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Thread: So what is the deal with the bears ?

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    Default So what is the deal with the bears ?

    In July I am making my first fishing trip to Alaska and shall be travelling alone. I have read and been advised that in certain areas I should be "Bear aware", but I am not too sure what this means in practical terms. When you are in the water fishing and a bear appears on the bank - do you stand still ? - do you walk away with your back to the bear so as to avoid eye-contact ? - do you slowly back away from it ? - or do you get on your knees and pray !!! If I am parked on the highway and have to walk through bush or woods to the river bank do I have to make noise continuously with a bell or whistle ? Any advice will be taken onboard, because we do not get many bears strolling through the streets of London !!!!

    If my wife was with me there would be no problem. A couple of years back we were in B.C. and were going out for a stroll along a trail and I put on my running shoes. My wife said, " If we are chased by a bear do you think that you will run faster than it ?" - and I said," No! .... but I shall run faster than you!!!!". AND THAT IS WHEN THE FIGHT STARTED!!!

  2. #2

    Default dont ever wear a bell

    If you have any self respect please do not wear one of those bells.

    I work in Denali and we always have a good laugh when tourists get off the train/bus and are jingling all over the visitor center.

    In all seriousness though I think you should buy yourself a can of bear spray when you get up here and always carry that with you. It has been proven to be a very effective way to halt a bear and in some cases has outperformed fire arms due to its simplicity of use and wide spray area.

    In addition to this there are several dvds and books about this subject that deal extensively with what to do in bear country both to avoid conflict and what to do if you find yourself in conflict.

    The bottom line is never to run and if you are hiking by yourself to yell loudly every 30 seconds to a minute, Some people like to sing songs or whatever but you want to make sure to make some type of loud vocalization so as not to startle a bear.

    If you do come upon a bear unexpectedly slowly take out your spray and remove the safety clip and begin to back up slowly without turning around. wave your arms over your head and continue to make noise as you retreat.

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Default honey

    Do all of the above - but first roll in honey! Or a salmon carcas will work if you are short on honey.

    A can of spray is your best bet. Slowly back away - never run as previously mentioned.

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    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    You deal with them much the same as a cockney soccer hooligan!!!

    Seriously though, pick up a can of bear spray when you get there and at the end of the trip pass it off to another tourist or local as you can't take it on the plane. Also here is some reading for you. http://www.wildlife.alaska.gov/index...dfg=bears.main

  5. #5

    Default In the Last Several Years

    I have fished the upper Kenai and Russian, and have noticed that the bears are only focused on two (well three), things. Fish, backpacks, and cubs. If you have a stringer of fish and a bear wants it, pick your battle. Keep your backpack on, or within reach at all times and keep away from cubs. I've never had a problem with bears, of course there was always fish around to keep them interested. I've seen a lot of backpacks and coolers destroyed. I think thers a new rule on the upper Kenai about having extra gear. Pepper spary is probably a good deterent. I would choose to spray lead.
    We never really grow up, we only learn
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    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    Really in July you will be lucky to see one, They're over there spring hunger period, and they will most of the time smell you before you even get close to it, and will be gone.

    Not to many bear's in July looking for somebody to eat.

    Now if the winds blowing against you and you walk up on one, ?????

    No answer's to that one on how it would react. But most of the time unless it has a kill there it will run like hell, like I said MOST of the time.

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    Member pike_palace's Avatar
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    Just talk your way to the river and back. Ya don't wear the bells, you'll look stupid. Bears just come and go. Take bear spray and you'll be good to go. Like others said, you'll be lucky to see one.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

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    Default good link

    Here is a neat link http://www.adn.com/bears/

    It's the Anchorage Daily News website. Lots of stories to read and pictures.
    Also search youtube for "russian river bears" and you will get a ton of hits. Some of the folks that posted them will be doing something wrong most likely, but some won't. But you will get a feel for how the bears act.

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    Smile better link

    http://www.wildlife.alaska.gov/index...dfg=bears.main

    And dialed into what I think you were originally asking? Hope it helps.
    http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/safety/bears.htm

    Everything you need to know!!

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    Default oops

    I should pay better attention. Drifter nailed the website earlier! My apologies!

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    Member Col. F Rodder's Avatar
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    I have carried a small marine airhorn in the past. Does anyone have experience in using it as an option over the bear spray. I never want to get close enough to use the spray.

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    Member pike_palace's Avatar
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    My bear spray is chambered in .375 Ruger with 270 grain bullets.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Col. F Rodder View Post
    I have carried a small marine airhorn in the past. Does anyone have experience in using it as an option over the bear spray. I never want to get close enough to use the spray.
    I have tried it on campground bears up there , they seem to react slightly as if they have heard it before but other than turning their head, but they don't even stop whatever they are doing (i.e., if that means stealing your backpack, food, or fish) and hardly break stride. It doesn't make bears run away startled if that's what you are hoping for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock_skipper View Post
    Really in July you will be lucky to see one, They're over there spring hunger period, and they will most of the time smell you before you even get close to it, and will be gone.

    Not to many bear's in July looking for somebody to eat.

    Now if the winds blowing against you and you walk up on one, ?????

    No answer's to that one on how it would react. But most of the time unless it has a kill there it will run like hell, like I said MOST of the time.
    Not entirely true. I took my father in law up for the 2nd Red Run in July last year. The first day he said "John, I'd like to see some bears". 2nd day... "John, I don't want to see any more bears"!

    You WILL see bears on the Russian. Just use common sense and remember that the bears allow us to fish in their home. We are the guest and treat them with respect. Don't be a hero on the river. If you see a bear give him/her/them plenty of room and if they are headed your way, walk away slowly and do not run. Their predator instinct will kick in and they will give chase. There's plenty of areas on the Russian to fish, so don't worry about giving up a honey hole to a big ol' brown.

    Good luck to you and enyoy your trip. Alaska to me is heaven on earth and the people are amazingly friendly and helpful. You will never forget your holiday in Alaska!

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnSWA View Post
    You will never forget your holiday in Alaska!

    Well, actually... I did forget most of one night last Sept thanks to Jamie
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Member Hunt&FishAK's Avatar
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    my girlfriend says the airhorn has worked for her in the past........i say throw rocks at em! no not really but you can tell them to kick rocks! as your slowly backing away...... oh and dont fall!



    Release Lake Trout

  17. #17

    Default Alaska Bears

    It's hard to appreciate just how many bears there are in the Alaska hinterlands...when you want to see one, there's none around. Then, unexpectedly, there's one in your sight or even near you, and for a brief moment yr not so sure you want to see one. I don't think I've ever heard a bear making noise when hiking, I've never heard a bear grunt. They're either there or not. I've turned around several times and there they are, checking out the stream, foraging.

    Bells? I don't think so. I've seen people shoot a firearm into the air or ground and the bears pay no attention. Air horn, maybe, but I doubt it. Bear pepper spray, definitely one that sprays several feet....it seems to me that it would take a moment to get the bear to pay attention and persuade it to stop.

    In a forested/brushy area, with a stream gurgling by its hard to hear someone calling to you from a short distance away--think about it, ever try to get someone's attention across and upstream? Best advice I think is to play heads up, really observe yr surroundings, especially at low light times of day, stay away from sows w/cubs, leave all bears alone and back away when they show up. Be respectful, this is their environment....it's theirs not yours.

    Shoot a bear on the Kenai without a license and, my friend, yr problems have just begun. As far as firearms go, we've all heard of the instances on the Russian when someone packs, shoots first, wounds and leaves cubs. I think you have to be a qualified, accomplished, experienced person to properly handle a firearm...with a great presence of mind, especially, at the point in time when you are faced with a 500-900lb charging bear. If your not, leave the firearm home and practice heads up ball on the trail.

    A buddy of mine was having a good day on the water, they stopped at a good moorage spot, no sign of bears at all, stretched, hiked around, and then loaded everyone back into the raft. He turned around to untie the lanyard.....and there the bear was, right next to him, he could have touched it.....he stepped back pushing the raft off..... about ten minutes later and a hundred feet away he was able to swallow. Best idea is to back away from the bear, leave the area.

    Here are few bears that you won't see again except as a rug:
    http://twitpic.com/1695n7

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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Here is a take of mine off the bluff or not thread down the page a bit




    Originally Posted by T.R. Bauer
    If it is bluff you just pee yourself. You know it is real when the bear is chewing on you skull.....


    Been there done the pee myself. No lie. Opening weekend a few years ago. Bluebird morning. Goona go chase some bows on the russian with my baileys and coffee and just enjoy the morning before the wife and I floated that day.

    Come down out of rainbow trout loop and made the right to get access to the river after the boardwalk. Head down (or in this case up my ass) Thinking how good life it, the morning is, perfect day etc etc etc. Got on the boardwalk and looked up and GUESS WHAT?

    There she was. A nice 4 year old standing on the boardwalk. Im about 1/3 of the way accross it and she is about in the middle. Im alone. I start waving my arms, screaming, pissing my pants as I moonwalk like michael Jackson backwards on the boardwalk. She stood, winded, dropped and make a couple of gallops at me stopping about 10 feet away. Ears up just kind of looking at me like. "are you that stupid" I kept walking backwards as she watched me move off. When she could not see me I went Hussian Bolt in the 100 meters. 67 steps leading up to the campground. I think I hit 4. As my wife hears me making at rum and coke at 530am she wonders. She then takes one look in my eyes and went. Oh ****. You got charged.

    All my fault. Quiet, head down, no noise just enjoying the moment and what a moment it became. I was lucky that day for sure
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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    It takes a real man to admit being that scared


    However, you are doing a shetty job of convincing me to take my wife fishing for reds with you in July.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  20. #20
    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    I have never been charged at but I've had bears woof at me, pop their jaws and swing their haeds back and forth. I did have a run in with a really big sow two years ago at the glory hole. I had walked in from the parking lot on the highway and was returning at the end of the day. As soon as I put a foot on the bank she was coming the other way. Bt the time we got halted we were 15 feet apart. Thankfully she didn't feel like eating me that day.
    I had my hand on my spray but never pulled it out of it's holster. No need as she was fat and happy. I like happy bears.
    Another time I was walking down a quad trail to a little brook trout lake in Ontario early one morning. The bush was very dense and you couldn't see 10 feet off the trail. I had a black bear woof at me and high tail it out of there. I like it when they run away too!!!
    For the most part if you stay alert you're ok.
    My buddy that was with me two years ago had his head down and when I grabbed his arm and said whoa, he looked at me like I was light in the loafers until he looked up and said OH S*&^!!!

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