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Thread: Mothballs and Bears

  1. #1
    Member daughterbear's Avatar
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    Unhappy Mothballs and Bears

    We have a lot of bears at our cabin. There's fresh bear sign every day. Even a big pile of pooh under my bedroom window. Last year we had a bit of a problem w/ a black bear. It pushed over our cabin off the pilings and snooped around the camp munching on what ever it could find. I Always keep a clean camp. No garbage or food is left behind. All juices coffees and other liquids are dumped in the outhouse. The cabin is scrubbed and swept before I go. A lady told us she uses mothballs and it keep the bears away. She said she hangs them in her trees. So I last winter I half opened the cans of tuna and fruit we ate. I scrubbed them then boiled them. I nailed a few holes in the sides and one on the bottom. I found some yarn and pulled it through the bottom of the can so I can hang it. I put 5 or 6 mothballs in the can, closed the half open lid turned it upside down so the snow and rain cant get in. I then tied one can outside of each window , door and the snow machine. I also sprinkled some inside by the door and corners. It smelled like Grandmas closet for sure! I sat here this winter chewing my nails wondering if all I did was leave the bears some kibbles to chew on. Well all was fine when we got there a couple weeks ago. Bears have been there but they didn't mess with the cabin. We didn't get our hopes up yet. 3 days later along came a lil blackie. She looked to be about a year old but bold as brass. Wasnt scared of us at all. She wondered around back and forth from the outhouse to the woodpile. Ontop of the woodpile I had a plate of leftover grub I feed the jays. She kept sniffing torwards it but backed off. After about 10 minutes of her snooping I scared her off. I was wondering why she didnt get the food I left out. Then I remembered. When we got to the cabin I picked up all the mothballs and stuck them on the woodpile so the puppy wouldnt get them. OK! we was thinking they work!! 2 days later she was back and as bold ...if not bolder than before. I had peanutbutter on a log ontop of the woodpile for the birds and squirrell. She went over and sat on the 4wheeler, tore up the seat, sniffed the woodpile a bit then grabbed the peanutbutter. My hubby scared her off. We didnt want to take her because shes so young. But shes bold. She might become a problem. Im thinking she got used to the smell??? Or maybe they dont work??? Have any of you tried mothballs?? If so what was the outcome?
    Yes, I stopped feeding the birds and squirrell.
    If its tourist season.....Can we shoot em??
    Simple pleasures for simple minds

  2. #2
    Member daughterbear's Avatar
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    Default Pictures of the Lil Blackie

    Here is some pictures of her I thought you might enjoy. Hope they turn out. One is kinda fuzzy but if you look closely you can see her hackles are standing up. We were outside when we took these and she didn't like us much.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    If its tourist season.....Can we shoot em??
    Simple pleasures for simple minds

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    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Moth-balls

    I used to go out to western Alaska every Aug-Sept-Oct to work out of a guide-outfitter camp. We had three wall tent structures. One, the guide sleeping tent never smelled like food and always smelled like stinking guides. The othe two structures were the food storage tent and the cook-and-dining tent. Both of these tents, of course, always had food smells associated with them.

    Although this camp was smack-dab in the center of really good brown bear country, with a few black bears as well, none of these tents were ever messed with by bears in the long 10 month off-season. For twenty five years the bears left this camp alone. And every year, the last thing we did before leaving in Oct, was leave moth-balls on the floors of the tents. A dozen per tent worked just fine. First thing to do when we returned in late Aug, sweep the moth balls up off the floor.

    I'm a believer in the moth-ball deal.

    And your problem little black bear will never fix itself/herself. Based on what you reported, that little gal-bear will become a bigger problem.
    Daughterbear...I get the feeling you really like bears-and so do I- but how many four-wheeler seats and how much other camp gear do you want to replace? (Tell me you have no ambitions of becoming the next Charlie Vandergaw / Bear Haven!)
    BOOM! (When-where legal.) Simple fix for a simple problem. No problem, no more.

    Dennis
    AKTAGS

  4. #4

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    I have been using them for about 45 years. I put them under the cowling, and seat and track for the SWT. But them under the Military 6X6, but them around buildings. When guiding I have used them on Afognak, Kodiak, etc. to protect camp. NOTE: They are "DANGEROUS TO HUMANS" so don't breath the fumes. It is like HUFFING Gasoline. 50 or 60 years ago people in Upstate NY & Michigan were using them to keep Porcupines from eating brake lines which are caked in salt that is used on the icy roads.

  5. #5
    Member daughterbear's Avatar
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    Dennis,
    Yes Sir , I do like bears. As for Vandergaw ...Nope. Noooo way.That guys a Doofis waiting to become lunch. We had plans to take her if she came back but she never did. I even slept with one eye and both ears open. I have no problems shooting a problem bear. We take one or two a year. I am fully aware of the danger involved w/ bears. After she mauled my 4wheeler I was mad enough to make burgers out of the little turd and I agree with you. I should have taken her regardless of age. Lesson learned.


    And your problem little black bear will never fix itself/herself. Based on what you reported, that little gal-bear will become a bigger problem.
    Daughterbear...I get the feeling you really like bears-and so do I- but how many four-wheeler seats and how much other camp gear do you want to replace? (Tell me you have no ambitions of becoming the next Charlie Vandergaw / Bear Haven!)
    BOOM! (When-where legal.) Simple fix for a simple problem. No problem, no more.

    Dennis
    AKTAGS[/QUOTE]
    If its tourist season.....Can we shoot em??
    Simple pleasures for simple minds

  6. #6
    Member sea_goin_dude's Avatar
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    Could bottle rockets be used to scare bears or other animals off. Would hurt them and should deter them from coming back. They sure work to keep dogs away from your garbage containers.

  7. #7
    Member TWB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sea_goin_dude View Post
    Could bottle rockets be used to scare bears or other animals off. Would hurt them and should deter them from coming back. They sure work to keep dogs away from your garbage containers.
    I think that would fall into harassment.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Bottle rockets are not harassment if the bear is showing interest in your camp or cabin. No more than firing a 12ga into the ground in front of them and peppering them with rocks. Good luck hitting one with a bottle rocket, though. When I was young and dumb we had bottle rocket fights and only about 1 in 20 would actually get someone. My favorite non-lethal method is a paint ball gun.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

  9. #9
    Member sea_goin_dude's Avatar
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    Ive seen videos of some citys/towns in AK using the exploding shotgun shells to discourage bears, so I'd try out the bottle rockets anyway, harrassing/ oh well. whatever works. Think all you would have to do is get close. and hit em as soon as they show up.

  10. #10
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    If the WL Troopers determine that you have created the problem, then it is not so simple as a DLP. Throwing rocks etc most likely will not get you into trouble as long as you also remove the attractants (peanut butter, birdseed, etc). In remote areas this usually never becomes a legal issue except for extreme cases like Vandergaw (dumba&&). When I had some issues with a young brown bear in Katmai several years ago, we waited until the right circumstance and blasted him with bear spray. It ended his bold curiosity for that summer, at least. If they get food reward though, keeping them away becomes an entirely different issue.

  11. #11
    Member sea_goin_dude's Avatar
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    Yes understand about the food issue if there is no food there is likely no bears either. How effective is the pepper spray?

  12. #12
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    That's the only time I've been involved in using bear spray. Here's a good scientific article about it use.

    http://gf.state.wy.us/downloads/pdf/...ar%20spray.pdf

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