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bear protocol for winter camping

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bear protocol for winter camping

Postby ExploretheWorld » Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:43 pm

okay, so I know bears are supposed to be hibernating this time of year. my question is what is the protocol for food storage in grizzly country during the winter? I assumed it was nil and recently ignored food storage warnings in GTNP because of it. However, upon thinking about this and reading a couple pages on here, it seems like there is some concern. pages advising hikers to store food, hang, take every precaution during winter as a bear may be out stretching their legs...

what say you summitpost?

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Re: bear protocol for winter camping

Postby lcarreau » Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:11 am

Hey, Nick ? Bears typically don't WANT to stretch their legs in winter.

But, that doesn't mean you can't take the usual precautions, because then you'll develop a safer attitude for when the bears DO come to stretch their legs.

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Re: bear protocol for winter camping

Postby ExploretheWorld » Fri Jan 07, 2011 7:29 pm

in that case, at what temperature and/or time or allignment of the planets do the bears resurface from their seasonal hiatus of foraging?
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Re: bear protocol for winter camping

Postby Doublecabin » Fri Jan 07, 2011 7:43 pm

Grizzlies are not true hibernators. Sows may stay in with cubs for months but I've been told others might "stretch" every 6 weeks or less. I would guess some need to hydrate more than anything else.

Where I'm at they seem to prefer to den on cold, timbered N. Facing Slopes.

I wonder what the oods are of a bear coming out at night as opposed to a warmer day?
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Re: bear protocol for winter camping

Postby chugach mtn boy » Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:03 am

I know they theoretically come out in winter from time to time, and a very unlucky electrical worker was mauled by one on the Kenai peninsula a few winters back (daytime attack), but I've just never seen bear tracks in the snow in mid-winter--have you DC? If they come out, I doubt they venture far. And the odds are probably lowest in Jan/Feb--no more late denners out, and the ones with inadequate fat reserves hopefully haven't run out of fat yet, so just about everyone should be snug in their dens.
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Re: bear protocol for winter camping

Postby Arthur Digbee » Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:13 am

Supposedly they're quite easy to wake even when sleeping in winter. A bear researcher I met a few years back said that's why it's important to have at least one overweight grad student on the team. :shock:

Can't speak for the Northern Rockies, but bear protocol in the Appalachians is to assume they're active year-round. chugach mtn boy's story about Kenai suggests you're probably best off assuming that everywhere.
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