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[at-l] Re: ATML Grizzlies on Cell Phones.
In a message dated 6/26/01 2:18:25 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
<< Having been confronted by a grizzly in the Denali wilderness myself I
> would guess those hikers were lucky.
> decided to run.
Mine also ran up to me and circled in front of me in the gully. The
situation he described sounds more likely for a mauling because she had cubs
nearby and went for the hikers instead of running away. I suspect if there
were no shelf they would have gotten more than a bluff charge *but who
knows... I don't know grizzly habits well enough to speculate whether the
bear would have preyed on them, but remember the Smokies fatality occurred
with a yearling nearby.
My bear circled in front of me at about 12 yards sniffing up into the
air snout up. 'Guess he was trying to see what I was. I was amazed at the
shaggy, thick light brown fur with almost white highlights. I waved my arms
slowly over my head and told the bear I was human and please don't attack me.
When he didn't respond I did it louder and gruffer in tone and suddenly he
put his head down and skeedattled away in a trot. The ranger said if they see
something unlike any other animal behavior they are familiar with it spooks
them and they take off. Needless to say, you feel very alive after this.
After speaking to the ranger and filing an incident report I learned
that a camper had been tackled and nearly choked to death in the same spot
earlier in the year. He had his sternum strap buckled and nearly choked when
the young griz worked his pack off his back while on top of him. The shredded
pack was found out in the flood plain of the tundra valley.
My best encounter with a black bear was on the John Muir Trail where I
suddenly awoke stone sober awake at dawn hearing a rustling in the bushes. I
thought my partner was taking a pee when I saw a black spot getting bigger
and bigger until I realized it was a massive California blackie bearing down
on our food scent from the bear boxes. He got to about 15 yards himself and I
stopped him by coming halfway out of my bivy tent. He stared right at me and
I hollered like the old prospectors in a streak of 'cussin. I got so angry
that I snapped my hiking stick in half pounding down on the rock to scare him
off. It must have worked because he decided to turn and run running right
next to my partner's tent. The Sierra high meadow ground made a horse
thumping sound as he ran. My friend woke up drowsy and asked what was going
on? I couldn't really attempt to explain what just happened.
Never drop for a black bear. Only grizzlies when there is no other hope.