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Thread: question on black bears

  1. Default question on black bears

    today while fishing with my girlfriend we came across a black bear. until today i have never seen one in the wild. is this something i should be concerned about? or is it one of those things where "they are more affraid of you then you are of it".

    this is what happen today:

    my girlfriend spotted a black bear cub. it looked to be around 50-80 pounds. it looked at us, we looked at it, and it took off like a bat out of hell up the mountain. Then in the thick underbrush we saw some movement and all i see is black on green. I say "well this has to be the mother". it peaked around the brush, and started walking towards us. This bear wasnt running away like the other one did. this one seemed to be interested in what just scared the hell out of her cub. we walked back slowly away from her, hopped back on the trail and went on our way.

  2. #2

    Default Re: question on black bears

    If you come across a mother and her cub and spook them you should be concerned because the mother will sometimes become defensive over her cub, that said generally they will run from you and you should not worry about them.

  3. Default Re: question on black bears

    If I'm not mistaken, more people are attacked by black bears than griz in the US. Tell tale signs of a black bear irritation or aggression are: 1) snapping or popping of the jaws 2) if the bear follows you and shows no sign of fear, it may be stalking you as food 3) swaying back and forth, and stomping the ground.
    Nine times out of ten black bears are not a threat. If they don't immediately run off when they see you, be concerned. Make yourself look as big as possible, don't look the bear in the eye, that is a sign of challenge to a bear, back away slowly and try to leave the area. If you have a pack on, do not leave it for the bear, it may save your life by preventing the bear from getting to vital body parts. If attacked roll into a fetal position with your hands protecting the back of your neck and head.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: question on black bears

    Hi franzenangler,

    A mother bear and a cub can be very dangerous. If you should accidentally get between the mama and cub she may perceive you as a threat to her cub and attack. If you fish or hike in bear country you should carry a bear spray. You may never need it but it could save you from serious injury. You did the right thing of slowly backing away with out running. Never run from a bear, that is what their food does.

    Frank

  5. Default Re: question on black bears

    thanks guys

  6. #6
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    Default Re: question on black bears

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Whiton View Post
    Hi franzenangler,

    A mother bear and a cub can be very dangerous. If you should accidentally get between the mama and cub she may perceive you as a threat to her cub and attack. If you fish or hike in bear country you should carry a bear spray. You may never need it but it could save you from serious injury. You did the right thing of slowly backing away with out running. Never run from a bear, that is what their food does.

    Frank
    Oh good Lord, Guys get a grip! The between the Mother and a cub is dead on, save for that .... assuming your not in Alaska or the boonies of Canada .. the risk, assuming you don't want to make an issue of it, is as close to ZERO as you can get.

    See one that appears aggressive? Don't push your luck as none of them have a grade school education, save for survival.

    Just my .02 cents from someone whose been there, done that on several occasions over the past 68 years.

    fae

  7. #7
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    Thumbs down Re: question on black bears

    Quote Originally Posted by fredaevans View Post
    Oh good Lord, Guys get a grip! The between the Mother and a cub is dead on, save for that .... assuming your not in Alaska or the boonies of Canada .. the risk, assuming you don't want to make an issue of it, is as close to ZERO as you can get.

    See one that appears aggressive? Don't push your luck as none of them have a grade school education, save for survival.

    Just my .02 cents from someone whose been there, done that on several occasions over the past 68 years.

    fae
    Well, we don't know where we're talking about here, do we - Alaska, Canada or wherever. So I wouldn't be so quick to put down what is considered to be standard bear advice. I don't think any bear expert would say that in a bear-person encounter, you have ZERO chance of bad things happening.
    On the whole, I'd rather be in Wyoming . . .
    Fly2:

  8. #8
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    Default Re: question on black bears

    Hi Everyone,

    Contrary to some advise no one should assume that bears of any kind are not a danger to you. There are not a lot of bear attacks in America but there are some. I wouldn't want to be one of the exceptions. People fishing are more apt to startle a bear because many rivers have over grown banks and heavy woods. If you startle a bear, endanger cubs or come upon a bear kill, you stand a chance of a bear attack. Why would anyone assume that every time you encounter a bear that it is going to go away. Its my nature to be cautious about dangers to life and limb so I carry bear spray in bear country. The difference may be what someone may consider bear country. There are places in the lower 48 that I would carry bear spray.

    Here is a link to a List of fatal bear attacks in North America - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. These are Fatal attacks and it doesn't list bear attacks when there was no fatality.

    Frank
    Last edited by Frank Whiton; 05-19-2010 at 03:14 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: question on black bears

    Franks on it. I'm not one to avoid dangerous/stupid moves, finding the adrenial spike a pleasurable thing.
    But having lived with, and around black bears, I'll say they are far from predicable. I've had two incidents, where a bear, bluff charged me.
    That'll test your, "do not run" nerve. Mostly they are cute fuzzy guys, but the mother/cub thing is the best time to have a problem. That and early springtime, when they are down low in the hills, and hungry from sleeping all winter. Kinda grumpy too.
    Mostly we don't worry, but I make it a point not to fight to much outside my weight class.

    Jim
    Last edited by Bigfly; 05-19-2010 at 09:33 AM.
    Ultimately, it's not catching fish that satisfies, but knowing how.

    Bigfly

  10. #10

    Default Re: question on black bears

    I will agree with Frank and those advising on the side of caution. Here in south central PA we have a very healthy Black Bear population. I've been as close as 5 long steps from bears a few different times. Each time the bear in question turned and ran like a frightened whitetail (yes that fast). I will add a few words of caution of my own.

    Even a small bear will over power you. Grizzly Adams not withstanding, bears are incredibly strong for their size; just watch one tear apart a log.

    You can't get away from a Black Bear by climbing a tree.

    Lastly, while I am an adrenaline junkie myself, an ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure any day.
    Homer

    There is no greater fan of fly fishing than the worm. ~Patrick F. McManus, Never Sniff a Gift Fish, 1979

    Anger is like peeing in your pants: everyone can see it, but only you can feel it. ~Jeff Yalden

    Remember: The winner gets to write the history books.

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