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Old 08-15-2014, 07:25 AM   #1
randomscooter
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Speaking of bears...

A few weeks ago my sweetie was up on the hill above the house for a walk with the dogs, Maggie and Java. As often happens, the dogs were out of sight, poking around looking for chipmunks, carrion, and whatever "good stuff" it is that dogs look for.

Then Java came barreling in and quickly circled behind Doreen and sat down, seemingly in a "protect me" mode. Because of Maggie's tendency to tangle with porcupines Doreen decided to call her in. In short order Maggie came running in at top speed (which is very, very fast). She, too, circled around Doreen and sat. Something seemed amiss.

At that moment Doreen caught some movement, looked up, and saw, following in Maggie's tracks and running at top speed, a black bear. When she first saw the bear it was an estimated 100 yards out through open woods.

Doreen waved her arms over her head, started yelling and banging a stick against a tree. The bear didn't slow down. Finally, at an estimated range of 30 feet, the bear came to an abrupt stop. With Doreen still yelling and waving, the bear proceeded to huff repeatedly while stomping its front feet against the ground. It then stood up, turned, and took several steps away, then turned back and started approaching again. Doreen continued to wave and yell, and finally the bear walked off.

My first thought on hearing of this encounter was that the bear was a sow protecting its cubs, but I wasn't too convinced. Then I thought perhaps the bear was actually looking for a meal. Again, seemed a bit far fetched.

Then last evening Doreen stumbled upon THIS article. I'm now convinced that the bear was protecting a food source, perhaps a deer killed by coyotes. Maggie, not realizing that some animals are not interested in sharing, probably tried to crash the dinner party.

I'm also convinced that if Doreen had frozen, rather than wave and yell, the bear would have come straight in to the dogs, which it probably at first thought were simply sitting behind a (rather noisy and lively) tree stump. I hate to even contemplate what might have happened next.

I'd be interested in hearing others' thoughts on what led to this encounter.
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Old 08-15-2014, 11:14 AM   #2
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I see I'm not the only one to have a bad experience with a bear. About 10 years ago I had a black bear walk up to my grill. I was on my porch and figured it did not see me because of the screen. I yelled at it expecting it to take off but got basically the same reaction your significant other got. It stood its ground and popped its teeth. It did not move until I shot in the air and only then moved 50 yards away still popping its teeth. Eventually it left.
A few months later that bear harassed a guy that was logging the property.

In hindsight that bear was bad news and I should have shot it dead. A bear that has lost its fear of humans is an accident waiting to happen.

My attitude towards bears has changed dramatically over the last 10 years. I typically walked without a gun or bear spray and always left camp windows and doors open when out hiking. Needless to say I no longer am nave anymore.

I agree it probably was protecting a food source.
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Old 08-15-2014, 01:15 PM   #3
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Just like people all bears are different individuals. Some are happy go lucky and some are aggressive by nature. Some disappear quick at the sight, sounds, or smell of humans and dogs, some take it as a threat and get cranky.

And I'd agree that the bears that have been around people tend to be the brazen ones. A couple years ago I had a big male bear pop his jaws and charge at me in my truck when I pulled over to watch him eat apples in a yard. He had a bad attitude, but most don't.
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Old 08-15-2014, 02:00 PM   #4
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Just like people all bears are different individuals. Some are happy go lucky and some are aggressive by nature. Some disappear quick at the sight, sounds, or smell of humans and dogs, some take it as a threat and get cranky.

And I'd agree that the bears that have been around people tend to be the brazen ones. A couple years ago I had a big male bear pop his jaws and charge at me in my truck when I pulled over to watch him eat apples in a yard. He had a bad attitude, but most don't.
Turns out that my neighbor up the road draws in all sorts of wildlife, including bears, to a feed pile visible from his house. I wanted others to be the first to mention the connection between bear "attitude" and human acclimation.
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Old 08-15-2014, 03:00 PM   #5
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The bear didn't slow down. Finally, at an estimated range of 30 feet, the bear came to an abrupt stop. With Doreen still yelling and waving, the bear proceeded to huff repeatedly while stomping its front feet against the ground. It then stood up, turned, and took several steps away, then turned back and started approaching again. Doreen continued to wave and yell, and finally the bear walked off.
Your pups sound about as brave as mine!! Haha.

Classic bluff charge behavior.

Easy to interpret it as threatening or attack behavior... and for good reason! A big bear running at you and stopping just short and making all sorts of threatening sounds is scary stuff. But that is the point of it. To scare. Not to attack.
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Old 08-15-2014, 03:18 PM   #6
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And how do you know they are going to stop ?? Do they wink at you or smile a certain way.....just saying
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Old 08-15-2014, 03:50 PM   #7
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And how do you know they are going to stop ?? Do they wink at you or smile a certain way.....just saying
That's just it you don't know until they stop.

I've had my property for 20 years and see at least 1 bear a year. The black bear is a clown and a coward. Most run. Occasionally they don't. I've had 2 that were aggressive. The second one wasn't as lucky as the first.

I know what I would have done if it were my wife.
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Old 08-15-2014, 04:00 PM   #8
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The dog riles the bear and when the angry bear goes after the dog it leads it right to its master. Man's best friend.

Once a bear becomes habituated to humans and their food and becomes emboldened as described I think you'd be best to shoot it. Unless you can contrive it so it goes after the neighbor!
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Old 08-15-2014, 04:00 PM   #9
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And how do you know they are going to stop ?? Do they wink at you or smile a certain way.....just saying
Black bear predatory behavior involves stalking in silence. Not wild dramatic charges. But I certainly wouldn't blame anyone for failing to distinguish between them in the moment.

It is important to keep the following in mind when involved in, or discussing, black bear/human encounters...

There has never - not once, ever - been a fatal black bear/human encounter in the Adirondacks.

In the last 100+ years there has been only 1 fatal encounter between a wild black bear and a human in all of NY State. It was not the result of an attack.

So, in other words, while a black bear certainly has the ability to kill a human, the chances of that happening are EXCEEDINGLY rare. You are way more likely to be killed by a falling tree than you are to encounter a predatory black bear in the Adirondacks.
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Old 08-15-2014, 04:06 PM   #10
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Once a bear becomes habituated to humans and their food and becomes emboldened as described I think you'd be best to shoot it. Unless you can contrive it so it goes after the neighbor!
I'm unaware of any evidence that supports the notion that habituated black bears pose a greater risk to humans.

Just the opposite, actually. There have been plenty of studies done on habituated black bear populations that show no increased risk of injury or death to humans. These studies examined the famous tourist bears of Yosemite, as well as "dump" bears that live side by side with human communities. The latter of which the Adirondacks have plenty of experience with.

In fact, almost all fatal black bear encounters occur in very remote areas where the bears have had little to no contact with humans. Alaska and Northern Canada, for example.

This would seem to indicate that the most dangerous bears are not habituated ones, but isolated ones.
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Old 08-15-2014, 04:11 PM   #11
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PS: You should report Mr. Bait Pile Man to the DEC.
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Old 08-15-2014, 05:35 PM   #12
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I'm unaware of any evidence that supports the notion that habituated black bears pose a greater risk to humans.
Interesting, I always took it as so-called "common knowledge". Also, the expression, "a fed bear is a dead bear" is one I have often heard and random's bear may well be a fed bear.
The following is from this site: http://www.whyte.org/bears/conflict.html
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Human habituated bears and human food-conditioned bears have the potential to be especially dangerous to humans because:
They are willing to be in close proximity to people, and in the case of food-conditioned bears, they may become bold in their attempts to secure food from people.
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For example, the rate of serious/fatal injuries inflicted by bears on humans in the Canadian National Parks in Alberta declined with the implementation of careful food and garbage management in the mid-1980s. Most incidents between the 1950s and early 1980s involved habituated and food-conditioned bears.
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Old 08-15-2014, 06:39 PM   #13
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And how do you know they are going to stop ?? Do they wink at you or smile a certain way.....just saying
Statistics. This behavior has been extensively studied (Dr Stephen Herrerro, Bear Attacks). Don't back down if it's a black bear. Even grizzlies break off their charges most of the time.

Still, it takes nerves to stand up to a charging one like 'Scoots wife did!
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Old 08-16-2014, 07:30 AM   #14
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Doreen is one cool lady.
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Old 08-16-2014, 08:47 AM   #15
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The dog riles the bear and when the angry bear goes after the dog it leads it right to its master. Man's best friend.
Yeah, that's what we've been thinking lately. Leave the dogs at home to avoid bear attacks. Sheesh!

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Black bear predatory behavior involves stalking in silence. Not wild dramatic charges. But I certainly wouldn't blame anyone for failing to distinguish between them in the moment.
I don't believe it was predatory behavior. My take is that the bear was so focused on chasing the dog away from its food source that it would not have noticed Doreen standing there had she remained still. The dogs were just sitting behind Doreen (which is likely where I would have been also had I been there ), so the bear was looking right past Doreen at the dogs until she finally got its attention.

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Statistics. This behavior has been extensively studied (Dr Stephen Herrerro, Bear Attacks). Don't back down if it's a black bear. Even grizzlies break off their charges most of the time.

Still, it takes nerves to stand up to a charging one like 'Scoots wife did!
Well, Doreen could see the "yellows of its eyes", so it could probably see her eyes as well. Take my word for it, you (or a bear) don't want to be in a stare down with my wife.
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Old 08-16-2014, 09:11 AM   #16
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I've always felt the presence of dogs discourages bears. The first ten years I had a dog with me at camp and never had any problems. Since then I've had bear problems every year.

Your bear had to be agitated to approach your wife and 2 dogs like that. Had to be protecting a kill. Very unusual bear behavior. My thought is what happens next time if its just a kid.
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Old 08-16-2014, 10:32 AM   #17
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I have a friend who took his dog on a canoe trip. The dog treed a bear right in the campsite in the middle of the night. They had to get into a canoe and launch out into the lake to get the bear to come down. Makes for good memories!
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Old 08-16-2014, 10:44 AM   #18
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I've always felt the presence of dogs discourages bears. The first ten years I had a dog with me at camp and never had any problems. Since then I've had bear problems every year.
I thought the same way until this incident. Now I'm not so sure.

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Your bear had to be agitated to approach your wife and 2 dogs like that. Had to be protecting a kill. Very unusual bear behavior. My thought is what happens next time if its just a kid.
Anyone who knows our dog Maggie knows that she is pretty much oblivious to the concept of agitation. She pretty much considers every one of God's creatures a potential new playmate, and when she saw the bear she would've run in to it. The bear would've seen that behavior as a threat to its food. The result - an agitated bear.
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Old 08-16-2014, 07:12 PM   #19
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Well, Doreen could see the "yellows of its eyes", so it could probably see her eyes as well. Take my word for it, you (or a bear) don't want to be in a stare down with my wife.
Hey, she let you get a cool new float tube last year. Been out lately?
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Old 09-26-2014, 03:31 AM   #20
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A few weeks ago my sweetie was up on the hill above the house for a walk with the dogs, Maggie and Java. As often happens, the dogs were out of sight, poking around looking for chipmunks, carrion, and whatever "good stuff" it is that dogs look for.

Then Java came barreling in and quickly circled behind Doreen and sat down, seemingly in a "protect me" mode. Because of Maggie's tendency to tangle with porcupines Doreen decided to call her in. In short order Maggie came running in at top speed (which is very, very fast). She, too, circled around Doreen and sat. Something seemed amiss.

At that moment Doreen caught some movement, looked up, and saw, following in Maggie's tracks and running at top speed, a black bear. When she first saw the bear it was an estimated 100 yards out through open woods.

Doreen waved her arms over her head, started yelling and banging a stick against a tree. The bear didn't slow down. Finally, at an estimated range of 30 feet, the bear came to an abrupt stop. With Doreen still yelling and waving, the bear proceeded to huff repeatedly while stomping its front feet against the ground. It then stood up, turned, and took several steps away, then turned back and started approaching again. Doreen continued to wave and yell, and finally the bear walked off.

My first thought on hearing of this encounter was that the bear was a sow protecting its cubs, but I wasn't too convinced. Then I thought perhaps the bear was actually looking for a meal. Again, seemed a bit far fetched.

Then last evening Doreen stumbled upon THIS article. I'm now convinced that the bear was protecting a food source, perhaps a deer killed by coyotes. Maggie, not realizing that some animals are not interested in sharing, probably tried to crash the dinner party.

I'm also convinced that if Doreen had frozen, rather than wave and yell, the bear would have come straight in to the dogs, which it probably at first thought were simply sitting behind a (rather noisy and lively) tree stump. I hate to even contemplate what might have happened next.

I'd be interested in hearing others' thoughts on what led to this encounter.
Very similar incident in California with a different outcome.

http://news.msn.com/us/california-wo...in-bear-attack
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