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The Continuing Adventures Of The Bear Hunter


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Another bear encounter this week. The full story, which is entertaining, is here "Ay Caramba" log. Well, it's as least as entertaining as a DNF can be.

 

This encounter was a little unnerving as the bear was unrelentless in coming toward me. The picture stinks because I was starting to realize I might have a real encounter here and my hand was shaking. He was walking when I first saw him and as he (or she) started to approach I wanted to make sure he saw me while far enough away to turn. When I yelled, he appeared to actually pick up the pace. I blew my whistle and he appeared to break into a jog toward me. :yikes:

 

I grabbed my open pack, threw it over one shoulder, jumped on my bike and headed the other way (FAST). I didn't like that one. :P

 

ab427d39-7e92-4804-8980-7d732424a610.jpg

Edited by Team Rampant Lion
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If it was coming towards you like that, you may want to report it to the rangers. Bears that have lost their fear of humans, and bears that are openly agressive may require action on the ranger's part. This is a potentially serious issue for other hikers in the area.

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Subject: DEP NEWS:

 

IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

June 17, 2005

Contact: Karen Hershey

(609) 984-1795

 

DEP ANNOUNCES PROGRAM TO MANAGE BEAR COMPLAINTS Town of West Milford to Receive 200K to Purchase Bear Resistant Garbage Cans

 

(05/79) TRENTON -New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

(DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today presented West Milford Township, Passaic County with a $200,000 grant to purchase bear resistant garbage cans and help minimize bear problems throughout the state. Township officials plan to acquire the cans in the fall, a time when bear nuisance complaints in West Milford are at their highest.

 

"One of the best ways to discourage nuisance bears is by storing garbage properly," said Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell. "These bear resistant cans will not only help reduce bear garbage problems in West Milford, it will also provide useful data regarding the effectiveness of using bear resistant garbage cans to keep bears in their natural habitat-away from residential neighborhoods."

 

"These cans will help us better manage our bear problems and improve the quality of life for West Milford residents," said West Milford Township Mayor Joseph Di Donato.

 

Cans will be distributed to every household free of charge in six West Milford neighborhoods where bear incidents have been particularly high

in recent years. The remainder of the funding will go toward

subsidizing the purchase of cans for the entire municipality. Residents will be able to purchase bear resistant garbage cans for a nominal fee.

 

"Public education and responsible garbage management are among the many important tools we need to employ in the comprehensive management of our black bear population in New Jersey," said Martin Mchugh, Director of DEP's Division of Fish and Wildlife. "This pilot project will help evaluate the benefits of community wide education and garbage management."

 

The Department will compare bear nuisance data in the test communities with data gathered from "control" communities, that is, communities that are not saturated with bear resistant garbage cans. Before and after surveys will allow DEP to evaluate the effectiveness of the cans as part of a comprehensive strategy for minimizing bear-human interactions in towns and communities throughout New Jersey.

 

The pilot program also includes an educational component to inform West Milford residents about how to live in bear country. Important facts about black bear behavior, habitat needs and ways of avoiding conflict will be distributed to residents in town mailings.

 

Joining the Commissioner at today's event were Councilman Joseph Elcavage, Township Administrator Richard Kunze and other Town officials.

 

In 2003 and 2004, there were 198 bear damage and nuisance complaints reported in West Milford.

 

To date, DEP has trained more than 600 law enforcement personnel from towns and public agencies in bear response protocol and techniques.

 

To learn more about New Jersey's black bears, visit DEP's Web site

at: www.njfishandwildlife.com.

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If it was coming towards you like that, you may want to report it to the rangers. Bears that have lost their fear of humans, and bears that are openly agressive may require action on the ranger's part. This is a potentially serious issue for other hikers in the area.

Upon encouragement from several of you reported this event to Wawayanda State Park via their website. Will stop into their office next week as I'm sure I'll be back to cap off Ay Caramba.

 

Ironically, was out yesterday heading towards Briansnat's Both Ends Burning and ran into another bear there. Pretty sure it was the same one I ran into on June 4th at FEARGUS I - much cuter, better behaved. All the same, reported it to the rangers because it had absolutely no fear whatsoever of us (5 people and a dog).

Even by my standards, three bear encounters in two weeks (2 in 2 days) exceeded my comfort level. With that, called it a day.

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Ironically, was out yesterday heading towards Briansnat's Both Ends Burning and ran into another bear there. Pretty sure it was the same one I ran into on June 4th at FEARGUS I - much cuter, better behaved. All the same, reported it to the rangers because it had absolutely no fear whatsoever of us (5 people and a dog).

Even by my standards, three bear encounters in two weeks (2 in 2 days) exceeded my comfort level. With that, called it a day.

You ever think about pulling the rancid meat out of your pockets?

 

bike_bear.jpg

 

My god, they've got engines now!

 

Circus-Bear-4.jpg

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Subject: DEP NEWS:

 

IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

June 17, 2005

Contact: Karen Hershey

(609) 984-1795

 

DEP ANNOUNCES PROGRAM TO MANAGE BEAR COMPLAINTS Town of West Milford to Receive 200K to Purchase Bear Resistant Garbage Cans

 

(05/79) TRENTON -New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

(DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today presented West Milford Township, Passaic County with a $200,000 grant to purchase bear resistant garbage cans and help minimize bear problems throughout the state. Township officials plan to acquire the cans in the fall, a time when bear nuisance complaints in West Milford are at their highest.

 

"One of the best ways to discourage nuisance bears is by storing garbage properly," said Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell. "These bear resistant cans will not only help reduce bear garbage problems in West Milford, it will also provide useful data regarding the effectiveness of using bear resistant garbage cans to keep bears in their natural habitat-away from residential neighborhoods."

 

"These cans will help us better manage our bear problems and improve the quality of life for West Milford residents," said West Milford Township Mayor Joseph Di Donato.

 

Cans will be distributed to every household free of charge in six West Milford neighborhoods where bear incidents have been particularly high

in recent years. The remainder of the funding will go toward

subsidizing the purchase of cans for the entire municipality. Residents will be able to purchase bear resistant garbage cans for a nominal fee.

 

"Public education and responsible garbage management are among the many important tools we need to employ in the comprehensive management of our black bear population in New Jersey," said Martin Mchugh, Director of DEP's Division of Fish and Wildlife. "This pilot project will help evaluate the benefits of community wide education and garbage management."

 

The Department will compare bear nuisance data in the test communities with data gathered from "control" communities, that is, communities that are not saturated with bear resistant garbage cans. Before and after surveys will allow DEP to evaluate the effectiveness of the cans as part of a comprehensive strategy for minimizing bear-human interactions in towns and communities throughout New Jersey.

 

The pilot program also includes an educational component to inform West Milford residents about how to live in bear country. Important facts about black bear behavior, habitat needs and ways of avoiding conflict will be distributed to residents in town mailings.

 

Joining the Commissioner at today's event were Councilman Joseph Elcavage, Township Administrator Richard Kunze and other Town officials.

 

In 2003 and 2004, there were 198 bear damage and nuisance complaints reported in West Milford.

 

To date, DEP has trained more than 600 law enforcement personnel from towns and public agencies in bear response protocol and techniques.

 

To learn more about New Jersey's black bears, visit DEP's Web site

at: www.njfishandwildlife.com.

Why are the bears complaining? Team Bear Bait (formerly Team Rampant Lion) has been trying very hard to entertain them.

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We were at the Dairy Queen in West Milford a few weeks ago and there was a momma bear with two cubs tearing through the dumpster. They showed absolutely no fear of humans. The police were called and the bears were dispersed with rubber slugs and noise-making shells fired from shotguns.

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Wow! It feels like I have the whole bear nation after me. Trowel32 visited the Whttingham series today and judging from her logs, it sounds like every one was destroyed. :P

 

Except for "Class Cache" the rest were decon boxes and Nalgene bottles, heavy duty stuff. I guess I'll have to go back to all metal out here.

Edited by Team Rampant Lion
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Never, ever run from a bear, even on a bicycle. They are faster and and it may make you look like dinner and trigger their chase instinct.

I know this fact well. According to the Nature Channel, a black bear can maintain a speed of 30 mph for up to 15 minutes.

 

In this case, in two steps I was over the crest of the hill and out of site. While still probably not the right decision (please do as I say, not as I do), I was praying for the out of sight out of mind effect and counting on the fact the bear still had a bit of a climb to get to where I was and couldn't see me high tail it.

 

After downloading my track, I am fairly certain the encounter happened just south of where Laurel Pond Trail crosses Cherry Ridge Road. There is a large metal barrier (swing gate) at the spot I was resting when the bear came up toward me. Heads up out there.

 

For the record, I have been out here biking frequently and often run into bears. They are usually not a problem.

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Wow! It feels like I have the whole bear nation after me. Trowel32 visited the Whttingham series today and judging from her logs, it sounds like every one was destroyed. :P

 

Except for "Class Cache" the rest were decon boxes and Nalgene bottles, heavy duty stuff. I guess I'll have to go back to all metal out here.

Must be the jelly donuts I left in them

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Where did you see the bear? There was one hibernating under a rock ledge by Stage 2 when we were there in the winter. Actually it wasn't quite asleep, it did turn its snout and look at us. We decided to finish the cache some other time. I still have to get back there. If it was near Stage 2 maybe it is a mama with some cubs stashed nearby in one of the crevices.

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Where did you see the bear? There was one hibernating under a rock ledge by Stage 2 when we were there in the winter. Actually it wasn't quite asleep, it did turn its snout and look at us. We decided to finish the cache some other time. I still have to get back there. If it was near Stage 2 maybe it is a mama with some cubs stashed nearby in one of the crevices.

It was just past Stage 3. Continuing up that trail, I turned right onto what I believe was Cherry Ridge Road and continued to the top. The bear came onto the road from the other direction (opposite from the cache location). Being that this location was only 0.5 - 0.6 miles from Stage 2, it could certainly be the same one. I think I recall hearing that black bears tend stay within a 7 square mile range. But there are a lot of bears in this park.

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If you didn't run from that bear and he just kept coming at you, what next? Play dead and hope he goes away? I keep hearing, never run from a bear. But you're here to write about it now because you did. What do you think would have been the outcome if you stood still and just let that scary situation play itself out?

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What do you think would have been the outcome if you stood still and just let that scary situation play itself out?

I had a really, really BAD feeling about just that thought at the time. Judging from the bear's body language and demeanor, I definitely felt there would have been contact. I guess I could have (and maybe should have) used the bear mace I carried, that might have made human contact unappealing to that bear in the future. My instinct just told me that getting out of sight and onto the bike was a better option.

 

Right or wrong, I'm happy to say I'm not bear flatulence today.

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Another bear encounter this week.  The full story, which is entertaining, is here "Ay Caramba" log.  Well, it's as least as entertaining as a DNF can be.

 

This encounter was a little unnerving as the bear was unrelentless in coming toward me.  The picture stinks because I was starting to realize I might have a real encounter here and my hand was shaking.  He was walking when I first saw him and as he (or she) started to approach I wanted to make sure he saw me while far enough away to turn.  When I yelled, he appeared to actually pick up the pace.  I blew my whistle and he appeared to break into a jog toward me.  :lol:

 

I grabbed my open pack, threw it over one shoulder, jumped on my bike and headed the other way (FAST).  I didn't like that one. :( 

 

ab427d39-7e92-4804-8980-7d732424a610.jpg

Are sure it was a bear? After reading Stayfloppy's log in Brady Road Bushwack it could have been him :lol: !

Edited by Straatmaker 5
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:yikes: ...neat finishing job...did you take it down to "bear" wood????

Ugh, that was so bad I am forced to report you to the proper authorities. :angry:

 

"People who make puns are like wanton boys that put coppers on the railroad tracks. They amuse themselves and other children, but their little trick may upset a freight train of conversation for the sake of a battered witticism."

 

-- Oliver Wendell Holmes

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After returning from vacation I opted to visit the state park and had an "encounter". What I saw was both strange and informative, having provided an answer to one of life's major mysteries. I am wondering if this bear was the same you encountered...sure would explain his hurry and why he wasn't "concerned" with you on the trail. <_<

 

c7c5f226.jpg

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:)  ...neat finishing job...did you take it down to "bear" wood????

Ugh, that was so bad I am forced to report you to the proper authorities. :)

 

"People who make puns are like wanton boys that put coppers on the railroad tracks. They amuse themselves and other children, but their little trick may upset a freight train of conversation for the sake of a battered witticism."

 

-- Oliver Wendell Holmes

Yeah but you get a cool smashed penny out of it! :)

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Does anyone carry bear mace? I saw it the other day in the sporting good store for 40 bucks a can and it also looked bulky to be lugging around the woods. But, it might be worth it. TRL it seems you sure do have the encounters (snakes, bears, the unexplained...) I have not yet seen any bears while caching this year, but have happened upon two destroyed caches.

 

How about airhorns?

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Noise is probably a better choice...the canned air horn will make quite a bit. Further, it is able to be administered from a further (safer) distance. NJ law restricts the size of "bear mace" (10% pepper spray is by definition for bears, 5% for dogs - both covered by NJ statutes) that civilians may carry, I would have to research further but I believe the amount covered is something in the area of 1/10 of an ounce (the law is definitely under 1 oz!). The can you describe and the price make me think it may be a problem. The other unfortunate circumstance is having to be in relatively close proximity to apply (usually 15' or less, some claim up to 30'). Remembering how quickly bears can move, mixed with an adrenaline rush making one nervous and jerky, and, environmental concerns (wind) leaves a lot to be desired. If you haven't been pepper sprayed, be thankful. I had to do it twice for instructor certification and recertification...one part of the job I will not miss doing again. :laughing:

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When geocaching in wooded areas that are known to be inhabited by bears, 1) NEVER walk softly. Bears have much better hearing than us. You may even want to try wearing a bear bell. It doesn't make hardly any noise, but apparently bears can hear it at a great distance. Chances are you may never encounter a bear if you wear it. 2) If you do encounter a bear, DON'T RUN AND DON'T CLIMB A TREE. Bears can run faster and are much better climbers than us. If you encounter a bear, either stand your ground or back away slowly. 3) Try desperately to NEVER get between a momma bear and her cubs. If you see cubs, move away from them as fast as you can without running. 4) If you are going to hike in the woods, don't eat anything before you go or bring a snack that will give a bear the impression that you might be good to eat. For an example of what NOT to do, DON'T smear yourself with peanutbutter and honey and then fill your pockets with sardines. 5) As an add-on to #1, Don't walk softly in the woods and forget the big stick, carry a large sidearm. You can use it to scare off the bear if he charges at you. If that doesn't work, DON'T try and shoot him, as most handgun rounds WILL NOT penetrate a bears hide. If a bear gets that close to you and it 's obvious that he is going to do you harm, I would try shoving the handgun into his mouth and empty the magazine down his throat. It may only give him heartburn, but at least you will die fighting. Also, prayer might be a good thing right about now. :lol:

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