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Old 11-19-2012, 03:08 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Heh. I grew up in Montana, and we have bears here where I live now. Also cougar. DH and I saw one last spring in fact.

Bear bells are not effective. Sorry, but it's true. A bear's hearing is only as good as a humans. Their sense of smell is the one they rely on. In fact, bear bells can act in reverse if a bear has had an aggressive encounter with a dog. A bear could give a rat's a** about a dog, trust me. If they're not in the mood for an encounter, that's different. Please, please carry bear spray. Kyleigh, the Canadian "forest service" (I know that's not what it's called) has an EXCELLENT comprehensive webpage on bear and bear encounters. They DO advise bear spray, so I'm not sure why it's illegal where you are? I'll find the link later and post. Please please get bear spray--if the bear charges you, use it. If he's just ambling a little toward you, likely he's wanting to get a better smell. Their eyesight isn't any better than ours either, so they use their nose mostly. I would stand my ground and not move if that were the case. I've done this, although not lately.

Bear, cougar come from behind. There's not much you can do, just stand your ground with them FOR SURE. You make yourself as big as you possibly can. Cats recognize upright human posture and will back down USUALLY. Dogs, on the other hand, they view as prey. You just have to make lots of noise and try to avoid running. For sure fight back against a cougar. Bears, it's hard to say. So many different possiblitites, but bear spray is by far the most recommended and effective tool. Even my grizzled 82 year old dad, who was born and bred Montana mountain boy, takes bear spray now.
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Old 11-19-2012, 03:12 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RocketDog View Post
Heh. I grew up in Montana, and we have bears here where I live now. Also cougar. DH and I saw one last spring in fact.

Bear bells are not effective. Sorry, but it's true. A bear's hearing is only as good as a humans. Their sense of smell is the one they rely on. In fact, bear bells can act in reverse if a bear has had an aggressive encounter with a dog. A bear could give a rat's a** about a dog, trust me. If they're not in the mood for an encounter, that's different. Please, please carry bear spray. Kyleigh, the Canadian "forest service" (I know that's not what it's called) has an EXCELLENT comprehensive webpage on bear and bear encounters. They DO advise bear spray, so I'm not sure why it's illegal where you are? I'll find the link later and post. Please please get bear spray--if the bear charges you, use it. If he's just ambling a little toward you, likely he's wanting to get a better smell. Their eyesight isn't any better than ours either, so they use their nose mostly. I would stand my ground and not move if that were the case. I've done this, although not lately.

Bear, cougar come from behind. There's not much you can do, just stand your ground with them FOR SURE. You make yourself as big as you possibly can. Cats recognize upright human posture and will back down USUALLY. Dogs, on the other hand, they view as prey. You just have to make lots of noise and try to avoid running. For sure fight back against a cougar. Bears, it's hard to say. So many different possiblitites, but bear spray is by far the most recommended and effective tool. Even my grizzled 82 year old dad, who was born and bred Montana mountain boy, takes bear spray now.
Thanks Rocketdog, I will make sure to pick some ASAP. BTW, I love Rocket's new avatar pic....he's one of my favs
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Old 11-19-2012, 03:13 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RocketDog View Post
Heh. I grew up in Montana, and we have bears here where I live now. Also cougar. DH and I saw one last spring in fact.

Bear bells are not effective. Sorry, but it's true. A bear's hearing is only as good as a humans. Their sense of smell is the one they rely on. In fact, bear bells can act in reverse if a bear has had an aggressive encounter with a dog. A bear could give a rat's a** about a dog, trust me. If they're not in the mood for an encounter, that's different. Please, please carry bear spray. Kyleigh, the Canadian "forest service" (I know that's not what it's called) has an EXCELLENT comprehensive webpage on bear and bear encounters. They DO advise bear spray, so I'm not sure why it's illegal where you are? I'll find the link later and post. Please please get bear spray--if the bear charges you, use it. If he's just ambling a little toward you, likely he's wanting to get a better smell. Their eyesight isn't any better than ours either, so they use their nose mostly. I would stand my ground and not move if that were the case. I've done this, although not lately.

Bear, cougar come from behind. There's not much you can do, just stand your ground with them FOR SURE. You make yourself as big as you possibly can. Cats recognize upright human posture and will back down USUALLY. Dogs, on the other hand, they view as prey. You just have to make lots of noise and try to avoid running. For sure fight back against a cougar. Bears, it's hard to say. So many different possiblitites, but bear spray is by far the most recommended and effective tool. Even my grizzled 82 year old dad, who was born and bred Montana mountain boy, takes bear spray now.
You're right about a bear senses, but the point is to surprise the bear so they can hear you well before they see you, the LAST THING you want is to surprise a bear by walking into it!

Sorry, I edited my post too much below now it's just ramblings
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Old 11-19-2012, 03:16 PM   #14 (permalink)
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That is incredibly scary to me!! I think I'd be carrying a shotgun with me. Seriously. Or not going out in the woods. I wouldn't drop your lead unless you know your dog will take off running away to safety. However, if he's barking...and making the situation worse, I dunno. That's where the shotgun comes to mind. I applaud those of you who live and hike in these areas. I'd have peed myself in that situation for sure! Thankfully your boy isn't a barker. He could have gotten you into hot water, I think!
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Old 11-19-2012, 03:17 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Backcountry and Trail Precautions
  • Don't surprise bears. If you're hiking, make your presence known. Make noise by talking loudly, singing, or wearing a bell.
  • If you can, travel with a group. Groups are noisier and easier for bears to detect.
  • Keep in mind that bears tend to be more active at dawn and dusk so plan your hikes accordingly.
  • Stay on marked trails and obey the regulations of the area you're hiking/camping in.
  • If you're hiking in bear country, keep an eye out for tracks, scat, digs, and trees that bears have rubbed.
  • Leave your dog at home!
If You Encounter a Bear…
  • Remain calm and avoid sudden movements.
  • Give the bear plenty of room, allowing it to continue its activities undisturbed. If it changes its behavior, you're too close so back away.
  • If you see a bear but the bear doesn't see you, detour quickly and quietly.
  • If a bear spots you, try to get its attention while it is still farther away. You want it to know you're human so talk in a normal voice and waive your arms.
  • Remember that a standing bear is not always a sign of aggression. Many times, bears will stand to get a better view.
  • Throw something onto the ground (like your camera) if the bear pursues you, as it may be distracted by this and allow you to escape.
  • Never feed or throw food to a bear.
If a Bear Charges…
  • Remember that many bears charge as a bluff. They may run, then veer off or stop abruptly. Stand your ground until the bear stops, then slowly back away.
  • Never run from a bear! They will chase you and bears can run faster than 30 mph.
  • Don't run towards or climb a tree. Black bears and some grizzlies can climb trees, and many bear will be provoked to chase you if they see you climbing.
  • If you have pepper spray, be sure that you have trained with it before using it during an attack.
Rats - I didn't copy the URL...
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Old 11-19-2012, 03:21 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
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That is incredibly scary to me!! I think I'd be carrying a shotgun with me. Seriously. Or not going out in the woods. I wouldn't drop your lead unless you know your dog will take off running away to safety. However, if he's barking...and making the situation worse, I dunno. That's where the shotgun comes to mind. I applaud those of you who live and hike in these areas. I'd have peed myself in that situation for sure! Thankfully your boy isn't a barker. He could have gotten you into hot water, I think!
Yeah, it was pretty intense for a few minutes, ironically I wasn't that concerned that it was a bear, they are pretty commonplace around here, it's the mountain lions that would scare the bejeezus out of me.
Although the report about the Bear eating a pygmy goat was a little sad.

I guess I'll be getting Bear bells (for my Bear, hahaha) and Bear spray as well.
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Old 11-19-2012, 03:23 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Well right there we'd have been dead I guess. If I'd had food, I've have thrown it thinking it would distract the bear to allow us to get away. Interesting topic! Didn't know they could run that fast, either. Now I'm really freaked out.
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Old 11-19-2012, 03:26 PM   #18 (permalink)
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If you go to forest service website, including Canadian ones, you'll find that Bearbells are not effective and often have the opposite effect. No one I know that lives or hikes in serious their country on a regular basis uses bearbells. Plus they often give people a false sense of security. The best thing to do when you're hiking is be loud and yes we do carry a gun.
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Old 11-19-2012, 03:36 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Thanks Lilie, I will commit all of this info to memory...and not hike so late in the day again!
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Old 11-19-2012, 03:42 PM   #20 (permalink)
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If you go to forest service website, including Canadian ones, you'll find that Bearbells are not effective and often have the opposite effect. No one I know that lives or hikes in serious their country on a regular basis uses bearbells. Plus they often give people a false sense of security. The best thing to do when you're hiking is be loud and yes we do carry a gun.
What caliber gun would be effective on a bear or any large animal for that matter? It's not like I'm going hiking with my shotgun, around here the people would attack me for that and not the animals.
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