Laws Regarding Aggressive Animals

CampStewart

Observer
I hope to learn something about the legalities of aggressive animals at campsites. I recently read a long thread about bear attacks which turned into a discussion about what weapons to use and if bear spray or guns were more effective. If you want to post your views on those subjects please post there to keep that discussion going. What I want to learn is when you can use lethal force against an animal that may be destroying your vehicle or equipment and you are not able to chase them off. I would hope a warning shot would send them running, but what if it doesn't? I am sure that different states and venues may have different laws but I would like to soak up as much knowledge as I can. I have no interest in killing any animal that comes in my camp but reading the other thread has me curious.
 

rgallant

Adventurer
Here British Columbia, it is a tough call, you will interviewed and possibly charged. Note if you are in a Provincial Park you will be charged with the discharge of a firearm in a park, so bear spray is your only option there.

If you have to take a bear down you are required to report it to the local Conservation office as soon as possible.

The common wisdom is take pictures and make notes 1st, then call on the same day if you can.

You will be interviewed by a Conservation Officer and as long as everything is on the up and up, you should be fine but if they have doubts they will likely charge you and let the courts sort it out.

From a perusal of the various hunting sites things that get you charged are a dirty garaged up camp site, leaving fruit, fish or other bear attractants out, and possibly aggressive dogs harrying the bear.

If you back away and do the usual things to deter the bear and it does not work, leaving you not choice but to engage you are generally fine. The same as imminent danger to life your or others, generally you will be fine.
 

CampStewart

Observer
Lethal force about destroying my vehicle while I am inside ?
I wont gaf about its legalities, and it wont matter what colour skin the animal is wearing.
Even so, It will be easy to claim while attempting to "scare it off" it became agressive to me.

btw, I use that justification against my raccoon population.
Those destructive devils wont scare off, and so become easy friends with the very quiet Mr. Benjamin.
Thats not really what I am talking about, the other thread has lots of discussion about it attacking you. What if you come back to camp and he is tearing your campsite up? What if he lumbers in as you are finishing up breakfast and starts destroying your gear or your fridge freeze? What if you are at your site and he is trying to get in your vehicle or barges into you tent or trailer but you are not in them?
 

rgallant

Adventurer
All those below you are pretty much out of luck in BC, the critical issue in British Columbia is risk to life rather than property. However that is pretty unlikely in my experience assuming you are generally acting in, "bear aware and safe manner". I travel solo and even with bear sign in the area I have not had an issue, I have had a grizzly pass through my campsite about 20 yds away, and several black bears come close when it was quiet, a loud racket sent them running.

What you are describing are nuisance or human habituated bears, and that is a tough one. I know when I was warned by a conservation officer about an aggressive black bear around a lake I was fishing at he indicated lethal force was acceptable if required. But that was a very specific situation. I do carry rubber slugs to move them along, but I have never needed them.

Thats not really what I am talking about, the other thread has lots of discussion about it attacking you. What if you come back to camp and he is tearing your campsite up? What if he lumbers in as you are finishing up breakfast and starts destroying your gear or your fridge freeze? What if you are at your site and he is trying to get in your vehicle or barges into you tent or trailer but you are not in them?
 

steelhd

Observer
Im not aware of anywhere you can shoot a bear just because its causing damage to property such as trucks, campers, tents, coolers, etc. In bear country you are in its home and common sense says its on you to keep cooking, food, and attractive smells away from your vehicle and sleeping area. "Expedition" trailers and vehicles where a person lives and sleeps with their food and kitchen arent made for bear country.
 

rgallant

Adventurer
Why not call your local law enforcement or game warden and get an expert opinion?
Up here in BC they are delightfully vague on the topic. The problem is in many places there is no hard and fast rules and poachers have made things way worse for us at least in BC. So if in doubt off to court you go in many cases.

But is worth the effort to call.
 

BigAl

Expedition Leader
What if you come back to camp and he is tearing your campsite up? What if he lumbers in as you are finishing up breakfast and starts destroying your gear or your fridge freeze? What if you are at your site and he is trying to get in your vehicle or barges into you tent or trailer but you are not in them?
I can't see any of these scenarios. You have quite an imagination. In your original post you ask, "when you can use lethal force against an animal that may be destroying your vehicle or equipment and you are not able to chase them off." Does this happen? And if it does, isn't the answer obvious?
 

MOguy

Explorer
Why not call your local law enforcement or game warden and get an expert opinion?

When I called our local conservations he said we can kill wildlife if it is threatening, damaging property or harming live stock and even pets. When you read the law their a few provisions that must be followed if it is just destroying property.

Don't trust what others say, read the law for yourself.
 

AbleGuy

[Back] Roads Scholar
These aren’t lethal solutions, but it’s not clear that that’s all you’re interested in, soooo....

Some remote camp outfitters use a portable electric fence to protect their campsite (and even their livestock) from curious or aggressive animals. I’ve no idea how expensive or packable these rigs are but you might want to investigate this option.

Also, use of loud noisemakers can be very effective. A cheap solution can be buying an incredibly loud air horn meant primarily for use by boaters. Or....it might not hurt to buy and keep some big firecrackers with you. Legality of possession is of course an issue, but in Canada you frequently can buy them at First Nations roadside stands, same thing in the US. I’ve bought firecrackers in the past and carried them in my camper and on my person for the scenario of running off curious bears (and used them only once but they worked). Please be careful of fire danger caused by using them though.

If long guns are permitted where you are, cracker shells are another option and have been effectively used by game officers in the west to get bears moving on down to road. Again, be very wary of the fire danger these can cause though.

Bear spray is becoming more of a challenge to use effectively because the weather in the west seems to be increasing gusty and windy. An “instead” could be buying paintball sized pepper balls and shooting them at an animal (where handguns are allowed) or using a slightly modified slingshot to sent them into your prey. The pistol you can buy to quickly shoot out pepper balls is probably legal in most US states as I don’t believe it’s considered a “firearm” but in Canada, all bets are off as it’s still a “pistol” and pepper spray possession is strictly regulated.

You are talking about bear problems aren’t you? Also, there are very different challenges and solutions to consider when you differentiate between prevention of property damage vs. the active defense of property.
 
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jeep-N-montero

Expedition Leader
It's interesting how many are responding who didn't even bother reading the initial post. The OP is talking about DOGS and other domestic nuisance animals. And by the way, firecrackers/fireworks of any sort are illegal in all national forests, and highly likely illegal in state forests as well.
 

AbleGuy

[Back] Roads Scholar
(“The OP is talking about DOGS and other domestic nuisance animals” Really?)

I’ll go with “hungry bears” for $500, Alex...

Spring Camping With Electric Fence In Grizzly Bear Territory - YouTube

 

shade

Well-known member
(“The OP is talking about DOGS and other domestic nuisance animals” Really?)

I’ll go with “hungry bears” for $500, Alex...

Spring Camping With Electric Fence In Grizzly Bear Territory - YouTube

I plan to take one along the next time I'm camping with the truck in bear country. A fence isn't a substitute for other preventative and defensive measures, but there's only so much you can do with a fridge full of food and no access to a bear box. I think it's actually easier to camp among bears when traveling on foot.
 
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