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Re: [pct-l] Re: Bears

I have heard of hikers trying many things to scare off bears. Firecrackers,
pepper spray, fog horns etc. One backpacker I know slammed a bear with a
log. The bear was heading towards a poorly tied off bag. The hiker picked
up a big log and slammed the bear who ran off.

In all these cases the bear must be scared off BEFORE he gets the food. One
the bear gets the food there is no hope. In 1984 a couple of neighbors
hiked up the trail to Paradise Valley for a dalliance in a tent [possibly a
few on the list remember such activity]. The bear naturally, lifted their
food bag while they were preoccupied. The male and my friend [the guy who
slammed the bear with the log] tried to get the food back. After numerous
attempts my friend picked up a huge rock and hit the bear squarely on the
flank. This got the bear's attention and he promply charged the duo. The
two ran as fast as they could. After 10 steps the bear stopped, calmly
picked up the food bag, and sauntered off to a more hospitible place to
enjoy his gormet feast.

What got my attention is the size of the rock. A similar blow would have
killed you or me. I decided to NEVER put myself in a position to BLUFF
[that what it is Monte, a BLUFF] a bear. A bear is not a big mouse. In fact
it is 3000 times larger than a mouse and more than a match for a human, any

My "Darwin" award goes to my friend, Joe Helfer, who, after successfully
slamming a small bear with a log was actually looking for man, bear
contact. Since 1984,  in honor of his ultimate achievement, what you call
the Darwin Award has been renamed the Helfer award in his honor.

The male neighbor broke his foot running away and used up all my pain
pills. However, he seemed relatively undisturbed because the female
neighbor was paying appropriate attention to him. Joe went on to father two
kids who, fortunately aren't into backpacking.

Me? From 1984 to now I have telling anyone who will listen the STUPIDITY of
BLUFFING a bear. Back then the NPS was advising backpackers to throw stuff
at bears who were trying to hang a counterbalance syetem. Somebody ws going
to get hurt because they were a little too agressive and ran across a bear
who had his natural distaste/fear of humans reduced via repeated contact.

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