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Thread: Bears

  1. #41
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    Default Re: Bears

    My experiences only as a tourist in a foreign country but my bear experiences nonetheless.

    Best experience was some quiet 'used to idiot tourist' type black bears at the Trail of 100 Giants walk at Sequoia/Kings Canyon NP back in late May 2011. That year was a very hefty snowpack on the Sierras and there was feet deep snow remaining at the mid altitude part of Sequoia. My partner and I arrived at the car park to find just a single people mover van there with some overly boistrous what must have been school leavers as they looked like they were 14 but all had these huge sized cans of beer to hand. We passed them 100 yards from the car park and one yelled back "it's just a bunch of old dying trees". We ignored them and slowly made our way down what appeared to the the track although the snow drift still had large sections covered. AS we ventured past the massive timber columns of the giant sequoias we noted how insanely quiet it had become with low cloud blanketing the tree canopies and thick snow in many large patches we had never experienced such silence before being snow starved Australians.

    Further down the trail my partner halted right in front of me and I walked right into her back. About 140 yards ahead a large black bear cub was plodding it's way through the snow towards us! I quickly switched my camera lens to the 70-200mm (first and last time it was a really smooth and silent transition) and began shooting as the cub advanced towards us seemingly without any regard for our presence which we certain it knew about. We held our ground as the snow either side of the trail was too deep to make any kind of escape and we knew remaining stationary was the best plan. It wandered to within 6 meters of us then saw us at the last minute, clearly unaware we were right there. It panicked and semi-tripped loosing it's footing in part as it made it's way onto the snow off the trail edge, regained it's footing and leaped onto a tree trunk only 20 feet to our left. It climbed slowly to about 20 feet above us and began wailing. I took a few seconds more for another set of frames then we knew it was time to move on and leave the cub well alone.

    With hearts pounding and wondering if/when mumma bear might appear we scarpered back towards the car park. It seemed ages making our way back at a very quiet but rapid walking pace until we saw a park ranger holding his hands out signalling to us to slow down / calm down. We met in a wide open clearing and he said he had watched the encounter from some way back on the trail. He commended us on not taking flight and for retreating at the first possible moment. We walked back to the car park and he suggest he guide us along the opposite loop trail as he had seem a cinnamon black bear only hours before and we were still keen to see bears after our encounter. The ranger lead us right around the back of the loop trail to where the bear was spotted in an open patch of melt exposed meadow rooting for food. We observed the bear for maybe 20 mins and I took some photos with the 300mm/4 lens I was carrying all among these mighty sequoia trees. One of favorite overseas travel experiences - the silence of it all, the closeness of it all and the serendipitous nature of it all.

    Worst bear experience was in Banff NP in June 2017. We came across a might 'Bear Jam' on the Icefields Parkway deep into the National Park. We had experienced Bear Jams before in Glacier NP on that same trip but this was something else. There was really skinny grizzly cub maybe weaned first year from it's mother trudging through the brown straw grass on the roadside with approx. 120 people following it like it was Forrest Gump on one of his epic runs. People were heading it off trying to get it to stand still for their phone cameras, more were pulling up and double parking in the middle of the road - it was a proper bear jam. As we crawled past this scene with inches to spare either side of our hire car a Jeep 4x4 came from the opposite direction too fast and braked hard loosing traction on the wet road surface and piled into half a dozen cars on the opposite side of the road in front of us. One guy had both legs broken and his passenger who was still in the car needed to be airlifted back to Calgary. That bear jam cost us half a day lost travel time but we missed the oncoming Jeep by a matter of three car lengths.

    Black-Bear-cub-in-tree-email.jpg

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  2. #42
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    Default Re: Bears

    Quote Originally Posted by open roader View Post
    My experiences only as a tourist in a foreign country but my bear experiences nonetheless....
    Good ranger. Thankless job. I have always been impressed with their skills whenever I have met one.

    Just switched out the SD cards on the game cameras and found a nice video on one of them. Always a bit like Christmas looking through the files. Click on the image to see the video.

    Last edited by j44ke; 06-26-2022 at 08:59 PM.
    Jorn Ake
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  3. #43
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    Default Re: Bears

    Jorn,

    This is priceless and has truly made my day. Many thanks for posting.

  4. #44
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    Default Re: Bears

    Thanks for sharing that great little video Jorn, made my day too.
    --
    T h o m a s

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    Default Re: Bears

    In a world full of awfulness that made me smile. Thanks for that.

  6. #46
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    Default Re: Bears

    not the momma

    (click on pic to see video)



    Same camera at same distance as mom and the 3 rascals above. Guesses on weight? He's not quite as big as the one that walked across the road in front of us a few years ago, but he's a close 2nd.
    Last edited by j44ke; 07-01-2022 at 09:23 PM.
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    Default Re: Bears

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    not the momma
    Very cool, but with every one of these bear videos you post, in my imagination the plate-glass of your floor-to-ceiling windows and doors gets a bit thinner and thinner...

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    Default Re: Bears

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    Guesses on weight?
    180 kilograms wringing wet. Not much fat there, he is all muscle and thick pelt.

  9. #49
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    Default Re: Bears

    Quote Originally Posted by open roader View Post
    180 kilograms wringing wet. Not much fat there, he is all muscle and thick pelt.
    I bet that's about right. That would probably make the one that stopped our car (or rather, I stopped the car because he wasn't inclined to move out of the road with any alacrity) over 200kg. Really looked like a refrigerator on 4 legs.
    Last edited by j44ke; 07-02-2022 at 01:53 PM.
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    Default Re: Bears

    In 2017 we had the true pleasure of visiting Glacier NP in the first week of June.

    I managed to peel off some shots of this Grizzly Bear mother and twin cubs. 300/4 lens and at least 220 yards most likely 250 yards away. We spotted her a good 150 feet above the Going to the Sun Road in a very precipitous section above St Mary Lake.

    As it happened a ranger drove by and pulled out his tracker aerial, turns out this mother bear was wearing a collar and was a multiple season successful breeder so it was possible both cubs might survive according to the ranger. He said this girl was in the vicinity of 265kg if my LBS to KG conversion was accurate. Apparently she would stack on another 50kg by fall if she found the summer good going.

    Grizzly-mother-and-cubs-Glacier-NP-Going-to-the-Sun-Rd-June-6-2017.jpg

    Grizzly-mother-and-cubs-Glacier-NP-Going-to-the-Sun-Rd-June-6th-2017.jpg

  11. #51
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    Default Re: Bears

    Quote Originally Posted by Mabouya View Post
    Very cool, but with every one of these bear videos you post, in my imagination the plate-glass of your floor-to-ceiling windows and doors gets a bit thinner and thinner...
    Bear walked across the porch while we were sitting at the table looking out the window yesterday evening. Air horn works.

    State Game is saying very high number of bears in our area this year. Lack of consistent rain is driving them down to the valleys for water. The Lawn & Garden owner says they will head into the corn as soon as it is ready. A bear can eat a lot of corn and trample a lot of stalks in the process.
    Last edited by j44ke; 07-05-2022 at 08:17 AM.
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  12. #52
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    Default Re: Bears

    A little stroll through my neighborhood the other day.



    Brian McLaughlin

  13. #53
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    Default Re: Bears

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    Bear walked across the porch while we were sitting at the table looking out the window yesterday evening. Air horn works.

    State Game is saying very high number of bears in our area this year. Lack of consistent rain is driving them down to the valleys for water. The Lawn & Garden owner says they will head into the corn as soon as it is ready. A bear can eat a lot of corn and trample a lot of stalks in the process.
    I hope all of them (the bears) can make it through the season

    A few weeks ago, a young black bear who must have followed a creek that eventually empties into Lake Michigan crossed a local 6-lane expressway around midnight and was struck by and killed at the scene.

    The location is quite close to the more built-up areas of Milwaukee, so the presence of the bear was a bit unexpected.

    There's always something a bit sad when a bear meets its demise in such a manner...

  14. #54
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    Default Re: Bears

    Quote Originally Posted by echappist View Post
    I hope all of them (the bears) can make it through the season

    A few weeks ago, a young black bear who must have followed a creek that eventually empties into Lake Michigan crossed a local 6-lane expressway around midnight and was struck by and killed at the scene.

    The location is quite close to the more built-up areas of Milwaukee, so the presence of the bear was a bit unexpected.

    There's always something a bit sad when a bear meets its demise in such a manner...
    It's heartbreaking. It's sad to see the usual carcasses around here - porcs, raccoons, and opossums - but whenever I see a fox, coyote, beaver, or bear dead on the side of the road I have trouble getting over it.
    A few years ago I saw a family of otters, all dead, strewn across the road. That took some time to recover from.

  15. #55
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    Default Re: Bears

    Quote Originally Posted by echappist View Post
    I hope all of them (the bears) can make it through the season

    A few weeks ago, a young black bear who must have followed a creek that eventually empties into Lake Michigan crossed a local 6-lane expressway around midnight and was struck by and killed at the scene.

    The location is quite close to the more built-up areas of Milwaukee, so the presence of the bear was a bit unexpected.

    There's always something a bit sad when a bear meets its demise in such a manner...
    Yes, I was joking with a friend this week that a black bear’s fur is where light goes to die. They are so hard to see at night.

    Quote Originally Posted by monadnocky View Post
    It's heartbreaking. It's sad to see the usual carcasses around here - porcs, raccoons, and opossums - but whenever I see a fox, coyote, beaver, or bear dead on the side of the road I have trouble getting over it.
    A few years ago I saw a family of otters, all dead, strewn across the road. That took some time to recover from.
    I’ve never seen a bear hit, but stopped in time a few years back because a black hole suddenly appeared in front of the car (see comment above). But more than a few deer, one magnificent moose who I had seen several times on my bike, and of course myriad turtles and birds. Drivers could do a better job not hitting things with their cars.
    Last edited by thollandpe; 4 Weeks Ago at 08:52 PM.
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  16. #56
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    Default Re: Bears

    9CD45E53-5C9A-4B20-9A2B-FC8B40AB3489.jpg

    So I was doing the afternoon walk with the dog and came across this. I couldn’t figure out what happened and the remembered Jorn’s rebar. Bear related?

    Mike

    Damn sideways again!
    Mike Noble

  17. #57
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    Default Re: Bears

    Bear or (really) large stag rubbing felt off his rack.

  18. #58
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    Default Re: Bears

    Heading up to Wyoming in about two weeks. Our place has pronghorns and deer in the pastures but no predators other than coyotes. We live about 2 hours from the east entrance to Yellowstone but we're planning on parking and hiking in at Silver Gate (NE Entrance) to fish Soda Butte. Lamar Valley is the place to see wildlife, now that its seen no vehicles or masses of humanity for a while, fly fishing should take on a whole new level of adventure.
    Weight Doper

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    Default Re: Bears

    We just stayed at a house in Big Sky for 10 days and saw a grizzly and black bear. I carried bear spray on 2 or 3 hikes the family did but would love to test popping the safety cap off before employing. I read if a grizzly attacks, play dead, and if a black bear attacks, don't play dead. I know I would mix those up if either was charging but boy are they beautiful animals. We also saw 4 foxes and the bears came both times after a big rain. I'm guessing the storms brought cooler temps which encouraged the bears to come down in elevation.

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