Re: black bears
Ken Weir (weir@SCIEX.COM)
Fri, 16 Jun 1995 12:11:38 -0400
Pete Farnham wrote:
> Shendoah National Park has one of the healthiest black bear
> populations on the East Coast, with over 300 such animals 90 minutes
> from DC. I've camped there extensively, and have had several close
> encounters. They have always been around established car-campgrounds,
> Some of the bears figure out that car-campgrounds are where lots of
> food is. I've had bears raid garbage cans at my campsite, and have
> seen them bat around ice chests in an effort to open them. I've also
> had one come into our camp as we were preparing dinner and take a loaf
> of bread off the picnic table, wander off into the bushes and eat it.
> Bears that get that fearless get shot with a sleep dart and
> transported to a remote part of the park.
> However, I've only seen one in the backcountry--and that was only a
> fleeting glimpse. We saw each other at the same time, and the bear
> disappeared immediately.
> The precautions of hanging food (and anything smelly, like soap), not
> keeping anything aromatic in your tent, etc. are all sound, and one
> would do well to follow them in bear country. In general, though,
> black bears are shy, retiring creatures and you should consider
> yourself lucky to see one in the backcountry.
> I must confess,I am skeptical about the 1991 case involving a couple
> supposedly stalked and eaten by a black bear mentioned by one of our
> colleagues earlier this afternoon. Such behavior is highly atypical
> for black bears, in my experience. Not knowing anything else about
> the story, I suspect the culprit was probably a grizzly or brown bear,
> and our colleague's source for this story was mistaken.
It should also be noted that ALL BEARS CAN CLIMB, so hanging your food,
although it is safer for you, may not make the food any safer. :-)
My experience with Black bears has shown me that upon encountering them
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City