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Lions, and Tigers and Bears.. Oh MY!

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  • singlespeedco1
    The conversation about where to store your bear canister got me to wondering. What are the areas to avoid (or go to) for camping, that have regular bear
    Message 1 of 22 , Feb 7 7:28 PM
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      The conversation about where to store your bear canister got me to wondering.  What are the areas to avoid (or go to) for camping, that have regular bear encounters.  I am guessing that LYV is one, but what other areas have a high probability of having a close encounter of the bear kind?

      Thanks,

      JJ
    • johndittli
      Lyell Fork, thousand Island Lake, Mammoth Lakes, Kearsarge Lakes JD
      Message 2 of 22 , Feb 7 7:31 PM
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        Lyell Fork, thousand Island Lake, Mammoth Lakes, Kearsarge Lakes


        JD


      • Robert
        Clouds Rest Jct., Lyell Canyon, Kearsarge Lakes, Charlotte Lake, Vidette Meadows, Rae Lakes, Thousand Island Lake.
        Message 3 of 22 , Feb 7 7:38 PM
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          Clouds Rest Jct., Lyell Canyon, Kearsarge Lakes, Charlotte Lake, Vidette Meadows, Rae Lakes, Thousand Island Lake.

          --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, <johndittli@...> wrote:
          >
          > Lyell Fork, thousand Island Lake, Mammoth Lakes, Kearsarge Lakes
          >
          >
          > JD
          >
        • katyjepsen1
          JJ, Have you ever encountered a bear before? The first few times can be scary...but really...they are way more afraid of you than you are of them. They re kind
          Message 4 of 22 , Feb 7 11:25 PM
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            JJ, Have you ever encountered a bear before? The first few times can be scary...but really...they are way more afraid of you than you are of them. They're kind of harmless. Just clap and hollar at them and they go away. I'm guessing with a draught year they'll be petty frisky this year looking for food. 

          • Joe MacLeish
            You must have met some pussy bears. My bears stood up and roared, really, at me. I threw rocks, banged pots and yelled. They (2 bigs and a small) took my
            Message 5 of 22 , Feb 8 12:20 AM
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              You must have met some pussy bears.  My bears stood up and roared, really, at me.  I threw rocks, banged pots and yelled.  They (2 bigs and a small) took my food and roared their displeasure at my disturbing their activities.  I crawled back into my tent and hiked out foodless the next day.  This was about twenty years ago so maybe today's bears are wusses but these were not afraid of me.

              Joe

               

              From: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com [mailto:johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of katyjepsen1@...
              Sent: Friday, February 07, 2014 11:25 PM
              To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [John Muir Trail] RE: Lions, and Tigers and Bears.. Oh MY!

               

               

              JJ, Have you ever encountered a bear before? The first few times can be scary...but really...they are way more afraid of you than you are of them. They're kind of harmless. Just clap and hollar at them and they go away. I'm guessing with a draught year they'll be petty frisky this year looking for food. 

            • berdomb
              Bears dont want anything to do with you The do want your food, really bad If all you had to eat was grubs, worms, ants, nuts, berries......and then you got
              Message 6 of 22 , Feb 8 4:49 AM
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                Bears dont want anything to do with you

                The do want your food, really bad


                If all you had to eat was grubs, worms, ants, nuts, berries......and then you got hold a couple snickers bars, you would devote your life to getting as many snickers as possible.  Thats exactly what the bears do. They have to eat non stop to get enough calories from the foods in their environment.  They can get it from a human foodbag in 10 minutes.   No brainer for them.


              • Rick
                ... I m curious, what do you mean by Bear Encounter? You see them? (good) They make a mess of camp? (bad) Or other? I ve seen bears but never been bothered
                Message 7 of 22 , Feb 8 7:38 AM
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                  --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Robert" <rnperky@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Clouds Rest Jct., Lyell Canyon, Kearsarge Lakes, Charlotte Lake, Vidette Meadows, Rae Lakes, Thousand Island Lake.

                  I'm curious, what do you mean by Bear Encounter? You see them? (good) They make a mess of camp? (bad) Or other? I've seen bears but never been "bothered" by them. Is that an encounter?
                  Rick
                  > >
                  >
                • Robert
                  Hi Rick. You will be lucky if you get a chance to see a bear on your JMT trip! I have only been growled at one time in all of my years of hiking in the
                  Message 8 of 22 , Feb 8 8:48 AM
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                    Hi Rick. You will be 'lucky' if you get a chance to see a bear on your JMT trip! I have only been growled at one time in all of my years of hiking in the Sierras, and it was with a 'red tagged' bear and cub at the Clouds Rest junction many years ago. I had 2 new hikers that decided to scrimp on one bear can between them, ( after being told repeatedly to bring 2 ), and they had to hang their extra food. They used to 'red tag' the ears of what Yosemite called 'nuisance' bears, and the mom and cub took turns climbing the tree and 'banzai' jumping at the hanging bag. After the first two failed attempts by the bears we tried to scare them away with lots of clapping, shouting ect., but momma bear felt threatened and gave us a warning growl, and went about her business of getting to the bag, which she got on her second 'banzai' jump! Moral of the story: don't mess with momma bear, don't attempt to hang your food in Yosemite!

                    Every other encounter has been very benign. They go about their business, and you go about yours! I got a real treat last summer at Lower Tent Meadows, ( not on the JMT ), of being able to watch a bear rooting around for about 5 minutes while waiting on some fellow hikers. He wasn't fazed by me at all! Very cool! There are some photos taken by someone at BPL that shows a bear swimming in Thousand Island Lake. I will try to find them and post the link.

                    Keep your food and first aid kit in your bear can and you won't have any issues. They will occasionally check out your backpack if it is away from you. I have mine under my head when I sleep so I don't even give it a second thought.

                    --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Rick" <rpjernberg@...> wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Robert" <rnperky@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > Clouds Rest Jct., Lyell Canyon, Kearsarge Lakes, Charlotte Lake, Vidette Meadows, Rae Lakes, Thousand Island Lake.
                    >
                    > I'm curious, what do you mean by Bear Encounter? You see them? (good) They make a mess of camp? (bad) Or other? I've seen bears but never been "bothered" by them. Is that an encounter?
                    > Rick
                    > > >
                    > >
                    >
                  • Robert
                    Here is the BPL link to Thousand Island Lake swimming bear. Scroll down a little to find it:
                    Message 9 of 22 , Feb 8 9:09 AM
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                      Here is the BPL link to Thousand Island Lake swimming bear. Scroll down a little to find it:

                      http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=18628&startat=100

                      --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Robert" <rnperky@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Hi Rick. You will be 'lucky' if you get a chance to see a bear on your JMT trip! I have only been growled at one time in all of my years of hiking in the Sierras, and it was with a 'red tagged' bear and cub at the Clouds Rest junction many years ago. I had 2 new hikers that decided to scrimp on one bear can between them, ( after being told repeatedly to bring 2 ), and they had to hang their extra food. They used to 'red tag' the ears of what Yosemite called 'nuisance' bears, and the mom and cub took turns climbing the tree and 'banzai' jumping at the hanging bag. After the first two failed attempts by the bears we tried to scare them away with lots of clapping, shouting ect., but momma bear felt threatened and gave us a warning growl, and went about her business of getting to the bag, which she got on her second 'banzai' jump! Moral of the story: don't mess with momma bear, don't attempt to hang your food in Yosemite!
                      >
                      > Every other encounter has been very benign. They go about their business, and you go about yours! I got a real treat last summer at Lower Tent Meadows, ( not on the JMT ), of being able to watch a bear rooting around for about 5 minutes while waiting on some fellow hikers. He wasn't fazed by me at all! Very cool! There are some photos taken by someone at BPL that shows a bear swimming in Thousand Island Lake. I will try to find them and post the link.
                      >
                      > Keep your food and first aid kit in your bear can and you won't have any issues. They will occasionally check out your backpack if it is away from you. I have mine under my head when I sleep so I don't even give it a second thought.
                      >
                      > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Rick" <rpjernberg@> wrote:
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Robert" <rnperky@> wrote:
                      > > >
                      > > > Clouds Rest Jct., Lyell Canyon, Kearsarge Lakes, Charlotte Lake, Vidette Meadows, Rae Lakes, Thousand Island Lake.
                      > >
                      > > I'm curious, what do you mean by Bear Encounter? You see them? (good) They make a mess of camp? (bad) Or other? I've seen bears but never been "bothered" by them. Is that an encounter?
                      > > Rick
                      > > > >
                      > > >
                      > >
                      >
                    • johndittli
                      I m with Robert, seeing a bear is more of a treat then a given. I think I can still count on one hand, well maybe two hands, the number of bears I ve seen in
                      Message 10 of 22 , Feb 8 9:33 AM
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                        I'm with Robert, seeing a bear is more of a treat then a given. I think I can still count on one hand, well maybe two hands, the number of bears I've seen in the Sierra backcountry. Three of those were in a single day in November along the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne!


                        JD

                      • John Ladd
                        ... The difference is huge. And it s thanks to us all carrying the bearcans. You don t carry a bearcan anymore so much to protect your food. One person today
                        Message 11 of 22 , Feb 8 10:30 AM
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                          On Sat, Feb 8, 2014 at 12:20 AM, Joe MacLeish <jmacleish@...> wrote:

                          This was about twenty years ago so maybe today's bears are wusses but these were not afraid of me.

                          Joe


                          The difference is huge. And it's thanks to us all carrying the bearcans. 

                          You don't carry a bearcan anymore so much to protect your food. One person today (if not caught by a ranger) probably could get away with hanging food and have a small chance of food loss. You carry the can to protect us all from a return to the days when the bears were food-accustomed. It's kind of like immunization - 100% of us are protected because 95% of us follow the rules.

                          The changes in bear aggressiveness over the time since bearcan requirements are documented in this post from last year when I did a review of the numbers,



                          John Curran Ladd
                          1616 Castro Street
                          San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
                          415-648-9279
                        • Robert
                          Great info John! I didn t realize there was such a high bear/human incident rate before. Bear cans have definitely made for a better nights sleep as well, not
                          Message 12 of 22 , Feb 8 10:40 AM
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                            Great info John! I didn't realize there was such a high bear/human incident rate before. Bear cans have definitely made for a better nights sleep as well, not having to sleep light and scare them away in the middle of the night!

                            --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > On Sat, Feb 8, 2014 at 12:20 AM, Joe MacLeish <jmacleish@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > > This was about twenty years ago so maybe today's bears are wusses but
                            > > these were not afraid of me.
                            > >
                            > > Joe
                            > >
                            >
                            > The difference is huge. And it's thanks to us all carrying the bearcans.
                            >
                            > You don't carry a bearcan anymore so much to protect your food. One person
                            > today (if not caught by a ranger) probably could get away with hanging food
                            > and have a small chance of food loss. You carry the can to protect us all
                            > from a return to the days when the bears were food-accustomed. It's kind of
                            > like immunization - 100% of us are protected because 95% of us follow the
                            > rules.
                            >
                            > The changes in bear aggressiveness over the time since bearcan requirements
                            > are documented in this post from last year when I did a review of the
                            > numbers,
                            >
                            > https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/johnmuirtrail/conversations/topics/31304
                            >
                            >
                            > John Curran Ladd
                            > 1616 Castro Street
                            > San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
                            > 415-648-9279
                            >
                          • Joe MacLeish
                            I agree with you completely on the effect of the bearcans. It was a normal occurrence to have to deal with bears before bearcans. Since bearcans I have had
                            Message 13 of 22 , Feb 8 11:45 AM
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                              I agree with you completely on the effect of the bearcans.  It was a normal occurrence to have to deal with bears before bearcans.  Since bearcans I have had zero occurrences of bears in my camps.

                              Joe 

                               

                              From: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com [mailto:johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of John Ladd
                              Sent: Saturday, February 08, 2014 10:31 AM
                              To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] RE: Lions, and Tigers and Bears.. Oh MY!

                               

                               

                              On Sat, Feb 8, 2014 at 12:20 AM, Joe MacLeish <jmacleish@...> wrote:

                              This was about twenty years ago so maybe today's bears are wusses but these were not afraid of me.

                              Joe


                              The difference is huge. And it's thanks to us all carrying the bearcans. 

                               

                              You don't carry a bearcan anymore so much to protect your food. One person today (if not caught by a ranger) probably could get away with hanging food and have a small chance of food loss. You carry the can to protect us all from a return to the days when the bears were food-accustomed. It's kind of like immunization - 100% of us are protected because 95% of us follow the rules.

                               

                              The changes in bear aggressiveness over the time since bearcan requirements are documented in this post from last year when I did a review of the numbers,

                               



                              John Curran Ladd
                              1616 Castro Street
                              San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
                              415-648-9279

                            • ravi_jmt2013
                              Bear cans must be having a major impact. I did not see or hear a single bear on my JMT hike last year and my bear can was never moved. Along the Appalachian
                              Message 14 of 22 , Feb 8 12:27 PM
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                                Bear cans must be having a major impact. I did not see or hear a single bear on my JMT hike last year and my bear can was never moved.  Along the Appalachian trail, it seems to be more common to see bears.  Very few hikers use canisters and many who do not stay at shelters make a poor attempt to hang food.  On my first day hike in Shenandoah National Park after hiking the JMT, I encountered a small bear less than a half mile from a popular trailhead.  The bear ran away but seemed habituated to humans given where it was.   Still, I have never felt threatened by bears in any way.  If I wanted to force myself to worry about wildlife, I would worry much more about the stalking mountain lions than bears. 

                              • brucelem12
                                The swimming bear photo is awesome Robert! The Puffball photo one forum page earlier is pretty cool too, (a weird alien mushroom like growth).
                                Message 15 of 22 , Feb 8 1:15 PM
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                                  The swimming bear photo is awesome Robert! The Puffball photo one forum page earlier is pretty cool too, (a weird alien mushroom like growth).
                                • Robert
                                  Yeah Bruce, I have never seen anything like that white snowflakey looking fungus! The whole thread is kind of cool if you like seeing photos to whet your
                                  Message 16 of 22 , Feb 8 1:48 PM
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                                    Yeah Bruce, I have never seen anything like that white snowflakey looking fungus! The whole thread is kind of cool if you like seeing photos to whet your appetite for this summer! I have yet to run across a swimming bear yet, but that would be cool!!

                                    --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, brucelem12 <no_reply@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > The swimming bear photo is awesome Robert! The Puffball photo one forum page earlier is pretty cool too, (a weird alien mushroom like growth).
                                    >
                                  • Jay Jackson
                                    Thanks for all the advice. Most of my bear encounters have been in Yellowstone, where they grow them a little bigger than in the Sierras. Most of mine have
                                    Message 17 of 22 , Feb 8 2:51 PM
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                                      Thanks for all the advice.  Most of my bear encounters have been in Yellowstone, where they grow them a little bigger than in the Sierras. Most of mine have been from a car, but  I have been close to a few grizzlies at Yellowstone.  I asked because I would rather not be woken up in the middle of the  night by a curious bear.  What can I say... I like my sleep.


                                      On Sat, Feb 8, 2014 at 2:48 PM, Robert <rnperky@...> wrote:
                                       

                                      Yeah Bruce, I have never seen anything like that white snowflakey looking fungus! The whole thread is kind of cool if you like seeing photos to whet your appetite for this summer! I have yet to run across a swimming bear yet, but that would be cool!!



                                      --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, brucelem12 <no_reply@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > The swimming bear photo is awesome Robert! The Puffball photo one forum page earlier is pretty cool too, (a weird alien mushroom like growth).
                                      >


                                    • Rick
                                      ... Rick
                                      Message 18 of 22 , Feb 8 4:25 PM
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                                        --- Thanks for the feedback - it confirms what I suspected; bear "problems" are not something to lay/lie? awake at night about. Saw one blog where the person was sad because he never got to see a bear on the JMT. I've seen enough at Tahoe and Yosemite Valley.
                                        Rick
                                      • johndittli
                                        I once met a German guy near the end of the trail and he was very disappointed he hadn t seen a bear. I told him just to go hang out at a dumpster in Mammoth
                                        Message 19 of 22 , Feb 8 4:45 PM
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                                          I once met a German guy near the end of the trail and he was very disappointed he hadn't seen a bear. I told him just to go hang out at a dumpster in Mammoth on a Saturday night!


                                          John

                                        • fred_brockman
                                          I was incredibly lucky. I saw 7 bears in 48 hours last September going out of Crescent Meadows on the High Sierra Trail. The highlight was watching two cubs
                                          Message 20 of 22 , Feb 8 7:11 PM
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                                            I was incredibly lucky.  I saw 7 bears in 48 hours last September going out of Crescent Meadows on the High Sierra Trail.  The highlight was watching two cubs (learning) and a sow up in a sugar pine harvesting cones by either grabbing, bouncing branches to detach them, and gnawing through branches to drop the branch to the ground.  I watched 45 minutes until the bears descended, and counted well over 50 cones that they harvested. I live in the mountains of Oregon and see bears every year on my property but had never seen cone harvesting behavior before.

                                            fred

                                          • cehauser1
                                            Thanks to John Ladd and Joe MacLeish for confirming my hunch that bear cans have made a HUGE change to bear behavior in the Sierras. It is amazing, and SO
                                            Message 21 of 22 , Feb 8 7:34 PM
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                                              Thanks to John Ladd and Joe MacLeish for confirming my hunch that bear cans have made a HUGE change to bear behavior in the Sierras.  It is amazing, and SO worth the couple of pounds to carry to bear canister.

                                              Chris. 
                                            • hmdsierra
                                              The most bears I ve seen were on the HST too. My friend an I did a week and saw a sow and two cubs on the way up the hill to Lodgeplle. Another three the
                                              Message 22 of 22 , Feb 18 6:24 PM
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                                                The most bears I've seen were on the HST too.  My friend an I did a week and saw a sow and two cubs on the way up the hill to Lodgeplle.  Another three the nest day at Ninemile Ck.  Another two or three at Redwood Mdwl  And finally a lone bear on the way out along the river.   I too now live in Oregon so miss the Sierras.
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