I am looking for information from people who have had encounters with bears up here in Alaska while on horseback. I grew up riding the trails all around, behind, and between Flattop and Hilltop Ski area and worked outside of Glacier National Park in Montana and also the Grand Tetons in Wyoming as a wrangler for 4 years and came across plenty of black bears while riding and they ALWAYS ran away. Only had one brown bear encounter on horseback and it was on a trail near Flattop when I was 16 and just seeing the big bear scared me so bad I just turned my horse around before it saw us and we took a side trail back home. Now I live out past Sutton and I guess in my "old age" of 30 I am a little bit more cautious when I ride since I generally ride alone. I guess my question is for anyone who can tell me their experiences with bears they have come across on horseback in ALASKA and how the bears (especially brown) generally react when they see you? Do they run away, charge, think they can take on the horse and kill it if they are hungry enough? I realize every bear encounter is different depending on the situation like momma with cubs, bear protecting a kill, startling the bear, or predatory behavior etc so hey, I guess please share any and all types of encounters you have had! I always take my brother's husky dog with me and she always wears bells and stays about 20-30 ft ahead of us scouting the trail (keep bells on my saddle and generally yell something every few minutes) hoping to avoid a startled bear, but really can't predict/avoid the other situations.
Also, I would love to meet up with a safe riding partner if anyone out there rides the trails around Sutton/Chickaloon. Happy Trails!
one more question....with fall pretty much here already how aggressive do the moose out here usually get around horses?