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[at-l] Bear Reports?



At 09:17 AM 6/11/01 -0400, Charles Copeland wrote:
>Hello everyone,
>
>I just got back from taking a couple of hikers to Springer and they told me
>that there have been reports of bears tearing into packs at the shelters
>between Stover Creek and Neel's Gap.  Has anyone else heard this?

Hmmmm...I remember hearing reports of a bear actually swiping packs off
the racks in a shelter, but I thought that was further north?
In any case, if a bear has become bold enuff to do such, you're best bet
is to avoid the shelter.  Personally, when that happens, I think the site
should be shut down till the bear can be caught and relocated.  Once
they know how easy it is to get high quality food from hikers, they are not
likely to stop on there own.

To stop that from happening, there is one rule.  "A fed bear is a dead bear"
That not only proscribes deliberate feeding, but requires the hiker to defend
her food as well.  Up to the point that you feel you are endangering life 
or limb,
defend your food!  East coast bears are not generally to aggressive but will
maximize bluff charges to scare hikers into dropping pack and running.

It's your food until he get's his claws on it.  Then it's his food.  Somewhere
along the line, someone either got sloppy about their
food or made it easy for the bear to get ahold of it in the first place.

Poor bear......he's on a short trip to trouble now.
General rules:

If camping at shelters, use the bear box or pole if available.
Don't set you food out and then leave to get water.  Remember
Yogi?  He usually waited till the 'picnickers' walked away before
raiding the table   Maybe team up with other shelter mates to
make sure someone is always guarding the packs.
If a bear shows up, do your best to drive him off.
Defend your food!!!!  You are really defending the bear's life...
If the bear is new at this, rock tossing and a lot of noise
may break him of a baaaaad habit.  Maybe bear/pepper spray
may ruin his day but save his life.  Read and follow label directions.
And watch the WIND Direction!!!!

Personally, I'd avoid those shelters, if alone, if there is a raiding bear.
Removing the temptation at this point may be the only course.

And I'd eat a mile away from where i slept and be very
careful about food smells.  Double zip everything.
And don't dribble on your shirt <g>.



>Does anyone have a favorite way of dealing with bears (besides running in
>the opposite direction?)  :-)
>
>
>Charles
>
>
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