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Thread: Bear safety question......

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    Member Fr. Joe's Avatar
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    Default Bear safety question......

    Greetings folks.

    Here is a question for you experienced Alaskan hunters...I've heard that a good tactic to keep bears away from one's camp while out in the bush is to piss all over the place around your tent, gear, and food (just not on it). Any truth to that?

    God bless.
    Fr. Joe

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    Cant says I ever tried that. I try to stick to the tried and true methods.

    Keep a clean camp and pay attention to your surroundings.

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    Fr Joe, I have spent many nights in bear country including griz and I have not had incident yet. After waking one morning when it had snow a couple of inches the night before, there was a set of very fresh bear tracks that came within about 50 ft of my tent. My camp was clean and my food hung up. I have never heard of any practice like you described. In fact just the opposite would be recommended. Bears have an incredible sense of smell and are attracted to oders. They aren't, to the best of my knowledg, intimidated by human urine. Infact, back country users of Yellowstone National Park are encouraged to urinate on rocks and logs so the bears dont dig up urinated earth for salt which they are in habbit of doing. If you camp in bear country, keep your camp clean, and keep your waste away from camp.

    Hope that helps.

  4. #4

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    Keep a clean camp and pay attention to your surroundings
    Always good practice. I do urinate (all other bodily waste goes into a deep hole in the ground)in various locations around my camp though. I have never had a bear come into my camp. I think that distributing human scent around the immediate area will discourage pests, in general I firmly believe a bear wants nothing to do with a human, with exception to a sick/injured/surprised, starving or rogue animal.

    There have been numerous times when afield camping or fishing etc. when I have smelled bears moving through the cover near camp and I never saw nor heard them. They never returned to raid my camp or confront me.

    Ones' greatest asset is awareness and common sense when bears may be a concern.

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    Member Fuse's Avatar
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    Default Bear visits

    Fr. Joe,
    Most older bears, especially ones that have seen or been around humans at all, will avoid your camp in general. The problem is the younger and more curious ones are the guys that could be a problem. I have camped in many places around the state without worry. Just keep a clean camp like MontanaRifleman suggested, don't cook or clean animals in camp, always do it away from your tent. I will also take clothes that I used when cleaning an animal as well as my pack frame and hang them with my meat to keep the blood smells out of camp.
    On my Kodiak trip this past fall was the only time I was concerned about bears in camp. A big part of that was because it was my first trip to the island and I didn't know what to expect. I brought a bear fence with me and it definitely worked. We had a bear come check us out two nights (don't know if it was the same bear or not) in a row, and the fence scared him off when he hit it. You just need to hang some flagging tape on the wire so you don't run into it at night and so the bear will see the fence move when he hits it and know where that new, unpleasant feeling came from.

    Fuse

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    Member gusuk1's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Agree with 338wn

    also try to keep a smoldering fire,all food is in cooler's and zip-locks.

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    Member Phil's Avatar
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    Default Bear Fence

    All the previous posts share good advice. We always put up our electric bear fence. It works. Just don't urinate on it.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fr. Joe View Post
    Greetings folks.

    Here is a question for you experienced Alaskan hunters...I've heard that a good tactic to keep bears away from one's camp while out in the bush is to piss all over the place around your tent, gear, and food (just not on it). Any truth to that?

    God bless.
    Fr. Joe
    From experience i have found it does help to pee about 30 yards around the camp. i live and play in a high bear traffic area. we also practice common sense about food and gear around camp. but by doing so you are marking your territory as they would. pine sol and moth balls are also good deterrents from your tent area. they don't care for those odors at all. Bears are Naturally afraid of man and unless they have learned that camps are a place to get fed they will typically leave it alone and steer clear of your location.
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    if he feels like messin' with your tent a litte urine ain't gonna stop him. Generally your human scent will be enough to keep bears away,they can smell so much better than we can even imagine, scent to them isn't a territorial marking like a wolf or fox so it don't mean much to them that way.
    Bear wants to mess wtih your camp he will, wether its clean or not. keeping it clean just helps to NOT encourage it...
    going on 12 years of cooking in my tents on about 15 hunts a year and never had a bear touch any tents...i haven't found the right bear yet i guess.
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
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    Member shphtr's Avatar
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    Many people do that (me included). It won't "keep" a bear from coming into camp but I think it tends to dissuade many. If they are determined to raid your camp they are going to do it no matter what. What I think it does is it tends to keep the curious ones out. Peeing all around your camp is sort of like marking your territory so that if a bear proceeds he (or she) known they are sort of "trespassing". I don't know it this is actually true but it would seem to make intrinsic sense and SO FAR after some 25 years of backpack hunting I have never had bear problems in camp. Of course it is no substitute for keeping a clean camp.

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    Piss and a loose dog have worked for me, and I never had a Bear in my camps untill this summer.
    While gone to a funeral,(Took 5 days R/T) one broke my chair, ate my porrage and slept in my bed.(Just kidding)

    Really, he just checked out the tent, and exited via the side, because he "could"...LOL! Looked like he chewed the drying poles where the Salmon had been drying, but we had taken all them home to the freezer and chache. I think he was loving the salt left on the poles when we smoked a bunch.
    No harm a few stitches didnt fix.

    Truley, beaware of the young ones. They are the only ones that have ever come close, untill educated.

  12. #12
    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by strangerinastrangeland View Post
    Piss and a loose dog have worked for me, and I never had a Bear in my camps untill this summer.
    While gone to a funeral,(Took 5 days R/T) one broke my chair, ate my porrage and slept in my bed.(Just kidding)

    Really, he just checked out the tent, and exited via the side, because he "could"...LOL! Looked like he chewed the drying poles where the Salmon had been drying, but we had taken all them home to the freezer and chache. I think he was loving the salt left on the poles when we smoked a bunch.
    No harm a few stitches didnt fix.

    Truley, beaware of the young ones. They are the only ones that have ever come close, untill educated.
    I have to agree. Never had a bear in camp, until my dog died. Had many occasions while camped out on a river bank fast asleep when my dog would sound off while running around camp. I never could definitly say that it was a bear that was about to enter camp but in the almost 14 years that she was with me, I never had a bear in camp. Good ole chocolate lab she was, I believe I'll get another one. Oh, since she's been gone (almost two years now) I've had bears in my camp on three occasions.

  13. #13
    Charterboat Operator kodiakcombo's Avatar
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    Default are you the Alpha male?

    If your top dog, bear or person by all means piss around your tent, if your a follower, passive, not a hunter or not aggressive you better keep your piss to yourself. I have never had a bear problem while hunting, I drag deer, sometimes 2 at a time and never had a bear come for them or me. Dragging is inch at every step sometimes. I believe its my frame of mind that keeps me safe, I look, listen and actually anticipate a bear to try and take my deer, this is how I approach the bear problem. I'm in and out as fast I humanly can, no lunch break with dead deer in tow. Camping in bear country is at a minimum, I do it once in a while but again I anticipate a juvie to try and get an easy meal. So I setup camp where I have a good view from camp and approach camp from a vantage point where I can see whats in camp when I return.

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    Member willphish4food's Avatar
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    Default does it work?

    If you pee on my stuff in hunting camp we'll have some issues. Peeing around camp may help, but I couldn't wait any longer this spring at my bait station, so down went the zipper; despite or perhaps because of the sound of the stream hitting the ground, I had a bear waltz in while i was still in process... didn't seem to bother her at all!

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    Member Fr. Joe's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the input everybody. From what I'm hearing it sounds like it wouldn't be such a bad idea to load up on some liquids and piss away!! As long as I don't scare off the moose I'm after!

    God bless.
    Fr. Joe

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    Thumbs up Camp

    Cleanliness, Awareness, Management, Preparedness is what it's all about.

    Human PISS is really not apt to be too terribly influential... Human urine concentration is neither all that dominant, nor anything much out of the ordinary that might encourage or deter unwanted bear behavior.

    However, if it provides some 'relief' --- no need to argue that fact!

    The two on the left in the pics are generally the ones to keep an eye on.

    On these raft and kayak trips, our parties experience an average 50-70 (often go 100-120 at peak season) Brown bears within the 4-5 day tours. Been out leading these trips some 25 years now and tho' numerous very up-close encounters --- never an incident!
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    Member Matt's Avatar
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    I DLP'ed one on Kodiak this fall via headlamp. Started off with a curious bear that got aggressive.

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    Default dogs

    I have sled dogs but keep one scroungy terrior around just for camp , he sleeps in the tent and lets me know what's going on . I wouldn't want a dog loose because you never know who they might bring back . Some biologists say urine and scat attract the teenage bear as does smoke and loud noise . A clean camp is the big one in my book .

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    I DLP'ed one on Kodiak this fall via headlamp. Started off with a curious bear that got aggressive.
    How did that go down?

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    Default Bear Fence

    I believe I will use a bear fence on my next hunt in Alaska. First hunt had 3 bear's in camp. Sow Grizzly and cub one night, may of been our fault be were camped next to a game trail, but we could not be very particulair on where we camped on the river, banks where high and when we found a spot we made camp. Sow and cub were less than 2 feet I would say from my head. I was in a bivy with window on door open to get cooler air. Sow came up and sniffed my head and then cub did the same. I was zipped up so tight in bag that I could not move to get my protection before they reached the bivy. I heard them at 10 yards away coming down the trail. I had my 44 mag on one side of me and my 340 weatherby on the other. I was zipped up in my north face so tight I couldn't get out in time to get protection so I just laid there and hoped I wasn't her next meal. Well she and her cub sniffed my head and then went on by my tent and then sniffed partners tent and went on. (Did I say I came to Alaska for an adventure).

    Second encounter was a sow black bear. Last day of moose season for a non-resident. Heard Barry get up and start getting ready to move out down the river. He yelled at me asking if I was ready to go. I didn't answer it had been a long 11 days on the river. Just wanted 5 more minutes of sleep. Heard Barry shake out his tarp (I thought). I then yelled back at Barry and told him I would get up. Then I heard something run off. I then yelled at Barry and told him we had something in camp. Barry jumps out of his tent since he was out yet. And yelled back don't get out of your tent. It's a bear. He is yelling at it tring to get it to leave. I yell back at him and tell him to be quite. I have a black bear tag that isn't filled. I roll over and open the door on my bivy, pick up my 44 mag pistol and take careful aim while still in my sleeping bag. Lots of willows on the bank. She is 40 yards standing still looking at me. Squeezed a round off. I do not think I made it half way to her before I had hit a few willows. But it did scare her off. Should of grabbed the 340 for that shot I guess.

    The tarp sound I heard was the bear thrashing my dry bag that she had taken, it was leaned up against my bivy by the door. Never heard her coming. The only thing I can think of for her taking my dry bag was dirty clothes in the bag. No food in or had there been all food is kept in 5 gallon buckets with screw on lids. The only smell that could of been coming out of the dry bag would of been dirty clothes that smelled like moose. Barry had harvested a moose a few days earlier and I had those clothes in there. (Did I say I came to Alaska for an adventure).

    Well Barry and I went up to make sure I did not hit the bear. Found where I hit willows but no blood. Checked all around the area for a couple of hours for blood but did not find blood or the bear.


    Take a bear fence for peace of mind. I know I will. You can build one for under $100. or you can buy one put together for around $250.

    You might want to ask stid2677 he uses them all the time. Or read the old archives lots on bear fences there.

    Barry said he had one and was suppose to take it with us but we left it at home. It do us much good at home be we made it ok without it. Just a few holes in my large dry bag.

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