Key piece of gear for Bear Country.

Hilldweller

SE Expedition Society
@RememberTheFallen had a bit of a standoff with a big black bear near Graveyard Fields (off the BRP) a couple of years ago ----- trying to get his tree-hung food. Maybe he'll chime in but I seem to remember him saying the bear kept him awake and on guard. I'm sure Alaina didn't appreciate it much either...
 
@RememberTheFallen had a bit of a standoff with a big black bear near Graveyard Fields (off the BRP) a couple of years ago ----- trying to get his tree-hung food. Maybe he'll chime in but I seem to remember him saying the bear kept him awake and on guard. I'm sure Alaina didn't appreciate it much either...
Yeah, tense night for sure!

Hung it out away from camp, 10ft off the ground, over an arm sized branch.

Woke up about 10pm to what I thought was a raccoon trying to get into it. Walked down in my boxers to see the biggest black bear in history (Guinness Confirmed!) drop down out of the tree. I yelled and waved while strobing him with my surefire. Damn bear just looked at me! (Seizure? Lol). It wasnt until I grabbed my large hiking stick and started slamming it against the tree and started barking that he started to slowly walk off. Something came back several times that night and it took me yelling to chase it off. Heard yelling further down the trail too.

Found out the next day that the bears in that area have figured out the food bag hang thing and it was now required to use portable bear vaults whenever back packing in the area.

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Hilldweller

SE Expedition Society
Yeah, tense night for sure!

Hung it out away from camp, 10ft off the ground, over an arm sized branch.

Woke up about 10pm to what I thought was a raccoon trying to get into it. Walked down in my boxers to see the biggest black bear in history (Guinness Confirmed!) drop down out of the tree. I yelled and waved while strobing him with my surefire. Damn bear just looked at me! (Seizure? Lol). It wasnt until I grabbed my large hiking stick and started slamming it against the tree and started barking that he started to slowly walk off. Something came back several times that night and it took me yelling to chase it off. Heard yelling further down the trail too.

Found out the next day that the bears in that area have figured out the food bag hang thing and it was now required to use portable bear vaults whenever back packing in the area.
Well, I would've run from you, Joe ---- just being in your boxers and all.....
 

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rgallant

Adventurer
Like DCH109 I travel all over BC and I have had no issues with bears of any type. But I also had to travel for a hour more than I wanted because camping area I wanted to use was a garbage pit with significant amounts of bear droppings.

That said I carry both bear spray and a shotgun with slugs, so far I have not needed either. I always keep a clean camp, food sealed and stored away from my campsite. Moose and elk have given me more problems, and a large steer who was not moving for love nor money and got fairly aggressive after a toot of the horn.
 
12 gauge Mossy with 00.
UDAP #12 pepper spray. https://www.cabelas.com/product/UDAP-HP-Bear-Spray-with-Hip-Holster/741401.uts?slotId=2

I was cornered and harassed by a medium sized black bear sow and her two cubs one time. Florida stand-off, and all I had was a Bowie knife.
She never got closer than 10 feet from me but I'd prefer not to be in that situation again.
I had a similar run in kayak camping on the Ocklawaha. Only had a leatherman! The bear and I were both solo... I hollered at him and he took off but it shook me up I didn't camp again for a couple months.
 
I've walked through a bad neighborhood or two and came out without any damage, but I make a point of either avoiding such areas or being "prepared." I think it is that way with bears as well. Don't get comfortable with them just because you have had previous good experiences, or been lucky. Every bear is different, and they can change in a heart beat. I lived in Alaska for 12 years and spent my fare share in their company.

I won't argue a weapon vs. spray, because weapons are not an option for some, and most don't train enough to make the weapon worth much more than a stick... But that aside, the below article is a good one. Best part of it is that it digs into the scenarios of each incident.

I carried my preferred bear protection device with a backup in my pack (in case of multiple deployments of first device - trust me its a possibility) and had my wife carry a small marine boat horn on the chest strap of her pack. The intent of the horn was to buy me seconds to reach, draw, and deploy my device; or to hopefully scare the bear aware. Have been around the horn usage a few times on a river and seen it work; but worry that after a while the bear will just get used to it and ignore it. All I am hoping for is just a few seconds of additional reaction time on my part. In an incident, seconds are often the difference maker.....

As for camp, Bear fences around the camp always helped me sleep better. :)

https://gunwatch.blogspot.com/2018/02/defense-against-bears-with-pistols-97_25.html
 
I always carry bear spray when hiking or camping, with angry elk, bears and cougars where i tend to camp and hike, i figure it might work on a few different animals...i know it works well on me lol, some arsehole sprayed the patio of a bar i was at once... closest bear encounter i ever had was hearing a sound coming from the screened in porch of my buddies cottage, we turned on the lights assuming it was a raccoon. it was a black bear on the picnic table eating a bowl of peanuts we left out lol. i think he was as scared as we where and ran off through the same hole he made coming in.

and as much as a pistol or rifle can work against a bear. id much rather not have to kill the bear, for doing...well exactly what a bear does...and its dam near impossible to carry a shotgun in National parks in Canada...and we definitely can't carry a handgun anywhere.....
 

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rruff

Explorer
So I have backpacked all over BC and have been in bear country more than I can count. I have been feet from black bears and black bears and their cubs. I have had a grizzly walk between my tent and my buddies to the point the tent sides bowed from his/her girth. Never had a problem, never carried bear spray. Easy enough, most of the area I hiked has little to no people and we never kept food or even the clothes we cooked in, in the tent.

Now I live in the US, backpack less and will be taking my kids out. As it seems many people are pigs (garbage just thrown where they stand) and lots of places are getting over crowded, I find bears are a larger issue.
I've had close encounters with dozens of black bears in the western US. In all cases they couldn't get away from me fast enough. No spray or guns either. But I was always in fairly remote areas. No campgrounds and no other people around.
 

kpredator

Adventurer
I've had close encounters with dozens of black bears in the western US. In all cases they couldn't get away from me fast enough. No spray or guns either. But I was always in fairly remote areas. No campgrounds and no other people around.
Hunted bears take off like rockets,campground bears are another story!!!!
 
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