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Schroder
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PostWed Feb 28, 2018 10:27 am 
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CarriesNineFires wrote:
Cascade bears don't stalk people, nor do Cascade cougars. At least not with the intention of attacking.

I've had many cougar encounters and one as close as 2 feet but there was one incident during the winter when I was snowshoeing alone that I was stalked and he was aggressive enough that I stopped and faced him with ice axe in hand.  He finally turned and ran.  Likewise with bears.  There's always an exception.
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PostWed Feb 28, 2018 11:05 am 
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Had an unusual encounter with a bear this summer just north of Troutdale on the Pct.   Came down the trail to find a woman(snack pack I think was her name) pointing to something.  At the time I thought it was my buddy as it was near where we had decided to camp.  So I keep coming without really looking around.  When I got within 10 feet of her, 20 yards off trail there is the bear eating huckleberry's.   Surprised of course, this lasted for around 20-30 seconds when the bear looks up and starts to walk directly at us.  Me and snack pack then proceed to walk backward down the trail away from the bear.  Talking loudly but not yelling to each other.  Bear hits the trail and we're now around 20 yards away from it down the trail.  Bear then follows us down trail for around 15-20 ft while we continue to retreat.   Bear then flips a 180 and  starts walking away, and we go around a corner and loose sight of it.   We don't see the bear again ,and neither does her partner who was 20 minutes behind us.  So what kind of behavior was this?
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wanderwild
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PostWed Feb 28, 2018 11:40 am 
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HermitThrush wrote:
I suppose many of the things we perceive are animals (biological sense of predators?) but do you suppose our senses may be tuned in to something else in some places? I'm a committed Christian - consequently, I believe, at least to some extent, that there are levels of reality we can't see, but that sometimes we can perceive. Could that be part of it?

I'm not a very religious person myself, but I hold similar beliefs smile.gif

But for the most part, I attribute the feeling to animals, and the biological ability to perceive threats without directly hearing or seeing them. I've hiked solo many times, at all hours. Often times my mind wanders into spooky thoughts, but I can count only 2 or 3 times when I had this feeling of being watched/followed/stalked. These times stick out from the general boogie man vibes. It is an acute and real feeling that seems to come from something outside of myself rather than from a cycle of paranoia in my own head. Being able to distinguish between the two in real time is no easy task, though!

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Bernardo
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PostWed Feb 28, 2018 8:12 pm 
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I think a key aspect of this is that there was not even a hint of aggressive behavior.  Black bears are known for bluff charges when agitated, but this bear seems to have just been wandering. Not even a hint of a charge.  Is it possible the bear was slightly intoxicated from overripe berries?  Or maybe it was half blind?  Or was curious and then perceived a risk?  I had a bear walk towards me this summer through brush.  Seemed to be following my exact trail.  Maybe it was curious.  Once it realized I was there it did a similar turn and was gone.
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Bernardo
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PostWed Feb 28, 2018 8:13 pm 
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Schroder wrote:
There's always an exception

Agree with that!
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Malachai Constant
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PostWed Feb 28, 2018 8:16 pm 
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There are predatory attacks which involve stalking rare here but more common in Canada and Alaska.

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Bernardo
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PostWed Feb 28, 2018 8:20 pm 
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Very true.  If you are discussing the case of the blueberry eating bear, I should have added in my comments that the bear didn't seem predatory or scared/aggressive so it seems like a likely low-risk situation.  That was my point.  But there are always exceptions.
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Pyrites
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PostWed Feb 28, 2018 8:29 pm 
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Iíve walked between mom and pair of cubs. Just kept moving. Chased bear coming down trail in two feet of snow. Blah blah. Never been too worried about black bears. Heritage of being son of Father who picked huckleberries commercially.

The scariest encounter Iíve had was online, on this site. That Montana hiker, out of Helena, I think, that had a black bear following him over distance, in open country, is still spooky to me. Iíve seen bears that I thought has even worse distance eyesight than normal. There was one in E Fk Quinault in the past that I thought couldnít see decently at 40í. Was the Montana bear going downwind until it figured out object was a person?

Iím still thinking of that one.
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Bernardo
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PostWed Feb 28, 2018 9:06 pm 
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Pyrites wrote:
The scariest encounter Iíve had was online, on this site. That Montana hiker, out of Helena, I think, that had a black bear following him over distance, in open country, is still spooky to me.

I searched for this but no luck.  Do you have more details or a link?  I enjoy a good bear story.
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Julia
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PostWed Feb 28, 2018 9:09 pm 
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Eek. I had the feeling of being followed on an out-of-the-way, unknown (to most) bootpath yesterday.
Today, I went up the same route (I do often, alone) ... and there were a man's tracks on my route.  This is a heavily wooded area, remote, I haven't ever seen tracks out there before.  The tracks followed mine exactly, and it's not a real trail.
Sooo, probably it was just some random wanderer that came upon my tracks yesterday & followed them to see where they went.
But maybe I was being followed & watched.  hairy.gif
Either way, I'm going to be more careful.

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Pyrites
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PostThu Mar 01, 2018 11:35 am 
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Bernardo wrote:
Pyrites wrote:
The scariest encounter Iíve had was online, on this site. That Montana hiker, out of Helena, I think, that had a black bear following him over distance, in open country, is still spooky to me.

I searched for this but no luck.  Do you have more details or a link?  I enjoy a good bear story.

This one, by bigskywalker.


http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8023397&highlight=bigskywalker+bear

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DadFly
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PostThu Mar 01, 2018 3:43 pm 
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About 30 years ago I was surveying in the Yaak valley which is west of Glacier Park. Very few humans go there except to log and even that was not that aggressive in those days.
We had a Shasta trailer that we set up by a creek and worked 4 10 hr days. At the end of the first day I went for a walk up the ridge above the camp. It was covered with mature lodge pole and the fall colors were just starting. I got to the ridge top and started to wander north along it to get to the terminus where I expected a great view. Along the way I kept hearing noises behind me. For the first couple times I was able to convince myself that it was just squirrels dropping cones. But it was consistent and the back of my neck started tingling.
The ridge ended at the edge of a large clear cut. The view was spectacular. I took it in for a few minutes and then dropped off the ridge to the west to hit a road that I knew would circle back to camp. I descended the 100 yards to the road and turned to look back up.
Just then a bear woofed from the top of the ridge where I had just come from and started running at me full speed.
Yeah. Freaky.
I yelled a few times and he just kept coming.
He jumped over a log and did a little tumble and came up snorting.
I looked around at my options.
Nothing to climb.
A few fist size rocks.
A pocketknife.
A young bear getting real close real fast.
In the five or so seconds I realized it was smaller than me. This by itself does not mean I could take it in a fight. It would have kicked my ass for sure.
But it didn't know that and I knew that was my only card.

When it was about twenty feet from me I lunged at him yelling as mean as I could.
He stopped and I stopped.
We were ten feet away.
He sat on his haunches and lifted his nose to sniff.
I lunged again knowing I had to emulate a badger.
He ran and I chased him for another ten feet growling like I was going to eat him.

My analysis is that he was recently kicked away from his mama and was desperately hungry.
He might not have ever seen a human before.
He knew he could smell me and didn't know that I couldn't smell him. And I kept moving away from him on my hike which is not aggressive.
He figured I was purposely evading him and was therefor probably lunchable.

The following Friday night I was down in the Swan Valley sleeping under a big spruce tree next to a beaver pond.
Up above me on the hill I heard a large whistling snort.
Then another closer and another closer still.
Finally there was a moose standing next my tree snorting. I was in my sleeping bag feeling quite vulnerable.
It moved around a tiny bit but was not acting aggressive. It was very dark and all I could see were silhouettes.
Finally it snorted again and twin calves came bounding down.
They grazed in the pond and worked their way upstream and away.

The next morning I was up in a high meadow a few miles away from my moose encounter.
I had a new camera with a macro and I was taking pictures of bees on flowers in the middle of the meadow.
I heard a snort a ways behind me.
Turning around I saw a young bull moose tentatively walking toward me about 30 yards away.
There was a dead spruce about ten yards behind me so I started walking backward toward the tree.
My moose friend broke into a run right at me.
I zipped to the tree and lunged up through the tough prickly branches getting scraped and cut. My shirt was tattered.
When my feet were about six feet off the ground he hit the tree.
The tree was dead so it moved a fair bit.
He snorted and stomped around the tree and then half trotted off.
Every part of my upper body stung and I was mildly bleeding from dozens of scrapes.

I went back to my car, drove into town and drank beer.
Apparently, these things happen in three's.

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Bernardo
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PostThu Mar 01, 2018 6:44 pm 
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Pyrites, thanks for posting the link.

DadFly, thanks for telling the tale of your bear and moose encounters.

If you want to read about another bear encounter reported on NWHikers check out Backpacker Joe's recounting of a scarey night.
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moonspots
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PostFri Mar 02, 2018 7:22 am 
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Bernardo wrote:
If you want to read about another bear encounter reported on NWHikers check out Backpacker Joe's recounting of a scarey night.

That was one well told, scary story! Wow. I relayed that to my brother, and he replied with the following (which I'd not heard before, and we're both in our 60s now):

"OK... the "I heard a very loud sniff, sniff, sniff ten inches from my ear.  I froze!" Part happened to me one time.

A friend and I decided to do survival camping so we bought some bulk sheet plastic at Bi-Mart and used something like

para cord stretch across 2 trees.  We borrowed an old Coleman lantern from his brother in law who explained that the regulator

had an issue, it would burn bright then over a 15 -20 minute period it get dimmer and dimmer until the gasses built up or something

like that and KA FOOMPH!!! and relight at the original brightness.  Then the cycle would start all over.

So we're camping and left the food next to moi's head.  Around 2:00 AM or so I heard sniff,sniff,sniff inches from my head!!!

I'm 100% certain but thought I saw a nose and two nostrils pushing against the clear tarp.  Forgot to mention it was raining all this time.

I'm like OH NO THIS ISN'T GOOD! No gun, no weapon of any kind. So I crawled to the bottom foot of my sleeping bag and prayed.

More scared than I could ever recall before. The lungs sounded like a the size of a diesel locomotive breathing.

All the time the Lantern had been getting dimmer and dimmer cause we left it on.  Then a sudden KA FOOMPH!!!! And the sniffing stopped

and it left.  I slugged my buddy you idiot! Left the food in the tarp!!! And next to me.

That was one of a few bear experience I've had and the one I least liked and I don't like any of them."


I have a couple bear stories, but none as intense as BPJ's! Wow!

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DadFly
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PostFri Mar 02, 2018 8:58 am 
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OK. Another one then.

When I was 14 (1972?) my dad and I went up to Gray Wolf lake in the Mission mountains. This is the heart of grizzly country and "The Night of the Grizzly" was only a few years old and happened within bear distance. We were very careful. We cooked fish but cleaned the pan and sunk the remains of the food in the lake under a big rock 100 yards from camp.
When the moon came up we climbed into my Stephenson Warmlight tent (almost exactly like  Backpacker Joe's recounting of a scarey night.).

Dad fell asleep instantly and I went in and out of sleep. Some time in the middle of the night the breathing started.
It was down beyond the foot of the tent but was creeping my way.
Obviously large lungs and lots of sniffing gong on.
It came right up to the foot of the tent and sniffed some more.
I had a 5 inch sheath knife and not much brains at the time. I figured I would fight this thing to the death rather than just get dragged off helplessly.
I moved ever so slowly and quietly to get crouched in the front of the tent. One hand grasped my trusty knife and with the other I grabbed the zipper.

The bear kept sniffing and working its way slowly to the front of the tent.
When it got right beside me I pulled the zipper wide open, jumped out to full size and yelled like a banshee!
I was ready to die.
Dad woke up instantly of course and started yelling "What the hell!"... etc.
That poor billy goat about turned inside out.
I imagine him thinking to himself "Jeeeeze. Chill out dude."
But he backed up quickly and bumped into a tree.
There was a fishing pole leaning against it and he was hooked on a lure and took off running for his life pulling out all of dad's fishing line "ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ"..
Dad was still cussing and trying to figure out what was going on as the goat ran off.

It is safe to say, that critter did not come back around.

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