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scottk
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PostWed Sep 11, 2019 10:41 am 
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It my observation that many people are anxious about bear attacks when hiking in the mountains.  For several years I've been telling people that I've never heard of a bear attack or fatality in Washington State and there's no reason to carry a gun or bear spray.  A few skeptical people have pointed out that my memory may be suspect and have asked for a more reliable data source.  I finally did a web search.  Here's what I found: : https://www.seattletimes.com/life/outdoors/dont-lose-sleep-over-bear-attacks-its-bees-dogs-that-cause-most-animal-deaths/
There have been 14 documented bear attacks with one fatality in Washington state. Six of the attacks were hunters who shot the bear and approached it to discover it was still alive, and six more attacks were instigated by someone's dog. That leaves 2 attacks in our state's history that didn't involved guns or dogs.  I leave you to draw your own conclusions, although I prefer you not comment on my faulty memory.
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Jake Robinson
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PostWed Sep 11, 2019 10:56 am 
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Paging BigBrunyon...
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Pahoehoe
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PostWed Sep 11, 2019 11:17 am 
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Bear attacks arent a huge concern... ie, you shouldn't be afraid of the mountains/forests/outdoors because of bears but that doesnt mean you dont need to be aware and take basic precautions like securing your food.

If you have a problem, bear spray would be excellent to have, so if it makes someone feel safe, by all means, carry bear spray.  I dont feel the need, but to each their own.

I do not support the use of guns by the general public for protection from black bears in Washington state, so, no, you absolutely  do not need to carry a gun to stay safe from bears.
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Tom
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PostWed Sep 11, 2019 11:19 am 
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Haven't heard of any other than BPJ's teddy bear picnic at Falls Lake which resolved with tent and flashlight.
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Sky Hiker
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PostWed Sep 11, 2019 11:43 am 
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Yea besides the grizzlies haven't really taken a hold in NCNP yet
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DigitalJanitor
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PostWed Sep 11, 2019 12:16 pm 
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I always laugh when someone starts freaking out on my behalf re all the cougars and bears.... and they drive in Seattle regularly.

Nope, it's totes dangerous out here. Better stay home!!! hockeygrin.gif

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slabbyd
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PostWed Sep 11, 2019 12:54 pm 
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Well the minute they start tossing Grizzly Bears out of helicopters I think the rationality of the fear may suddenly improve but for now bear spray seems like a really weird thing to carry and the whole grizzly bear reintroduction thing seems to have fallen off the radar.

I was told this summer by a NCNP employee that there had been three separate aggressive bear/human encounters this summer.    Actually encountered a group of rangers going in to try and dehabituate a bear that had been charging people at a designated campsite after getting accustom to human food.   All the same bear spray still seems unnecessary.
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JonnyQuest
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PostWed Sep 11, 2019 1:07 pm 
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Pahoehoe wrote:
Bear attacks arent a huge concern...

Unless you're a huckleberry.
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Anne Elk
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PostWed Sep 11, 2019 1:31 pm 
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To judge by the media reports, I'd be more worried about cougars than black bears.  I've thought to start carrying bear spray, but more as a safety against the low probability of encountering some human nut job on the trail when hiking alone, rather than as an animal deterrent.

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Fullripbrian
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PostWed Sep 11, 2019 1:33 pm 
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Iím your huckleberry.
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coldrain108
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PostWed Sep 11, 2019 2:02 pm 
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here are those huckleberries - after processing...


And a pile of blueberries just to keep it interesting.

Looks like it wouldn't be good to be either.

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backpacker92out
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PostWed Sep 11, 2019 2:03 pm 
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Bear spray isnt just for bears. It can be for dogs,weird people, any other animal. Better to have it and not need it then to need it and not have it.  Its not so much an issue in WA but ive used bear spray on 2 dogs in NC as some hunters abandon their hunting dogs near trails and they can get aggressive

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Cyclopath
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PostWed Sep 11, 2019 2:12 pm 
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There was a habituated bear at Goat Lake this time last year.  Anybody know whatever happened with that?
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Pahoehoe
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PostWed Sep 11, 2019 3:19 pm 
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backpacker92out wrote:
Bear spray isnt just for bears. It can be for dogs,weird people, any other animal. Better to have it and not need it then to need it and not have it.

Unless it's in your pack instead of attached to you some how so you can get to it at a moments notice...
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reststep
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PostWed Sep 11, 2019 3:35 pm 
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Here is a link to a story about a bear encounter on the Ptarmigan Traverse that I ran across on the internet. This happened a few years ago and rarely happens. Most black bears run the other way when they see someone.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/tellytomtelly/7903333458/in/photolist-ouA2Mv-oPPs4S-d3oDFY-dxfegc-iBzUW-otihtA-dzq7be-wBSdc-8Zcn3B-6MEGPv-a1GnwG-pqrg11-a1SnUL-6QWgxV-pHunAF-6a8yE-6NEorK-dkBsNZ-a1U75u-8Jo8Hi-fqZdVe-4ckqqU-7xCVjU-prtsjm-8Zcnjc-8Zcndg-8ZfpVq-8ZcnmM-8ZfqBm-8Zcn6k-cZMV9U-cKm9du-d3nR6b-d2FGEo-d19xyW-8ZcnWi-dxuYdT-d6A8bL-cY6rpb-cSvchJ-cZmNjs-d29UxS-eU7KC-7xz6Mc-sMesr-4cgCYB-eU7JT-adkJiB-dPHB6o-eU7Jr/

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Forum Index > Trail Talk > Are Bear Attacks a Concern in Washington State?
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