Yellowstone NP - Bears
Replies: 49 - Last Post: May 25, 2013 11:21 AM Last Post By: geo_nerd
May 16, 2013 1:13 PM
May 16, 2013 1:17 PM
16Hike with bear spray. You should each have a canister, and it should be kept on your belt or backpack strap where you can get to it INSTANTLY (as you'll only have a second or two to deploy it). Stay together as you hike, and pay attention to what's going on around you and what direction the wind is blowing. If visibility is restricted, make noise so animals nearby are alerted to your presence before you bump into them. Stay far, far away form carcasses - if you come across one, retreat immediately in the direction from which you came.
Oh, and don't forget to enjoy Yellowstone! I've solo hiked there a lot, and have never come close to having a problem. If you respect the animals and give them their space, they'll generally leave you alone. (And that goes for the elk and bison, too, not just bears.)
May 16, 2013 4:06 PM
May 16, 2013 4:38 PM
18I once spent a week solo in the heart of grizzly country in northern Idaho. I received numerous warnings about my safety. On the last night, while returning from the bathroom in the middle of the night, I tripped over my hotel bed and landed face first into the sharp edge of the bed stand. I bled so much I almost passed out and had to be taken by ambulance to the emergency room.
And that's how it usually goes--it's not the scary critters that will get you.
I've spent enough time purposefully looking for grizzly bears, lions, tigers, jaguars, rattlesnakes, rhinos and other allegedly dangerous creatures. I respect them and sometimes fear them. But to think there is a serious risk going to Yellowstone defies all logic.
Go, have fun, spot bears from afar in the Lamar Valley and Hayden Valley (spend enough time there and you should see them). Millions of people do this every year. It's fun, but it is not life-threatening adventure.
May 16, 2013 5:33 PM
19I've never encountered a grizzly.
When I come across a bear in the east it is a black bear. The the occasion is exceedingly rare and is kind of a "where's the camera" sort of thing.
I wouldn't want to come between a black bear and her cubs, but otherwise they are a harmless (nonviolent) nuisance like giant giant mice. When you are done taking photos, you just shooo them away and they move on.
They are less scared than deer, but rank up there with cattle.
May 16, 2013 6:01 PM
20Shoo them away? Are you out of your mind? There has been more irresponsible posting on this thread than I have read in memory. Bears are dangerous animals. They can run faster than any human being over a short distance. If they are perturbed, they can attack. Never get close to them, just like the other animals you will encounter. The chances of encountering dangerous animals in Yellowstone are infinitely low, but you must be educated. Anyone who has encountered a bear in isolation knows what a frightening experience it is, except for the stupid or naive who treat them like furry pests, or those who are posting on this thread without personal experience or common sense.
May 16, 2013 6:27 PM
21I'm telling ya, sure as i am still alive today, that grizzlies and black bears are different.
When it is not a question of protecting their young,
- Black bears can be shooed away like cattle.
- Black bears prefer to avoid people.
- Black bears can and will devastate a camp they perceive to be devoid of humans
- Black bears could, but will not, chase you down on the trail and kill you. The reasons they don't , and never ever ever have, seems to be related to that fact that they are scared of people and are easily "shooed away." It is their nature to eat things like bugs and berries and garbage, not large chunks of human flesh.
They are very peaceful, very shy, very misunderstood animals.
If you see a black bear it is a treasurable rarity (and the only kind of bear you'll see in the east) make sure you are not between a mother and her cubs, then grab a camera. When you have enough photos shoo her away.
Out west, they have grizzlies. I cannot speak about them, good or bad..
May 16, 2013 7:28 PM
May 16, 2013 8:00 PM
May 16, 2013 9:04 PM
24Jeez, what an amazing mix of good, bad and atrocious information!
Virtually all incidents of bears stalking, killing and trying to eat humans in North America (polar bears aside, since they're a different story) have been by black bears, not grizzlies. Sorry LI Bob, but you're wrong. Look into it yourself if you want, but don't go repeating silly non-truths to people who might believe you.
Moreover, black bears are not particularly afraid of humans if habituated, and they do indeed learn all sorts of ingenious tricks to get at your bear-bagged food. I've seen them climbing trees and chewing ropes, and I had one ripping apart my pack right next to my tent despite all the shouting, shoeing, and banging on random objects I was doing. The fact that most have learned a degree of shyness doesn't mean they can be treated casually.
And bear spray, like guns, is more likely to get you into trouble than out unless you're both calm and skilled. Anyone who has difficulty with a snake sighting is a poor candidate for bear spray, no matter what size or type of hip holster it's carried in. Unlike LI Bob, I've spent lots of time around black and brown bears, and a bit in polar bear country as well: no guns, no spray, but no big harmless rodent imagery either. Skip the fantasies and enjoy your time in nature.
To the OP: I'd read #7 and #18 twice, then stop at the first visitor center you see in Yellowstone to learn about safety around wild animals. Unfortunately, the information on this thread needs quite a bit of sorting and sifting if you're hoping to take away much of actual use.
Hope that's helpful.
May 16, 2013 9:10 PM
25"Rodents of Unusual Size? I don't think they exist. "
I've seen these guys up to 80, maybe 100 lbs.: http://wildlifeanimalz.blogspot.com/2012/03/capybara-facts-and-photos-2012.html
May 17, 2013 3:36 AM
Black bears are hunter stalkers that will chase you down on the trail and kill you.
They are known to attack tents with people in them.
Several people die on the Appalachian trail every week because they were attacked by bears.
They are are vicious and will attack you on site and will eat you. Humans are among their favorite foods
You cannot shoo them away, and if you shoot them that only makes them angry.
In nature they chase down and kill deer and bunny rabbits all the time. When they see you they will think of you as 'lunch."
Be afraid. Be very very afraid. /sarcasm
I know nothing about grizzlies, but black bears? hang your food or else they will tear up your camp when you're gone. If ya see one take its picture and just shoo it away when you tire of it.
Oh an according to wiki thee have been 8 fatal bear attacks in the US and Canada over the past 13 years. 6 by grizzlies, one by someone's pet black bear who got out of control, two by a wild black bear.
Edited by: LongIslandBob
May 17, 2013 5:43 AM
Good Lord. I'd assumed you were just some clueless geezer who can't admit a mistake (sadly, like many on TT) but this is a blatant attempt at misdirection / misrepresentation. Shame on you.
Wikipedia has a list of bear fatalities in North America going back a century. About half are by black bears, and, yes, they include attacking people in tents, stalking, and pursuit.
Again, for the benefit of the OP, these are flukes . Incidences of bear attacks, by any sort of bear, are incredibly rare. In Yellowstone, they're on the order of 1 per 2,100,000 visitors (and that includes the bad old days when folks fed them from cars) and only the most paranoid would carry bear spray on a non-overnight hike in Yellowstone, when you're not going to get very far from the most heavily trafficked trails.
May 17, 2013 5:51 AM
28I said 3 out of 8
You accuse me of not saying "about half".
Sheesh learn some math already.
Anyway in the East (not Yellowstone) bear encounters are exceedingly rare, when you do encounter them you can generally just shoo them away. That's the fact.
But go ahead an call me names and demonstrate your math skills if you like.
Don't bother giving travel advice, just come on this site to pump up your limp ego by hurling lame insults. It'll make you feel better.
May 17, 2013 7:59 AM
29What a load of rubbish.
The entire, deluded thrust of your (non-)contribution to this thread is to maunder on about how black bears are not as dangerous as grizzlies. But--oops!--it turns out they're about as dangerous as grizzlies. Still, you stand by your half-witted nonsense that you can just "shoo" them away from your camp like pesky flies or "giant mice."
Regulars on this forum are accustomed to taking everything that you say with a grain of salt, but I do worry about newbies who might happen across this thread and mistake you for someone who, even occasionally, knows what he's on about.
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