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33 votes
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Which gun should I use on the trail to protect myself against bears?

The short answer is "bear spray"; a firearm is really not the most effective option. That said... I will assume you are looking for grizzly protection, since you didn't specify the bear and black ...
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33 votes
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Will Black Bears actually follow you up a tree

The question asks for an instance where a bear climbing a tree attacks a human. I found a news article of a hunter being attacked by a black bear in a tree. I don't think this is a completely ...
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30 votes
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What do I do if a black bear is right outside my tent?

I've been up close with grizzly and black bears before, I've had them come sniffing through my camp and I've done nothing but lay quiet in my sleeping bag and wait for them to wander off, which they ...
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21 votes
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How can I tell which way is "down wind"

Use your ears. OK, Let me explain that. But first things first. The direction of the wind is what we call “downwind”. If I throw a handful of white flour into the wind, the direction that flour ...
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18 votes
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Can Grizzlies climb trees?

Why yes they can climb trees, according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. A common misconception is that grizzly bears, unlike black bears, cannot climb trees. While its long claws make climbing ...
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  • 9,608
17 votes

Black bears and torch lights

By "black bear", I'll assume you mean Ursus americanus, the North American black bear. These bears are opportunists and aren't looking for a fight. In all the encounters I have had with them in the ...
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17 votes

Will Black Bears actually follow you up a tree

I know that if you cross the Bering Strait to Northern Asia (Siberia, etc.) you'll find that bears hibernate in huge nests in the tops of trees. So climbing trees is not a problem for bears. They must ...
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15 votes
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Do I need to hang a bear cache?

Bear canisters should not be suspended. Doing so would make it possible for a bear to steal the canister and take it away. The shape of the canisters make it very challenging for a bear to hold or ...
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15 votes
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How effective is wasp spray on bears?

The suggestion to use wasp spray for defense seems to be common enough that there’s a Snopes page on the topic. This particular urban legend is more often brought up in the context of defense against ...
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15 votes
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How to retrieve a bear bag when hung with Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) method

It seems like you simply need to reverse the procedure you give. Since you initially had to pull the rope up far enough to tie the stick in to it, you can still pull it back up to the same point in ...
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  • 5,158
14 votes

Are bears attracted by Lotions and Perfumes?

It is true that people say this. While I know that the plural of anecdote is not data, I will tell some stories. I camp in black bear country (Algonquin and other Ontario parks) and we hang our food ...
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14 votes

What do I do if a black bear is right outside my tent?

People getting killed by black bears is exceedingly rare. There are roughly 1 per year in North America, and most of those in Canada and Alaska. If you are in your tent at night and hear what you ...
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13 votes
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Black bears and torch lights

I don't have personal experience with black bears, but only brownies. If you encounter a bear in 10 meters away from you that means you surprised it or the bear is coming after you. In a night ...
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  • 777
13 votes

Will Black Bears actually follow you up a tree

They are faster and can climb better than you, so if they want you they can get you. They rarely see you as real prey so they might not climb a tree to get at you, still... its a risk In this video ...
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13 votes
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how high does a fence need to be to prevent European brown bear to climb it?

While caging animals is slightly different than keeping animals out, it probably provides the best evidence for specifications. Animal enclosures need to be secure, because animals frequently attempt ...
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12 votes
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How to kill a bear with a bow?

To answer this I need to split up your question a little bit. I'd like to know which kind of arrow would slow down or kill a bear Every arrow with a broad-head (= hunting point) attached. It doesn't ...
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11 votes
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Will a tent provide some protection from bears?

Your tent may not provide any physical protection, but your sleeping bag will provide some. Sleeping bags cover the vast majority of your body, and the thick material of a sleeping bag will initially ...
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11 votes

Encountering a bear in water?

Bears don't generally like people, and the ones who do are usually going to be more interested in dumpsters and campgrounds than a random boat on the river. The likelihood of ever getting into a ...
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11 votes
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Hunting bears with a knife?

Unless you sever the spinal column near the top of the body there is no body injury that can be done with a knife that is going to result in instant death/disablement of any animal. Any injury that ...
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11 votes
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Are bears attracted to factory sealed food?

Worldly, sophisticated bears in well-travelled parts of Yosemite know what those freeze-dried food packets are. Your bears in a remote part of Washington state may be naive, however intelligent, and ...
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  • 22.2k
10 votes

Which gun should I use on the trail to protect myself against bears?

Anyone that says you shouldn't carry a handgun in bear country is misinformed about a lot of things. Better would be a .12 gauge shotgun with slugs, but let's deal with the handgun issue. Sure, bear ...
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10 votes
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Why be passive while attacked by a brown bear?

Brown bears mostly just want to assert dominance. By being passive/playing dead it is more likely to "give up" and walk away than keep attacking. Per NPS... Brown/Grizzly Bears: If you are ...
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  • 2,477
9 votes
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Can bears smell food inside dry sacks?

No, it will not. A bear will smell your food regardless of what container you put it in. A dry bag may reduce the distance from which a bear can smell your food, but will not make it impossible to ...
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  • 8,600
9 votes

How safe is sleeping in bear country?

In Romania we also have a high population of bears, and recently they wander also in forests on lower sea level altitudes (such as ones at 300 m); they even enter the towns and villages, picking food ...
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9 votes
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How far away should I hang my food with dry bag?

At least 60m away, and 5m high. I doubt that there is such a thing a bag that bears absolutely can't smell through. Bears and other animals with rhinariums (wet nose) not only smell better than ...
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  • 53k
9 votes
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Running in bear country

It's when you're moving quickly and quietly along the trail that you're most likely to encounter a bear in the Rockies, and that's because they're easier to sneak up on that way. I run into more ...
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9 votes
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At what age do black bear cubs have a good chance of surviving on their own?

There is probably no perfect answer to your question as different studies will indicate some amount of variation. However it seems that black bear cubs which are usually born in January and generally ...
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  • 9,534
9 votes
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What precautions should I take when cooking smelly food in an area with bears?

You've got most of it down already. Cooking away from your sleeping area is always a good precaution, and never eat or bring food into your tent. A PDF from CapitolRiders.org points out some of the ...
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