Bears......

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Bears......

Postby Lauralie0230 » Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:19 am

So the closer I get to my trip (we will be arriving on Sunday) the more I am getting worried about encountering bears. I would love to see them from a distance, in fact I think I would be dissappointed if we did not see a bear... but I am very worried about a bear entering our camp (we are hopefully staying at Many Glacier) or surprising us and we them on our hikes.
I know for camp at least.... they enforce very strict guidelines (for which I am very happy) we are basically going to keep everything in our car except our bear spray, flash lights and sleeping gear. has anyone had any issues with bears trying to get into your car? or entering your camp?
It is just my husband and I going.... we were planning on hiking pretty much by ourselves. Is this too dangerous to attempt? I know you are supposed to talk loudly especially while turning blind corners. And we both have bear spray and holders for our belts. I guess I am just getting a little paranoid because of the recent attack in Yellowstone (from what I have heard they didn't have bearspray and saw the bears earlier and just kept walking.... :( ) and I watched the night of the grizzlies last night.... not the best idea for someone already a little fearful... and then had dreams about them last night entering our camp and having no effect from the bear spray.... ugh. Yes I know I am getting paranoid but I just want to make sure that we will be safe. I have also heard that because of the high snow packs in the mountains the bears are traveling to the lower areas of the park. I just want to make sure that my husband and I do everything we can to stay safe on this trip. From what it looks like seeing/encountering bears is a pretty frequent occurance? is this true?
I think I just need some encouragement/reassurance if you are smart and carefull the likelyhood of something happening is very rare
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Re: Bears......

Postby Hockey Ref » Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:32 am

I think you're pretty much covered it from a safety perspective: not leaving food items exposed in your campsite, making noise when you hike, carrying bear spray, etc. It's easy to get paranoid, but the odds of a violent bear encounter are very small. Can it happen? Sure. You're in their home, after all. But the odds are greatly in your favor.

Hiking in twos should be perfectly safe as long as you follow the standard precautions. But Glacier also offers group hikes led by rangers on many of the park's more popular trails, including Iceberg Lake and Grinnell Glacier in the Many Glacier region. If you'd feel more comfortable hiking in a group, I'd check those out. There's no charge, and you should be able to get a schedule when you arrive.

For more info on hiking safely in bear country, visit http://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/bears.htm
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Re: Bears......

Postby llholmes1948 » Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:52 am

I think if you follow the park guidelines and stay alert you should be fine. You can get current bear advice at the ranger stations and visitors center as far as bears frequenting certain trails.

I don't recall reading of any bear problems at the Many Glacier campground in recent years. There was a fatal bear attack there late season years ago (the death of Mary Pat Mahoney on Sept. 23, 1976) but no recent problems that I am aware of.

It is well to keep in mind that there has not been a fatal bear attack in the Park since 1998 as I recall and there has not been a serious bear attack since 2005 despite the fact that about a million people visit the Park each year. Based on 2007 statistics, 102 people will be killed in highway accidents in the U.S. today but no one will be killed or seriously injured by a bear.

Hope you have a great trip and will post a report.

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Re: Bears......

Postby Farmgirl » Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:18 am

First, thanks for doing your part and being knowledgable about bear safety!!!! :P

Second, your camp is more likely to be at risk from chipmunks!!!

Third, please don't let the paranoia get in the way of having a fantastic vacation!!! You can't be scared to hike because you think a big bad bear is lurking behind every tree or bend in the trail! Keep in mind the bears are not out to get you...far from it!!!! They want nothing to do with you (your lunch is another issue, but you seem to know the precautions to take with food)!!!!

Have a great time, and if you do get a chance to see a bear...ENJOY it safely, and go home and tell all your friends and family how exciting it was!!!! :mrgreen:

Here's to some GREAT wildlife viewing...if you're staying at MG, don't forget to take an evening/morning stroll to Fishercap Lk.--it's a great place to see wildlife!!!!
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Re: Bears......

Postby Hockey Ref » Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:24 am

llholmes1948 wrote:I think if you follow the park guidelines and stay alert you should be fine. You can get current bear advice at the ranger stations and visitors center as far as bears frequenting certain trails.

I don't recall reading of any bear problems at the Many Glacier campground in recent years. There was a fatal bear attack there late season years ago (the death of Mary Pat Mahoney on Sept. 23, 1976) but no recent problems that I am aware of.

It is well to keep in mind that there has not been a fatal bear attack in the Park since 1998 as I recall and there has not been a serious bear attack since 2005 despite the fact that about a million people visit the Park each year. Based on 2007 statistics, 102 people will be killed in highway accidents in the U.S. today but no one will be killed or seriously injured by a bear.

Hope you have a great trip and will post a report.

Lyman

I think it's more like two million visitors per year...but your point is right on.
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Re: Bears......

Postby Marmotman » Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:30 am

Another safety tip is to always travel with someone who is slower than you. :D
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Re: Bears......

Postby Heff936 » Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:00 pm

Thanks to the great policies Glacir NP employs the bears are not habituated to the front country or back country camps. That's not to say that a bear may not enter camps but they don't seem to rely on camps as a source of food, like they do in Yosemite. In many backcountry camping trips in the park I've never had a problem or met another camper who had had a bad encounter in a camp. So I think you will be absolutely fine and will have an amazing trip.
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Re: Bears......

Postby Beargrass » Mon Jul 11, 2011 3:52 pm

I have seen bears on two different trips right across the street from the campground area but never heard of them causing any trouble. Did have a moose come thru the back of my campsite and scare the heck out of me, also had coyotes wake me up when they stopped in the swiftcurrent parking lot to do their yiping. It's good to be scared your senses will be heighten and you'll see and hear things that you will think is a bear but will be a stump or the wind....haha. Have a great trip!!! 11 days left of waiting for me.
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Re: Bears......

Postby Lauralie0230 » Mon Jul 11, 2011 4:34 pm

Thank you all for your comments... I am feeling better about it :). I just want make sure I am being as safe as possible!
Another couple of questions.... having a few marshmellows over the fire at night? bad idea???
and as far as having lunch on our trail.... is it a bad idea to pack some turkey sandwiches(yes I know pack in pack out)... will this attract bears.... I don't know if I am keen on the Mountain House products. My husband has brought them along while hiking plenty of times... but I"m kinda a picky eater.
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Re: Bears......

Postby Hockey Ref » Mon Jul 11, 2011 4:51 pm

Lauralie0230 wrote:Thank you all for your comments... I am feeling better about it :). I just want make sure I am being as safe as possible!
Another couple of questions.... having a few marshmellows over the fire at night? bad idea???
and as far as having lunch on our trail.... is it a bad idea to pack some turkey sandwiches(yes I know pack in pack out)... will this attract bears.... I don't know if I am keen on the Mountain House products. My husband has brought them along while hiking plenty of times... but I"m kinda a picky eater.

Sandwiches are fine. I do that all the time. I've never taken the time to do the Mountain House thing on a day hike (nor did I want to carry the extra weight), but that should be fine as well.
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Re: Bears......

Postby Hockey Ref » Mon Jul 11, 2011 4:56 pm

Beargrass wrote:It's good to be scared your senses will be heighten and you'll see and hear things that you will think is a bear but will be a stump or the wind....haha.

Last year I was walking to Fishercap Lake in the Many Glacier area shortly after dawn in the hope of seeing moose. Just before reaching the sign that leads to the lake I spotted what I thought was a tree stump in the woods to my right. Or was it a stump? Not being sure, I stopped dead in my tracks and waited, watching. Then the "stump" moved! Turned out that I nearly walked head on into a grizzly, but it was my own fault for walking quietly in the early morning when bears are most active. The bear eventually crossed the trail right in front of me and headed toward the lake. I decided the moose watching could wait!
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Re: Bears......

Postby Pocketlint » Mon Jul 11, 2011 5:23 pm

I agree with the above.
You need to be "bear aware" when on the trail, but not paranoid.
Same for moose which you are just likely to see...and moose, especially cows with calves; they are not to be trifled with, period. I saw a cow with a new calf just down the road from the Many Glacier CG when I was over for the weekend of the 4th.
Her's a 10 second video clip of that lil moose calf. Momma is behind the calf in the bushes.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3L4gsXSSEw
Stay well away from allof the larger animals with young is the best rule.
This is about as close as you want to be. This was last year. The rangers said there is another grizz sow with trips this year. Not this one. She was seen just about a mile from the CG off the Swiftcurrent Pass trail :mrgreen:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4seq3W1jI3A

Regarding the campgrounds. The rangers strictly enforce the rules. I had to listen patiently as I was lectured for walking 100 feet to the water spigot, never out of sight of my camp spot(#115). The ranger just happened to drive by at that moment and noticed my cooler sitting on rock in the campsite(unattended). I said nothing because I was technically in the wrong. Last day I had my cooler in the truck with all my other gear. I was parked in front of the Swiftcurrent Store putting my boots on, foot ON my bumper... prior to leaving the park. A ranger walked up and asked me what was in my cooler, and I said "Food". And then I explained I was leaving the park, not my truck :) He was nice about it.

I tell you that because as much of a nuisance as that may seem, that's how they keep the bears and other animals out of the camping area. You ALWAYS must lock up food and other smelly stuff in your car/truck, or someplace bear proof. They have food lockers but I don't recommend using them...ants. As long as you keep a clean camp and follow the fairly simple rules, you'll have no problems. Rangers patrol at night as well. Very unlikely you'll have troubles in the campground. That said...as soon as you leave the CG on any trail, or even walking the roads, you best be on the lookout. Animals can show up any time anywhere over there.

The smell of my cookin didn't bring anybody to my campsite :(
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4MxZeLHjos

I'll be going over to ManyGlacier this Wednesday for a week. Drop by and chat in the evening if you want. Squeeze, my truck don't talk much, but I'll bend ur ear :mrgreen:

pocketlint :wink:

PS

The ravens were really on the ball in the CG this year as always. They'll make off with surprising "loads" if you turn your back. They're shy, but very observant and extremely clever. Kinda like a flying chipmunk :)
Yehawwww!! Bring em on!! :mrgreen:
Last edited by Pocketlint on Mon Jul 11, 2011 6:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bears......

Postby poky5mom » Mon Jul 11, 2011 6:17 pm

My husband & I hike together all the time - I make plenty of noise - usually hey yogi or something I don't have to think about while hiking & yelling! :D We have taken a few of the ranger led hikes which are a lot of fun. We always pack PB&J sandwiches for our trail lunch, granola bars, salted nut rolls - never had any problems except chipmunks trying to eat our lunch - I know the last time we went to the tetons I read a book about grizzly bear attacks - not the smartest move so I was a little freaked out before hike there! Usually whatever trail you hike you will run into other people - most won't care if you tag along with them to make a bigger group I know I am always willing to have more hike with us! Just talk to the ranger before you set off on your hikes, be bear aware & you will be fine!
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Re: Bears......

Postby liketohike » Mon Jul 11, 2011 6:44 pm

my husband and I spent 8 days in Glacier last year- we did not camp, but hiked every day, just the two of us. We never saw a single bear during the whole week.
one day we must have been close on the hike to Grinell Glacier as we met a ranger who had seen a black bear in that area, but that was it. we tried to make noise especially when coming around corners without visibility.
I remember being worried about bears before our trip being new to grizzly country, but it turned out o.k.
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Re: Bears......

Postby Beargrass » Mon Jul 11, 2011 6:49 pm

After seeing a hiker(tourist) pour the Vienna sausage juice from his can right on the Grinnell Glacier trail I've always worried about what the hikers before me did on the trail. I had to bite my tongue off not to say anything to him.
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