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bear bagging



In hanging food for bears I have two big problems: one is finding the right
tree - with a big branch that extends out so that the food is 20 feet up and
10 feet out from the ground and the tree.  This is almost impossible. 
Second thing, I can't throw.  I spent hours in the Sierras throwing rocks at
trees, with the awful suspicion that the bear was cleaning out my pack and
laughing at me as I did so.  

Twice I have had my food taken by bears - in one case the young bear stood
on mama's shoulders and took down my bag.  I heard the thud and chased them
away before they got the food.  In the other case, the bear climbed out on
the branch and batted the bag back and forth until the string broke.  Double
bagging wasn't much help.  (Actually, I lost both bags on that one.)  In
heavily used areas - Donahue Pass near Yosemite in one case, and the Whites
in NH in the other, the bears get awfully smart.  I've seen places where
they have taken down the whole tree in order to get the food on top.  Which
isn't to say don't hang your food, just be aware that it may not help.

Ginny Owen