View Poll Results: Where are you more likely to be eaten by a Bear?

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  • Afognak Island

    14 17.72%
  • Kodiak Island

    9 11.39%
  • Matsu Valley

    8 10.13%
  • Anywhere in Alaska

    48 60.76%
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Thread: Have to prove the other half wrong poll:

  1. #1
    Member skydiver_99654's Avatar
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    Default Have to prove the other half wrong poll:

    My significant other won't go to Afognak to hunt Elk with me because she says that it is much more dangerous than hunting moose up here in the valley. I told her that a bear can get her no matter where she is in Alaska. Heck, a Brown Bear was just killed 1 week ago less than a mile from home! I believe getting mauled is less likely than getting hit by lightning. She thinks anywhere on Kodiak or Afognak a person "will" get eaten. For some reason, she thinks anywhere in the Matsu Valley is "safe", whereas outside the Valley is Dangerous. Do your wives have the same thoughts?
    Johnny

  2. #2
    Member lab man's Avatar
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    Default

    She may be right in the fact that there are more bears per square mile, but that doesn't mean you'll get eaten. The chances just increase. My thought is that where you know there is a good chance of having a bear encounter, you'll be more careful than in an area with fewer bears. I think a bear attack will occur when, and where you least expect it. Call it Murphy's Law if you will. So while your wife's fears don't go unfounded, statistics show that very, very few hunters get mauled. If I had your permit, I would go ahead and hunt with no second thoughts.

    -Eric

    skydiver, this post is more for your other half than you.

  3. #3
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by skydiver_99654 View Post
    My significant other won't go to Afognak to hunt Elk with me because she says that it is much more dangerous than hunting moose up here in the valley. I told her that a bear can get her no matter where she is in Alaska. Heck, a Brown Bear was just killed 1 week ago less than a mile from home!....
    The last bear fatalities that really caught me thinking was the Rich and Kathy Huffman killings on the Hulahula River on the North Slope.

    ....I believe getting mauled is less likely than getting hit by lightning....
    I think, statistically in Alaska, you're way wrong.

    A lot more people get mauled than get killed.........

    ....She thinks anywhere on Kodiak or Afognak a person "will" get eaten. For some reason, she thinks anywhere in the Matsu Valley is "safe", whereas outside the Valley is Dangerous. Do your wives have the same thoughts?
    Mrs. Mark doesn't take it to that extent, but she's nervous when we see bear tracks in the woods.

  4. #4
    Member skydiver_99654's Avatar
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    Default I agree

    I agree that there are more bears per mile which could conceivably boost your chances of a mauling, but I definitely seem to be a LOT more cautious when I'm in an area that is known for bear populations. It just may get you when you are least expecting it.
    By the way...My wife asked me to post this poll to prove "ME" wrong.
    Johnny

  5. #5
    Member skydiver_99654's Avatar
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    Default

    [QUOTE=Mark;123066]The last bear fatalities that really caught me thinking was the Rich and Kathy Huffman killings on the Hulahula River on the North Slope.



    I think, statistically in Alaska, you're way wrong.

    A lot more people get mauled than get killed.........


    Mark,
    You are probably right that maulings may happen more frequently statistically, but not killings. I stand corrected.
    Also, I new Rich and Kathy from the Knik Canoe and Kayakers Club. They apparently did EVERYTHING right up there by the Hulahula and they still were eaten. Makes you think a little that no matter how much you do right, you can still always become a statistic.
    Johnny

  6. #6
    Member AKMarmot's Avatar
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    Default kodiak / afognak

    Skydiver,
    I think some of the problem is that a lot of bears in Kodiak & afognak are highly visable that time of year. They are filling up & with the start of deer season aren't about to give up the chance at free game if they smell it. In certain areas its hard to keep it from them if they are determined. I wouldn't be above submersion of the meat if you are around water. The couple times I have been there we always camped & have always seen bears. Never had a problem around camp but spend most time in spike camps, & they are usually wandering within a mile. However after a couple stories I read last fall from some deer hunters they are some areas I might not sent up tent & opt for a public cabin in a different location. I guess I would just talk to people about experiences & bear numbers in the area you plan on going.
    Oh yeah and one more thing, the bears you see out there are usually a lot more impressive looking then the ones I see in the valley area or southcentral.

  7. #7
    Member SoggyMountain's Avatar
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    Default

    The other issue is access to help if you need it. If you get mauled or struck by lightening in the valley, you are rarely too far from some type of help.

    If you get caught in a wind storm on Afognak and a tree falls on your head, there may not be any type of help for several days.

    But, with that said, I think you and she will be fine regardless of what you choose to do.

  8. #8
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by skydiver_99654 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    The last bear fatalities that really caught me thinking was the Rich and Kathy Huffman killings on the Hulahula River on the North Slope..........
    ....I new Rich and Kathy from the Knik Canoe and Kayakers Club. They apparently did EVERYTHING right up there by the Hulahula and they still were eaten. Makes you think a little that no matter how much you do right, you can still always become a statistic.....
    That's what bothered me so much about that tragedy. They even had a 44 mag handgun that never got fired.

    Makes it look like it was quick and violent.

    It wasn't a big bear, either. 350 lbs or so?

  9. #9
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoggyMountain View Post
    The other issue is access to help if you need it. If you get mauled or struck by lightening in the valley, you are rarely too far from some type of help.

    If you get caught in a wind storm on Afognak and a tree falls on your head, there may not be any type of help for several days....
    This is where a communications device like a satellite phone shines.

    They're even good to keep others calm when you don't show up home for non-emergency reasons.

    Late last fall my wife and I broke down in the Argo on our way out of the bush. It was looking like we'd be spending the night, and maybe even walking out (12 miles) the next day. No big emergency, but the folks where our son was staying wouldn't know that, and he's a Trooper. I was envisioning helicopters searching, media attention, etc (heck, if it was just me, nobody would care, but Mrs. Mark was out there............).

    How embarrassing would that have been? Luckily I got the thing going and we got out a bit late, but soon enough to get back into cell phone coverage to call and let people know we'd be a bit late.

  10. #10
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    Default Kaflia Lagoon

    My guess is the Kaflia Lagoon area.

  11. #11
    Member skydiver_99654's Avatar
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    Default I read

    an old post that you wrote about Kaflia Lagoon. Does sound scary. I think the reason that Afognak is so scary is that it is dense vegetation/forest. At least on Kodiak, with the exception of the alders...its not that dense. You can see a bear coming for miles as long as you are set up in the right place.
    Johnny

  12. #12
    Member stevelyn's Avatar
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    Default

    I'd say anywhere in Alaska, but here are some of my observations.

    I currently live down here on the AK Peninsula. Our bears are big, but tend to be over-fed salmon stream scavengers.

    Now having lived in the Interior and Yukon Valley for a few years, I've noticed that the brown bears in the interior and Brooks Range areas tend to be more predatory. They seem to be about half starving all the time and have bad attitudes due to having to scrimp and fight for every morsel they eat.

    So in my S.W.A.G. opinion, your chances of actually being attacked are greater up north than on the AK PEN or one of the islands.
    Now what ?

  13. #13

    Default Bear food

    That is a easy one. In my near 57 years I have read a lot about bears and there history in North America, bear attacks, location, circumstances, etc. My vote goes to right here on the Kenai Peninsula in 2007. Had one guy get the chomp this year. I think it was 2 years ago 6 of us humans got the chomp by 5 different bears down here. When was the last time you ever heard of that? So far this year 14 have been shot in defense of life and property. Good grief. Where else have 14 Brown Bear been shot and it isn't even a hunting season. They seem to be every where. In my yard, daughters yard, friends yard, at work, the golf course, etc. I can't remember a year someone didn't get chewed on. Lots of Brown Bears in town, out of town and around the fish streams. The bears are not hunted every year so they do not run from us and there are a lot more people here every year. First summer I ever kept the old Mod. 70 .375 in the garage. Keeps life interesting. I kind of like it.

  14. #14
    Member COtoAK's Avatar
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    Default Grizz Kills Near Our House..

    We have had FOUR Grizzlies killed about a 1/4 of a mile from where we live.
    Now... usually no big deal, but we are currently living in tents because we are doing a new construction build and we are actually on our property.
    Scary? Sure. Scared? Well, the husband has his guns with us in our tent and the pistol always stays under his pillow in case so thats as close as it gets... although I am the one that sleeps closest to the opening of the tent so I guess I would be the sacrifice in case a bear wants to maul us.

    Now... here is the thing. Anything could happen anywhere at anytime. No one is exempt from the possibility of a bear attack.
    Best thing that you could do is...
    ...be prepared
    ...plan beforehand
    ...be smart about your situation
    ...familiarize yourself in your surroundings

    Your wife shouldn't be scared. There are more people that die in car crashes than plane rides, right?
    Live life. You only live life once!
    Lurker.

  15. #15
    Member AK DUCKMAN's Avatar
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    Default I don't see..

    What the problem is. You will be hunting,so you wil have guns. Not fool proof but the odds are in your favor. Just be aware of the bear!
    Silly girl! Not every bear is out there to get you. It's just that one.
    And when that one comes along be brave it will only hurt for a little while.

    Second thought shes right it is more dangerous I'll go in her place.

  16. #16
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    Default I'll take the wild ones

    I've been all over Bristol Bay and largely the bears here run like the dickens at the sight/smell/sound of humans...or walk past lookin for another sockeye to munch on. My only real issue was with a blackbear near Lake Clark. As far as brownies go, the habituated ones in high people density areas are the most dangerous. Even though bears out here don't see many people, they have some serious fear...those that see bipeds all the time get a little cocky...mix that with unexperienced idiots closing in for a picture...or walking through the alders with a beer at three a.m. and Whammo! I walk tall out here but I think a late night snagfest on the Russian would leave me a little twitchy on the way back to the truck.

    ps, Out here, the closer to the villages you are...the faster they run...rather convenient

  17. #17
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    Default

    This will give you some ideas relating to bear mauling/deaths in Alaska:
    http://www.absc.usgs.gov/research/br..._conflicts.htm

  18. #18
    Member skydiver_99654's Avatar
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    Default Thanks Ray

    That was an outstanding read ! Thanks Ray !

  19. #19
    Member Bear Buster's Avatar
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    Default here ya go!

    I already posted this on another thread but it's worth reading:
    http://www.absc.usgs.gov/research/br...erbay/glba.htm

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