136

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 may in the process clue the bear in to the fact that where there are humans, there is food. And if you've inadvertently trained a bear to think that human campers ...


48

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 take a bear in a fight, but that doesn't mean they won't get seriously hurt in the process. Think about the possible consequences if deterrence fails: A ...


33

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 satisfying answer since the question implies the question: Why would a bear expend the effort to climb up a tree to attack a human? I am not a bear expert but I read ...


28

First of all the odds that you startle a bear in this way are quite low. There is a good chance that it would have heard or smelled you before you get that close. That said, if you encounter a bear in the wilderness, your reaction depends on how the bear is acting. In most cases, the bear will be defensive. In this case you should stay calm, talk calmly ...


27

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 usually do. Most of the time I don't even know they were there, I just find their tracks the next morning. Believe it or not bears spook really easily. I've ...


20

Back away calmly. Be SURE not to separate a mother from her cubs. Other than that, the bear probably won't be too interested in you. (Except a polar bear, which may consider you food.) If you see bear cubs, look for the mother and stay away.


18

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 do it in that region because there are tigers about. The real question has to do with the nature of the bear in question. I've turned about in the woods to ...


17

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 wild that I know of, they have run away as soon as they noticed me. I probably had many more encounters where the bear noticed me and took off before I noticed ...


15

This answer may depend on the type of bear, but somehow I doubt it. If you ever visit Yosemite National Park, go to the Happy Isles Visitor Center. They have an old Jeep door on display. The Jeep had once belonged by a camper who left a tube of chap stick in their car as they slept. A black bear smelled the chap stick inside the closed Jeep and ...


13

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 think is a black bear outside, the best thing to do is nothing. I have been in this situation a few times, and in all cases the animal (never saw it so can't ...


13

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 you can see a bear climbing a tree where two hunters are. At first it looks like it could be the same bear you saw on the ground, but it's not, it's one bear ...


12

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 scenario with a whistle and flashlight the surprise cannot be a real life case. That means bear is actually after you and that's very bad. Black bear may want to ...


11

If the bear already has your food, I would give up. I've been in this situation once when hiking with my father. My father went up to the bear and yelled. The bear reared up and roared, my father ran like hell, and the bear went back to eating our box of crackers. This seems to match up with what I've heard, which is that once the bear has your food, the ...


11

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 is hanging out of reach, the bear is just going to keep walking, in all likelihood you and the dogs might never know you had a visitor in the night. The same ...


10

An online poll showed that almost everyone on a backpacking trip eats about 15-20 kcal (63-84 kJ) per day per pound of body weight: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=35516 . So let's take 17.5 cal/day/lb (161 kJ/kg) as a typical value. This is in line with my actual experience from trips where ...


9

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 stay with their mothers for about 17 months are self-sufficient at the age of 5 or 6 months. Under some circumstances mothers with cubs will accept strange cubs ...


9

You don't even need to worry about a bear mugging you while you're hiking. It doesn't happen. Bears want your food. They're going to try to get your food when your food is out of your pack and they can smell it. The effective countermeasures involve: Making it hard for them to smell your food (e.g., using ziplock bags) Making it hard for them to get your ...


9

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 smell your food. It's extremely uncommon – especially for black bears – for a bear to attack a person to try to steal their food. Unattended food is ...


8

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 Mother bear is going to stay between you and her cub. This includes keeping her cub away from you as much as keeping you away from her cub. A2: Freeze dried ...


8

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 Forests, as well as in parts of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, Inyo National Forests and in all of Yosemite National Park [see map]. This means you ...


8

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 dog food with them. Not exactly on topic, but I have woken up to deer approaching my camp, while my large dog was barking her head off. They only stopped ...


7

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 already and you don't need to scare it off to protect your supplies, a perfectly valid option is just to stay still, and wait until the bear leaves. If you want ...


7

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. As general rule they don't want trouble as much as you don't. Knowing how they act, what they protect and fight for, where they tend to be/go would ...


7

If the bear is eating, let it eat. If you try to scare it off it may defend its food. If it just wanders up to your campsite, then you can make some noise to try to scare it away. But don't get too close.


7

From Trip Savvy Bear Safety Tips: If a Grizzly Bear Attacks… Play dead! Lie face down on the ground with your hands around the back of your neck. Stay silent and try not to move. Keep your legs spread apart and if you can, leave your pack on to protect your back. Once the bear backs off, stay quiet and still for as long as you can. ...


7

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 cubs. The study found that 63 people were killed in 59 incidents in Canada, Alaska and the lower 48 states. The researchers determined that the majority (88%) ...


6

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 would wait it out. I ran into this situation once and this worked out just fine for me. Personally I would not use the shotgun or bear spray. If I had the bear ...


6

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 times more sensitive than a bloodhound. You can minimize what can be smelled by using ziplock bags and placing those in uncoated stainless steel containers. ...


6

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 they find food nearby and easily accessible from dumpsters and tourists that feed them as if they're in a zoo, they begin to associate humans with easily ...


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