SUMMER IS HERE
And a lot of us will be out and about in bear country.
A few things you should know:
1) There are two kinds of bears in North America
a. Black bears.
b. Grizzly bears.
2)Nnormally black bears will leave you alone unless you come across a mother and her cubs.
To protect yourself you should carry a can of bear repellent and wear small bells on your body to let the bears know you are coming. Bear repellent is a strong pepper like spray that will in most cases deter attacking bears. As the name implies most black bears are black although variations of brown are common.
The same precautions pertain to Grizzly bears but remember, Grizzly’s are more aggressive and much larger than brown bears. They tend to be very territorial and have no fear of man.
It helps to learn the signs when in bear country to determine just what bear you are liable to be dealing with. Keep your eye open for bear scat. Black bear scat tends to be rather ball like in shape and the odor is akin to human waste. You will notice berry seeds, small sticks occasionally along with grass and leaves that passed through the bear.
Grizzly bear scat is real easy to recognize. It will contain little tinkley bells and smell like a strong pepper spray.
I have some sweet bear pics that resulted because people have put out food for them over the years, trying to lure them within viewing distance of their cabins; they're great photos, and I love them, but I do wish those people would have just let the bears do their thing.
Surely I am not the only one that have slept in a car in bear country, but in doing so I made sure there was not a lot of food with me. Have seen photos of what bears can do to cars that store food in the trunk, etc. Do not leave foods in the car or better yet in the car when you are in the car sleeping.
Seriously, he was 50 or so yards away from a wild grizzly in a remote area, and he was alone. Way too close, way too remote. The grizzly was just doing what grizzlies do. People who think they are the ones that can tame nature, or that they have some special gift that allows them to get closer, well, those are the ones that wind up as scat.
Grizzlies DO eat people! Black bears are much less likely to attack a human unless they are a mommy bear protecting their young from you. If you see a baby bear you should assume mommy is near even if you don't see her.
It's not always possible to keep a safe distance away from wild animals due to dense brush, trees and the animal's natural abilities to blend in with his surroundings or if he is actively stalking you as his prey. I have had two highly unintentional and uncomfortably close encounters with bears while hiking on high-traffic pathways just to capture images of scenic waterfalls. On both instances they were black bears, but females with cubs who were wandering a distance away from their mother. They all were frequently difficult to see as they fed on berries in the dense brush and the ability to move farther away from them was very limited.
About 2 years ago, our U.S. National Parks removed their previous ban on the possession of firearms by visitors and now allow people ( who may lawfully own a firearm ) to bring them inside the park. This is not widely advertised and of course, the hunting of wild animals is prohibited. I am not a hunter and do not advocate the killing of wild animals, but, you do have a right to protect yourself IF an animal decides to attack.
I wonder where our bears have gone? Every year we've had a bear or two come check out our bird feeders but this year no sign of them. I fear that the hunters may have gotten them all :( I always keep a safe distance from them and shoot them from an elevated deck and I don't walk in the woods alone unless I have a large dog with me. I wonder about that bear repellent...would it just make the bear really mad and make it want to rip your head off if you didn't aim right?
Laura, Dogs and bears usually are mortal enemy's. Usually they will try to avoid each other but will fo sho nuf give you a chance to maybe get away. On another front, gators in Florida have developed a taste for dogs and several folks have gotten bit while walking dogs around lakes there.
Most peoples dogs are about the right size for a gator to munch on - if you visit La Chua Trail, Gainesville side of Payne's Prarie, be watchful - those critters will crawl out of the canal on your side - and for a distance can outrun a horse - which - you cannot outrun. Snakes are another "wild" animal there which you should watch for. and last, there are American Bison (buffalo) there - they are wild animals as well - and the last time I was there, the old fellow believed the trail belonged to him - not me - or anyone else as he placidly continued on his journey west. We moved off the trail - Bulls have horns and hooves - both hurt if met with your 'soft' body.