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Thread: How dangerous are bears? I gathered some statistics...

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    Member Buck Nelson's Avatar
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    Default How dangerous are bears? I gathered some statistics...

    Yesterday I spent hours trying to track down reliable information of just how dangerous bears are, and comparing those numbers to other dangers we face in life. My conclusion is that bears are a surprisingly low risk. Please check out my blog for the full story. If you're a Facebooker, please click on my blogs "Like" button, because after I spent all that time writing it, I'd like some people to read it.

    I know some people might look at the article and say "but this is Alaska! the bear danger is much higher here!" That's true, the bear danger is much higher here in Alaska compared to, say, Nebraska, but even so, the risks are relatively low even here. Very low.

    Comments?

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    Member .338-06's Avatar
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    I'm much more scared of cars (and the nutjobs driving them) than of bears. You have a much greater chance of getting hurt in a fall or drowning while in the great outdoors than getting mauled by a bear.
    I may be slow, but I get where I'm going!

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    Member Hunt&FishAK's Avatar
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    I agree Buck....bears are at the bottom of my worry list.....im far more worried about moose and other drivers....other drivers are at the top...



    Release Lake Trout

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    Member Marc Taylor's Avatar
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    You know, Buck, I keep thinking out of pure jealousy that one day you are gonna get tied down by a woman or a job like everyone else in this world and stop the truly insane adventures that make up your perfect life!

    Envy is a horrible place!

    Write a bestseller, Buck. You've got the makings of one.

    Taylor

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    Member Marc Taylor's Avatar
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    Funny that Sarah Palin has an Alaska Adventure show but you don't. I find that disturbing.

    LOL

    Taylor

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    i know they are dangerous to my cooler, but i have been within petting distance of a few and have never had a problem there was one brown that got spooked and ran by me within 10ft. that was kinda spookey but she just kept on trucking and never stoped to check me out so it was all good, i had a gun every time though too.

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Thanks for the link to the blog post, Buck. I think the most important stat that would really make this point is the 90 deaths by lighting a year, or the 30 by bee stings.

    There is a huge market in bearanoia. Which has certainly increased the notion that bears are dangerous. They certainly can be, but not on the order of magnitude I see in places like here on the forum, in magazines and books etc.


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    Quote Originally Posted by bushrat View Post
    Thanks for the link to the blog post, Buck. I think the most important stat that would really make this point is the 90 deaths by lighting a year, or the 30 by bee stings.

    There is a huge market in bearanoia. Which has certainly increased the notion that bears are dangerous. They certainly can be, but not on the order of magnitude I see in places like here on the forum, in magazines and books etc.

    I agree, the most dangerous animal in Alaska is a human inside two tons on four wheels doing 60 MPH.

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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bushrat View Post
    There is a huge market in bearanoia. Which has certainly increased the notion that bears are dangerous. They certainly can be, but not on the order of magnitude I see in places like here on the forum, in magazines and books etc.
    I also had no idea how freaked out everyone is by Bears until joining this forum, .....

    You have to admit, the constant, "How Big a Gun for Bears" threads on these forums is quite revealing, of something.......
    Is this an accurate representation of the public, hunting community, etc. ??

    Great Question for a thread, even living on Kodiak, where we max out at 35-45 mph most everywhere,
    I think High Velocity Masses of Steel, passing within mere feet of myself and family,
    every few seconds is a much more serious potential concern,

    not too worried about that tho, on the island roads
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

  10. #10

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    THANK YOU - "MYTH BUSTERS"! It can probably be assumed that after these "revelations" most of you will no longer bother to carry your rifle when returning to a kill-site. (that is unless you want to shoot another animal - certainly not a bear - couldn't be since they never bother anyone). Since so much faith seems to be placed in the "statistics" quoted, why bother carrying a rifle when returning to these kill-sites? The "odds" do seem pretty small that you might become the subject of some "munching fest".
    It is not that ALL bears are trying to find "some-one to eat" - problem is being prepared to deal with the 4 or 5 percent that can be real bast**ds (though certainly some because of circumstances we have created and some just by the circumstances of the situation).
    It will be interesting to just how many of the "true believes" report back this fall indicating they no longer carry a fire arm when hiking or returning to a kill-site.
    Joe

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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Default Humans, or Blueberries, Hmmmmm

    I actually did this, the walking part anyway, for about seven years,

    Walked up and down the Talkeetna river, thick with Black Bears, several up close and personal encounters with Interior Grizzlies (even some with cubs in tow......)

    NEVER Carrying a firearm of any kind, Can you believe that, ????? And I survived,.....
    I sincerely apologize for snapping any myths here, they are so profitable to so many

    had too much stuff I actually needed to be carrying to mess with 8 lbs of Fear Repellant

    But yes, for the Business end of things Joe,
    never tried returning to any klllsite that way (this a hunting forum so this will still work here)

    In my opinion, Bears are actually quite a bit smarter than we give them credit for, no threat, no problem,
    Ambling Away to eat more Blueberries today
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Not to change the subject, but I was just saying to my young son yesterday that guns are relatively low-risk items, compared to cars, which are far more dangerous. Here in Japan, there seems to be great fear of guns, which most people know very little about. In my view, everyone I know who actually uses guns tends to be pretty careful about them, but there are an awful lot of stupid drivers who think they know everything and for whom I keep my eyes peeled.

    Back to your regular thread about bears. I keep my eyes peeled about them, too. <g>

    Norm

    Quote Originally Posted by .338-06 View Post
    I'm much more scared of cars (and the nutjobs driving them) than of bears. You have a much greater chance of getting hurt in a fall or drowning while in the great outdoors than getting mauled by a bear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wantj43 View Post
    THANK YOU - "MYTH BUSTERS"! It can probably be assumed that after these "revelations" most of you will no longer bother to carry your rifle when returning to a kill-site. (that is unless you want to shoot another animal - certainly not a bear - couldn't be since they never bother anyone). Since so much faith seems to be placed in the "statistics" quoted, why bother carrying a rifle when returning to these kill-sites? The "odds" do seem pretty small that you might become the subject of some "munching fest".
    It is not that ALL bears are trying to find "some-one to eat" - problem is being prepared to deal with the 4 or 5 percent that can be real bast**ds (though certainly some because of circumstances we have created and some just by the circumstances of the situation).
    It will be interesting to just how many of the "true believes" report back this fall indicating they no longer carry a fire arm when hiking or returning to a kill-site.
    Joe

    I carry a firearm everywhere outside my cabin, summer or winter, matters not if I am going to the outhouse or operating the D-8.

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    Member Buck Nelson's Avatar
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    Joe, I know what you're saying, but it doesn't have to be all or nothing. I'll be carrying my rifle to and from kill sites because as you well know the odds of potential bear problems soar around kills.

    That said, there is meaning in those statistics. It's not true that "you better carry a gun or the bears will kill you" nor is it true that bears are to be trusted. The truth is there is some risk, but with a little common sense the risk is very low. Even when hunting, even around kill sites (where I carry my rifle to keep those stats low!)

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    The Anchorage homeless out kill bears
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Quote Originally Posted by kodiakrain View Post
    "...I sincerely apologize for snapping any myths here, they are so profitable to so many..."
    Not certain where all the "profit" is - unless one writes a book.
    Would be interesting to know if you carry a rifle when returning to a kill-site - and if so, why.
    Starting to look like spring here! (At least when compared to last month)
    Joe

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    I believe new population reports put the black bear population closer to 1 million in North America. Regardless your right bears aren't near as big as threat to us as cancer is. When I'm in the woods I'm much more afraid of other hunters than I am of bears.
    I believe our innate fear of bears comes from our evolutionary past. Go back a few thousand years ago and I would have to say that bears were the top predator on the North American continent. When all humans had were spears or bows and arrows I think the bears definitely had an advantage then. The only thing that gives us the advantage now as the top predator on the North American continent is our superior brains that have led to us developing technology like centerfire rifles and handguns that gives us the advantage over bears.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buck Nelson View Post
    Joe, I know what you're saying, but it doesn't have to be all or nothing. I'll be carrying my rifle to and from kill sites because as you well know the odds of potential bear problems soar around kills.

    That said, there is meaning in those statistics. It's not true that "you better carry a gun or the bears will kill you" nor is it true that bears are to be trusted. The truth is there is some risk, but with a little common sense the risk is very low. Even when hunting, even around kill sites (where I carry my rifle to keep those stats low!)
    The "statistics" cited may influence perception, and rightfully so, what influence they should exert on procedures is an entirely different issue.
    Joe

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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Taylor View Post
    Funny that Sarah Palin has an Alaska Adventure show but you don't. I find that disturbing.

    LOL

    Taylor
    I thought the same thing the first time I heard about her show!

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    Member Buck Nelson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wantj43 View Post
    The "statistics" cited may influence perception, and rightfully so, what influence they should exert on procedures is an entirely different issue.
    Joe
    We should all follow whatever procedures we think are merited based on the facts as we understand them combined with our own experiences. I wouldn't try to tell you what to do, and I'm confident you'd do as you pleased even if I did.

    33outdoorsman, I think you've made a good point. Humans were much lower down on the food chain not so long ago. There's an innate dread of huge, furry animals with big teeth and claws. You might be right on the 1 million black bears. The population estimates seem to be all over the charts, so I went with Herroro's population numbers as he is an authority. His numbers are a little dated, so they are likely understated by now.

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