136 votes

Do I still need to hang my food if I have two large dogs?

Yes, you absolutely need to properly protect your food. Proper food storage in the wilderness isn't just for you, it's also for the bears. Even if your dogs or you are able to fend off a bear, you ...
  • 10.7k
48 votes

Do I still need to hang my food if I have two large dogs?

You know, most black bears are probably going to be deterred by the presence of your dogs, but bears come in all sorts of personalities and degrees of desperation for food. Your dogs might be able to ...
33 votes
Accepted

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 ...
  • 882
30 votes
Accepted

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 ...
  • 53.2k
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 ...
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 ...
  • 21.3k
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 ...
  • 21.3k
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 ...
13 votes
Accepted

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 ...
  • 777
11 votes

Do I still need to hang my food if I have two large dogs?

There are a couple of really good answers here. But I feel like something is being overlooked. You and the dogs are going to be asleep, when the bear comes walking through your camp. If the food ...
10 votes

Do I still need to hang my food if I have two large dogs?

Do hang the food (or use a bear can, etc.) In my experience, wild animals are not deterred by dogs very much. A bear that lives close to humans might even be attracted to dogs: dogs frequently have ...
  • 1,780
9 votes
Accepted

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 ...
  • 9,554
9 votes
Accepted

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 ...
  • 8,620
8 votes

Proper food storage against black bears on a LONG (e.g., 14 days) trip, partly in black bear country? (enough bear canisters not practical)

Realistically, if you can manage to carry the food, then you can manage the canisters also. They have been proven to decrease bear encounters and are actually now required in parts of Sierra National ...
  • 53.2k
8 votes

Questions about specifics of black bear encounter with mother and yearling cub

I'm from bear country. I've had multiple bear encounters this year and the bears have been really bad this season. We had 4 maulings inside a month this summer. In answer to your questions: A1: The ...
  • 53.2k
7 votes
Accepted

Is any subspecies of black bear more -- or less -- aggressive than another?

All research done by the National Park Services attribute black bear aggression to how people affect the bear's foraging behavior. Bears are conditioned by where, when, and how they acquire food. If ...
  • 677
7 votes

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

Black Bears simply don't like the smell of warm man-flesh; in fact, if one notices you, it's likely to take off. I've had bears sniffing around my camp before. Assuming all your food is safely stored ...
  • 8,620
7 votes
Accepted

Do black, brown/grizzly or polar bears ever prey on humans?

TLDR: While rare, it definitely happens. In fact the majority of people killed by black bears in North America were killed by aggressive bears not by say surprised bears or mothers defending their ...
7 votes

How can the attitude that one is a guest in black bear country prevent hassles with bears?

Learn their behaviors: many encounters become accidents because they escalate to that level in a way or the other. Learn that not all the bears are the same, different kind will act differently. ...
6 votes
Accepted

How can the attitude that one is a guest in black bear country prevent hassles with bears?

I'm assuming that you are not hunting as that would require behaving in different ways. I'm also not discussing camping/camp which is covered very well by this question: What precautions should I ...
6 votes

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

I would make noise to confirm the bear is aware of my presence. I would try to gently get out of the tent and take some distance (10 feet / 3 meters) from the bear and tent acting normally. And I ...
  • 8,021
6 votes

Can bears smell food inside dry sacks?

Bears have a seriously sensitive nose. I can't remember the correct values, but they have magnitudes more smell receptors than a bloodhound (I just looked it up, a bear's nose is estimated to be 7 ...
  • 4,654
5 votes

Proper food storage against black bears on a LONG (e.g., 14 days) trip, partly in black bear country? (enough bear canisters not practical)

In 2013 I did an long trip (12 days) in the Rockies (near Banff/Lake Louise National Parks). We were entirely back country, except for the very first camp site. In this area brown bears are the ...
  • 12.3k
5 votes

Will Black Bears actually follow you up a tree

A few years ago I was walking in the woods in western Washington state (USA) the forest was Douglas fir, with undergrowth ranging between 2 and 10 feet high (1 - 3 meters). There was no trail. I was ...
5 votes

Will Black Bears actually follow you up a tree

Chances are any black bear you encounter will be more frightened of you than you are of it, and it is unlikely they will chase you up a tree unless they are provoked. They definitely can climb trees, ...
5 votes

Is it feasible that a black bear could kill a man with a single swat?

I am going to say yes, it is possible mostly because humans kill other humans with a single punch from time to time and black bears are certainly stronger. Cupido said there are “hundreds” of ...
5 votes

Did a bear knock all my bird feeders down?

Bears will definitely go smashing bird feeders to get to the seed and they are the only thing big enough to pull your feeders over. Yes, bears (and other wildlife) are readily attracted to back yards ...

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