Forum Index > Trail Talk > What to do when you arrive at your planned campsite, and there is a bear hanging out in it?
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Flower Sniffer
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Flower Sniffer
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PostMon Sep 12, 2022 12:04 pm 
Chief Joseph wrote:
Some of the old times might recall the old Hamms commercials from back in the 70's
Ha! I Had a Hamm's beer Bear tee-shirt when I was about six years old! It was pink, and I loved it!! 🤣

If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there.

Chief Joseph
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Chief Joseph
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Chief Joseph
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PostMon Sep 12, 2022 12:24 pm 
Back in the 70's my Dad had a truck driving friend that drank Hamms, he was the only one in the bar that did. He was killed in a semi on semi truck accident and at his wake, all his friends drank Hamms, for that one night only. Never tried it myself.

Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.

Flower Sniffer
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RumiDude
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RumiDude
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PostMon Sep 12, 2022 12:29 pm 
Flower Sniffer wrote:
I just wanted to know what people do when there's a bear upon arrival at a permitted campsite.
It depends on the exact situation. Sometimes you can wait them out. Bears are browsers and that browsing means they are going to move around away from a campsite. There are also generally several tenting sites at each permitted location. That is true of all the places in ONP. So maybe just go to another location. In ONP the tent sites are pretty much spread around. Generally, if there is no food around a campsite, the bear won't be hanging out. Once when I was at Elkhorn along the Elwha River in ONP, I noticed two bears as soon as I entered the meadow. No one else was there so I decided to camp in one of my favorite spots. I noticed that one of the bears left the meadow but the otherone stayed around. I cooked dinner and cleaned up and hung out down by the river. The bear that remained was eating grass on the other end of the meadow down by the bearwire, so I waited for him to move. Eventually he did moved to graze elsewhere in the meadow and so I hung my food from the bearwire and got ready for sleeping. By the time I fell asleep, the bear had moved on out of the meadow. This all ocurred over a span of about four hours. Bears that are habituated to human food act very different from those that are not. It's pretty self evident. Bears that are human food conditioned are aggressive whereas those that aren't are more wary of people. Some bears are upset if humans approach them and you can generally pick up on that behavior as well. If I saw a bear that was aggressive or otherwise looked to be human food conditioned, I would likely not stay in that immediate area regardless of the permit system. Rumi

"This is my Indian summer ... I'm far more dangerous now, because I don't care at all."

Joseph, breadcrumb, Flower Sniffer
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RumiDude
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PostMon Sep 12, 2022 12:34 pm 
Bear Whizz Beer ...
Rumi

"This is my Indian summer ... I'm far more dangerous now, because I don't care at all."

Navy salad  Flower Sniffer
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Malachai Constant
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PostMon Sep 12, 2022 1:01 pm 
We were planning on camping at 3 Prune Camp on the Skyline trail once. When we arrived there was a sow on one side of the trail and three cubs on the other side. We waited and waited yelling and making noise for quite a while. Finally, mama moved to the other side with the cubs. We walked by talking loudly for all I know they are still there. We camped on the side of Kimta.

"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn

Flower Sniffer
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kiliki
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PostMon Sep 12, 2022 1:55 pm 
If there was a bear literally hanging out at a site, I would be concerned that prior occupants had been sloppy, and I'd find a different spot. I think a ranger would be understanding of the situation. Of course, you might still attract that bear even in another location. I was saddened by the euthanization of Bear 380 at NCNP recently. As we all know there are more and more bear encounters due to sloppy people. What DO you do about that 1% that can't/won't follow rules? https://www.nps.gov/articles/000/black-bear-380.htm?fbclid=IwAR3wSx5ycGFwl4VQrA2WkkXvkRIOtZL_mvTFtlkvGRoIaqxFfg9Tb2StP_c Excerpt: This is a tough situation for all NPS staff, and especially for our staff that patrol the campgrounds 7 days a week, specifically helping visitors understand how important it is to store food securely. The fact is that while 99% of visitors may do things right, the other 1% can still provide the kinds of opportunities that lead to Bear 380 going down a bad path. Over the last decade the park has seen a significant increase in visitor use, which increases the opportunities for food rewards: every small bit of dropped trail mix or dinner left out in camp can add up to a bear fatality. When black bears keep getting their behaviors rewarded by people leaving food out, aversive conditioning tools become ineffective. Essentially the reward outweighs the noise and other deterrents we use to equate people with being a bad thing in the bear's mind. Once a bear passes that threshold, human safety also becomes compromised. In 2021, Bear 380 received a food reward and was aversively conditioned. In 2022, Bear 380 received numerous food rewards and additional aversive conditioning was ineffective.

Flower Sniffer
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Randito
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PostMon Sep 12, 2022 3:27 pm 
In the Great White North they seem to take a pretty pragmatic approach to avoid rewarding bears for raiding campsites. They install sturdy steel bear caches at designated campsites, including many backcountry campsites. This vastly reduces the due diligence required of travelers to securely store their food and has dramatically reduced the number of bear incidents and bears euthanized

Flower Sniffer
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Chief Joseph
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PostMon Sep 12, 2022 3:51 pm 
They have bear vaults up at the upper Priest Lake CG, quite a few Griz up there, I wouldn't want to camp there except maybe as part of a hunting party. The Covid thing caused problems since government workers were on furlough so no trash was empties, yet people still left their trash. There was a bear vault at the PL Ledgewood picnic area that was full for quite some time and eventually a bear ripped it off it's foundation and pried open the 1/4" steel door and accessed the trash, that took some serious power.

Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.

mosey, breadcrumb
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Flower Sniffer
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Flower Sniffer
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PostMon Sep 12, 2022 8:25 pm 
Chief Joseph wrote:
The Covid thing caused problems since government workers were on furlough so no trash was empties, yet people still left their trash.
People behaved appallingly on 2020. All of the parks got trashed. Is that a bearproof roof trash can or a food storage box?

If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there.
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Chief Joseph
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PostMon Sep 12, 2022 8:44 pm 
That was a "bear proof" trash receptacle that was probably not emptied for a very long time.

Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.

Flower Sniffer
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BigBrunyon
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PostWed Sep 14, 2022 12:14 am 
Left a chocolate bar in the bear food box on a recent endeavor!!! If anyone seems it lookin to get it back!!!!!!!!!

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thunderhead
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PostThu Sep 15, 2022 9:20 am 
Chief Joseph wrote:
a bear ripped it off it's foundation and pried open the 1/4" steel door and accessed the trash
Damn!!! I dont want to fight that bear. No thanks.

Navy salad
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Navy salad
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Navy salad
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PostThu Sep 15, 2022 10:00 am 
RumiDude wrote:
Bear Whizz Beer ...
Nothing like washing down a bowl of hot buttered groat clusters with a pint of Bear Whiz beer! smile.gif

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