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Grizzly Mauling in Denali

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Grizzly Mauling in Denali

Postby Alpinist » Mon Aug 27, 2012 2:23 pm

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Re: Gizzly Mauling in Denali

Postby Alpinist » Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:59 pm

Some people seem to forget what the wild means in wildlife. These beautiful animals should be admired from a distance. I never felt afraid of the many bears I've seen but I always respect them and never encroach on their space.
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Re: Gizzly Mauling in Denali

Postby Bob Sihler » Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:31 pm

tahoecedar wrote:I don't think I would get that close purposely


It sounds as though the guy intentionally got that close, but in places like Glacier and Yellowstone where there is a lot more tree cover, you quite often encounter grizzlies at less than 50 yards. Two running grizzlies once crossed my path at no more than 10 yards. They ignored me, but they were so close that I could not have used my pepper spray or dropped and rolled up in time.

As they say, though, grizzlies are unpredictable, which is why when you encounter one at close range, you calmly put distance between you and the bear. If the grizzly knows you're there, they say, then you're too close. I say this not to dump on the killed man but to remind other people of this.
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Re: Grizzly Mauling in Denali

Postby Alpinist » Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:47 pm

You know, it's not just bears either. People will crowd around moose, elk, bison, etc. along the side of the road in our national parks, taking pictures less than 20 feet from the animal. People might be able to get away with that 9 times out of 10 as the animals become accustomed to humans but that animal could decide to teach them a lesson at any time.
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Re: Grizzly Mauling in Denali

Postby Alpinist » Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:42 pm

HooBoy, now there's a heart stopper. He must have had his gun out and ready. Otherwise, he wouldn't have time to draw it. I don't know about pepper spray. I give it a 50-50 chance of working. That's if you were holding it and ready and the wind is blowing the right way.
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Re: Grizzly Mauling in Denali

Postby MoapaPk » Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:43 pm

I have to think that a loud, loud noise is one of the best defenses. People have used airhorns to repel black bears. I wonder what the research is on this?
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Re: Grizzly Mauling in Denali

Postby Bob Sihler » Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:46 pm

MoapaPk wrote:I have to think that a loud, loud noise is one of the best defenses. People have used airhorns to repel black bears. I wonder what the research is on this?


I don't if there is much research on it, but I do know a guy who lives and works (he is part of an outfitting group) in one of the thickest grizzly areas in the Lower 48, and he carries an airhorn, not a gun or spray.

It's not going to be much of a defense in the event of a charge, though. Instead, it would be effective to announce your presence where surprise encounters are likely.
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Re: Grizzly Mauling in Denali

Postby chugach mtn boy » Sat Sep 08, 2012 12:02 am

Bob Sihler wrote:
MoapaPk wrote:I have to think that a loud, loud noise is one of the best defenses. People have used airhorns to repel black bears. I wonder what the research is on this?


I don't if there is much research on it, but I do know a guy who lives and works (he is part of an outfitting group) in one of the thickest grizzly areas in the Lower 48, and he carries an airhorn, not a gun or spray.

It's not going to be much of a defense in the event of a charge, though. Instead, it would be effective to announce your presence where surprise encounters are likely.


I use an air horn on an uninhabited island I visit often that has a lot of Kodiak bears (brownies). No question, the horn is extremely effective at announcing presence, especially along streams or near surf where no other sound will carry. The bears really sit up and take notice. I got the idea from Herrero's book on bear attacks, and he got it from Alaska Dept of Fish & Game people, who have to walk streams a lot.

I don't use the horn anywhere else because it is soooo obnoxious--it needs to be a place where you know there are no humans for miles around.

Like Bob, I'm doubtful that the horn would be much of a deterrent to a charging grizzly. My daughter, who does field geology and is starting to far exceed me in bear experience, tells me sound alone doesn't generally do it--you need an audio-visual experience for the bear, such as bear bangers or loud hissy flares. Personally, I carry the pepper spray based on lots of testimonials that it's worked extremely well for quite a few people. The only animal I've ever sprayed with it, though, is myself. :cry:
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Re: Grizzly Mauling in Denali

Postby MoapaPk » Sat Sep 08, 2012 1:09 am

It would be nice to have something like a bear banger, but one that didn't require a delivery system. I've known people to carry firecrackers to scare away wild dogs and mountain lions in canyon country... but I doubt I could keep the composure to light firecrackers at the appropriate time (or to keep the woods from burning down after, or deal with carrying what are basically illegal goods). There are quick-light flares, but I can also see how that could go horribly wrong. Hand-held marine flares are supposed to be relatively safe, and weigh as little as 5oz each (but last about 1 minute only).

My former boss did field work in the Aleutians, and used bear spray a few times, mainly as brown bears started to hang around camp a little too much (and too close)-- he was sold on the idea.
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Re: Grizzly Mauling in Denali

Postby rebelgrizz » Sat Sep 08, 2012 3:57 am

My wife and I encountered a grizzly sow and two almost full-grown cubs descending a trail in the Whitefish Range this past Wednesday afternoon. This was a surprise encounter at about 25-30 yards as they were coming up the trail we were descending...a well-timed clap by my wife probably saved us from having to use our bear spray (at the least). We always make lots of noise as we hike, but a slight bend in the trail and throw in some vegetation sticking out over the trail and we almost ran into each other. Fortunately, the loud clap at that distance, sent the three of them careening down the trail (yes, that was the way we had to go to get back to the truck) and we never saw or heard them again. Needless to say, we were even louder the rest of the 3+ miles back to the truck. The moral of the story...Whenever you think that you're making enough noise, you probably aren't, so make some more. Man, it was absolutely breathtaking in more ways than one!!!!
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Re: Grizzly Mauling in Denali

Postby MoapaPk » Sat Sep 08, 2012 9:15 pm

Out here the southwest, our main concern is mountain lions. The ranges (like Sheep Mountains) are very desolate; I have no compunctions about roaring very loudly every 30-60 seconds, so I will not seem like typical prey.

However, I have tried that trick in the Panamints before sunrise, and later realized that I had walked through a campsite at 5AM on a November morn, roaring at the top of my lungs. I snuck back through there sheepishly at the end of the day, with the campers eyeing me warily.

I wonder if those high-pitched jogger alarms would irritate bears, in a positive way?
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Re: Grizzly Mauling in Denali

Postby Tonka » Sat Sep 08, 2012 9:29 pm

I came across the remains of a hiker on my last trip to Alaska.

Image
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Re: Grizzly Mauling in Denali

Postby MoapaPk » Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:59 pm

Tonka, that looks like a chocolate-almond Clif bar.
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