Forum Index > Trail Talk > some questions for people experienced in backpacking in grizzly country
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Malachai Constant
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PostSun May 03, 2020 11:21 pm 
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There are predatory black bear attacks but mostly in Canada where the environment is harsh. Griz seem to eat a lot of grass judging from their scat. Sows with cubs are not to be messed with. I have seen tourons in Yellowstone and Tetons do really stupid things and still survive so who knows. Magnificent animals I would hate to be responsible for destroying one.

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moonspots
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PostMon May 04, 2020 4:58 am 
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Joseph wrote:
longhair27 wrote:
Black Bears are actually very predatory on humans more than grizzlies in the lower 48.

I would like to know where you came up with this - the conventional wisdom is that grizzlies are more agressive and dangerous than black bears, but black bears are not without danger.

I wish I could state that I know this from personal firsthand experience or research so I could state this with authority, but from what I've read over the years, yes, Grizzlys are (usually) more aggressive, but black bears, when they actually do charge/attack will be more likely to be predatory (looking for a meal) than Grizzlys.

So there's that to consider. My only experience with black bears (over the past 60 years) has always been they usually either ignore or turn tail and run, with a very occasional curiosity driven "amble over and sniff" (at me, in the car).

I like BrushBuffalo's comment "don't be ignorant", followed up by a personal anecdote and a good reference book (I think that's the one I purchased while on a cross country trip through Montana a few years back), then "jackchinook" mentioned his personal observations that Grizzlys usually steer clear of groups of 4, and may be more likely to approach a pair of hikers, which leaves a solo hike out of the question for me. This is good to know as for a few years now, I've been wanting to work up a hike up to the "goat trail" in Glacier Park....up the trail to the Ptarmigan tunnel which is opened about the time the Grizzlys come out looking to feed after hibernation.

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Songs2
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PostMon May 04, 2020 6:01 am 
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moonspots,
I sent you some pm's about Ptarmigan Wall Goat Traverse.
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forest gnome
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PostMon May 04, 2020 7:17 am 
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I think backpacker Joe has some experience with a cute little cub that liked his tent...but the moma bear hated the tent.

Great story.if someone can link it..
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gb
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PostMon May 04, 2020 8:10 am 
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80skeys wrote:
Joseph wrote:
I think I'd have a hard time relaxing if hiking / backpacking in grizzly country.  No thanks.

I'm with you on this. If you've read the Lewis and Clark journals, or watched videos on youtube, you realize how damned ornery those freaking grizzlies are.

A lot of that anecdotal information likely came from bears who were shot and reacted aggressively - funny that.
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gb
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PostMon May 04, 2020 8:11 am 
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Randito wrote:
Not that this will help you sleep at night, but statistically you are more likely to be killed during the drive to/from the trailhead or by bees.  Deer and moose kill more people per year than bears (via vehicle collisions with deer and moose)

Quote:
# OF DEATHS IN THE UNITED STATES PER YEAR (including Alaska)

Cause of death # dead
Cardiovascular disease .. 856,030
Transportation accidents . 48,441
Drowning .. 3,582
Hypothermia 699
West Nile virus .. 119
Hornet/bee/wasp stings .. 48.5
Dog attacks ..............  30
Cow accidents .............  20
Snake bites .. 5.2
Bear attacks .. 2


Boy, I am not going to hang out in pastures anymore. You can never be too careful.
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zephyr
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PostMon May 04, 2020 9:35 am 
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gb wrote:
Boy, I am not going to hang out in pastures anymore. You can never be too careful.

Having grown up on a cattle farm I would say those deaths/accidents come from working cattle--not wandering about the pasture.  Working cattle can be quite hazardous when you're trying to corral them or move them from one location to another.  Cattle are big and easily weigh over a thousand pounds when fully grown. Bulls would be another order of magnitude.  They move quickly and can easily run you over trying to get away from you.  ~z
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Eric Hansen
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PostMon May 04, 2020 10:21 am 
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Is a handgun actually viable against a charging grizzly? I always assumed that the kick from something like a 9mm might limit you to only one good shot before the grizzly was on you. And that one shot wouldn't be enough to kill the grizzly, only annoy him.

I've encountered locals on horseback inside the park (Glacier, near Harrison Lake) and they had handguns holstered on their hips.
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gb
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PostMon May 04, 2020 10:29 am 
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I don't think Grizzles are necessarily aggressive; in my encounter the female was not. But some undoubtedly can be cantankerous.

Frank Baumann told me a funny story a few years back. He worked in Geological Engineering and at the time was working somewhere in the Kodiak Islands (as I recall). They had flown in with a helicopter to do some work. At some point they noticed a large bear approaching slowly and hurried back to the helicopter. As the copter lifted off, the Grizzly leaped into the air and tried to swat the annoying little pest of a helicopter that had obviously disrupted the peace in his homeland.
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texasbb
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PostMon May 04, 2020 11:25 am 
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gb wrote:
I don't think Grizzles are necessarily aggressive;

I think they're mostly big, spoiled, scaredy-cat brats.  Every little thing seems like a threat to them so they throw their weight--and claws and teeth--around till they get their way.
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reststep
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PostMon May 04, 2020 12:39 pm 
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forest gnome wrote:
I think backpacker Joe has some experience with a cute little cub that liked his tent...but the moma bear hated the tent.

Great story.if someone can link it..

Here is a link to Backpacker Joe's bear story.

http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=7985190

Here is a link to Tellytom's Ptarmigan Traverse bear story.

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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cdestroyer
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PostMon May 04, 2020 1:24 pm 
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probably not a true grizzly bear if on kodiak island:




Kodiak bears are a unique subspecies of the brown or grizzly bear (Ursus arctos middendorffi). They live exclusively on the islands in the Kodiak Archipelago and have been isolated from other bears for about 12,000 years. There are about 3,500 Kodiak bears; a density of about 0.7 bears per square mile.
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moonspots
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PostMon May 04, 2020 1:28 pm 
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Eric Hansen wrote:
Is a handgun actually viable against a charging grizzly?

I think generally not. Perhaps if you're using a Casul 454, or the like. But that's WAY more hardware than I could handle.

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Washakie
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PostMon May 04, 2020 3:01 pm 
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Best to get mucho practice shooting with lots of adrenaline pumping through your body.

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moonspots
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PostMon May 04, 2020 4:25 pm 
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Songs2 wrote:
moonspots,
I sent you some pm's about Ptarmigan Wall Goat Traverse.

Thank you, got 'em.  up.gif

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