear is about to mess with their cellphone probably would kill the friggin’ bear.

Now wasn’t that easy?

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Hunt Harder and Smarter: 5 Keys to Successful Black Bear Baiting

It’s my experience that consistently killing big black bears over bait takes just as much, and often more work than spot-and-stalk hunting. The belief that baiting black bears is simple and easy is a misconception common to those who have never done it. And, no, I’m not talking about the sort of hunting where you are dropped into a bait site once bears are hitting it. I’m talking about picking a baiting site, developing the baits, and fine-tuning your presentation to attract the biggest bears in a certain area. In many areas, baiting is the only effective way to hunt black bears, and setting yourself up for success is where the work is. Here are five tips to get you pointed in the right direction.
Source: Hunt Harder and Smarter: 5 Keys to Successful Black Bear Baiting | Outdoor Life

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Does Bringing Garbage Cans Inside Really Deter a Hungry Bear?

Those that insist that bear encounters, i.e. those that raid garbage cans, bird feeders, bar-b-cue grills and even bust down garage doors, are “rare” and that people should bring their garbage cans, etc. inside so bears won’t get into them. But does this really prevent a hungry bear from following the scent of the food source? I don’t think so. It may deter a not-so-determined bear from breaking down your door but I don’t think locking up your smelly goods does much to prevent a bear from detecting odors.

In a recent article found in NorthJersey.com, bears can leap tall buildings in a single bound, have x-ray vision and……well, let’s just say bears can detect odors from 18 miles away and polar bears can whiff a seal through 3-feet of solid ice.

Bears are even better smellers than dogs. Black bears have been known to walk a straight line for 18 miles to a food source they’ve sniffed out and silver tip grizzlies can detect an elk carcass at the same distance. A three-foot thick ice floe is not enough to shield the scent of a submerged seal from a hungry polar bear’s nose.

So, lock up your garbage and put it behind 3 feet of concrete – that’s just so the bear can break through it.

And, if you really want to ward off those “rare” bear encounters, by all means “look big.”

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“Rare” Bear Encounters Too Numerous To Mention

Ah, yes! The experts (cough, cough) say bear and human encounters are rare – rare as compared to avoiding mosquitoes in the dense northern forests in the springtime. Those of us in the know now realize that bear encounters are really not all that rare, and thus this leaves us wondering whether any advice the “experts” give us is worth a bear’s drool.

Regardless, here we go with another round of “rare” bear encounters.

1. A northern Minnesota man perhaps had his life saved when his pet dog was killed trying to fight off a black bear.

2. But wait a minute! This “expert” says dogs can cause bear attacks. Gasp!

3. Even though bear encounters are “rare” say the experts, the same experts seem to have an awful lot of advice on how to avoid becoming a meal for a hungry black bear. One “expert” says to clap your hands and whistle (“You know how to whistle don’t you? You just put your lips together and blow!). And oh yeah, “throw things.” I suggest about a 180-grain hunk of lead traveling at about 2,500 feet per second. But something is missing from this advice. What could it be?

4. In Arizona, a bear wanted to get into the campground host’s trailer in the worst way. The campground was closed and a trap set up. Didn’t the host make enough noise and, ………?

5. In Bangor, Maine, a jogger encounters a bear on a running path. HOWEVER, I can’t say much about someone out for a jog, is told there is a bear and cubs ahead and yet runs on up to “get a look.” Because it happened in Maine, it must be because of the “millions of pounds of donuts” hunters have piled up in the woods.

6. With all this “expert” advice on how to avoid encounters with bears and what to do if you do, when you have this information mastered, then think about what this guy (expert?) says when he tells readers that you have to understand bears, like Timothy Treadwell – who, incidentally was eaten alive by grizzly bears. He also says we should run away from bears instead of backing away slowly. He says pepper spray them or shoot them with a gun….you know, throw things at them.

But with all this advice, remember, above all else,

LOOK BIG! Even if it is only on “rare” occasions.

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Welding With Jumper Cables and a Pair of Batteries

VIDEO: Great information for those who spend great deal of time in the bush.

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Shhhhhhhh! I Think a Bear is About to Kill Me

As funny as this video may appear, there is actually SOME pretty good advice in there that MIGHT save your life. Bear attacks on humans are a very serious event and should never be presented in the media, as is ALWAYS done, as a rare occurrence. It matters not whether an attack is rare or not. If it happens to you, the last thing you are concerned about is whether it is rare or not.

The woman in this video and the producers of it deserve a degree of congratulations to have the intestinal fortitude to attempt a demonstration of what you might want to do should you retain the wherewithal to employ the tactics when you about to have your ass handed to you by an angry, attacking bear.

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