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They're Baaaack!


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Took Bailey for a walk up through Sparta Glen today as its close to home and a good excuse for a cache check-up. Absolutely beautiful day for this hike. While making the circuit, ran into the first bear of the season (alert that is - found a few sleepers).

 

A direct line from my Ridge Trail Cache to my Sparta Glen Rest Stop (or visa versa) will lead you right to this big girl:

 

aa07a471-9c5d-411e-99e4-6c61c84f921a.jpg

 

She has a cub nestled under all that fur and gave us some big time eyeballing. I had a zoom camera and this is cropped quite a bit (why its so grainy) so I was not nearly as close as the picture suggests. I was on an opposing ridge near Sparta Glen Rest Stop.

 

If you are out near these caches in the next few months, please keep your eyes open for the bears.

 

PS - Watch for ticks as well, pulled three off once I got home.

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TRL - Thats our bear!! We saw it first!! :(B) Glad to see mom and baby survived the snow storm. At least you were on the other side of the ravine and not as close as I was when I spotted it last month.

 

You're right, it is the bear you spotted. But she is up and about now as opposed to snoozing. Just want to make sure everyone is alert to that fact.

 

Her coat is beautiful so anyone with a BIG zoom lens could get a great picture. But I definitely advise keeping your distance. With the mild winter and denning out in the open I can't imagine that she had a good sleep. I know what a grump I can be when sleep disturbed so I can only imagine how much of a "bear" a bear can be. :rolleyes:

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Took Bailey for a walk up through Sparta Glen today as its close to home and a good excuse for a cache check-up. Absolutely beautiful day for this hike. While making the circuit, ran into the first bear of the season (alert that is - found a few sleepers).

 

A direct line from my Ridge Trail Cache to my Sparta Glen Rest Stop (or visa versa) will lead you right to this big girl:

 

You are a hot mess! All my traipsing and I don't even get one!

Edited by Squealy
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I received a few emails from people today who said they looked for the bear but couldn't find her. Below is a picture what she looks like from a distance. The red arrow points to the bear. Even up close she is nearly invisible until you make noise (pic 2).

 

56bbced0-a81b-44cb-ab53-1e082fe5f5f3.jpg

 

3a2b34ef-4cbf-4144-8631-3c0f8c7254cd.jpg

 

http://img.Groundspeak.com/cache/log/b856a...36f211164d0.jpg

 

I am now using a binocular camera as this is a big bear with a cub. As we move into Spring, please show respect and distance. If anyone is really dying to see the bear, I'll give a guided tour tomorrow at 11:00 AM if you let me know in advance. I can show the route that doesn't threaten the bear (er.. you :lol: ).

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I received a few emails from people today who said they looked for the bear but couldn't find her. Below is a picture what she looks like from a distance. The red arrow points to the bear. Even up close she is nearly invisible until you make noise (pic 2).

 

56bbced0-a81b-44cb-ab53-1e082fe5f5f3.jpg

 

3a2b34ef-4cbf-4144-8631-3c0f8c7254cd.jpg

 

http://img.Groundspeak.com/cache/log/b856a...36f211164d0.jpg

 

I am now using a binocular camera as this is a big bear with a cub. As we move into Spring, please show respect and distance. If anyone is really dying to see the bear, I'll give a guided tour tomorrow at 11:00 AM if you let me know in advance. I can show the route that doesn't threaten the bear (er.. you :lol: ).

 

I can't help thinking that this is aggitating this bear who only wants to be left alone. From these pix it appears that she can clearly see you as well as you can see her.

Is a guided tour really neccesary?

Just asking since only you know the distance between she and you. I

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I can't help thinking that this is aggitating this bear who only wants to be left alone. From these pix it appears that she can clearly see you as well as you can see her.

Is a guided tour really neccesary?

Just asking since only you know the distance between she and you. I

 

I don't think this is agitating to the bear. I don't make noise other than that a hiker would make passing by on the trail. I don't throw things at her or otherwise annoy her physically. She has denned right off the main trail. She looks as shown every time someone passes.

 

I am on a different ridge approximately 50 yards away when I take the pics. And as noted, I use a big zoom. I think if someone is interested in the same view through binoculars or a zoom lens, it is completely appropriate.

Edited by Team Rampant Lion
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I can't help thinking that this is aggitating this bear who only wants to be left alone. From these pix it appears that she can clearly see you as well as you can see her.

Is a guided tour really neccesary?

Just asking since only you know the distance between she and you. I

 

I don't think this is agitating to the bear. I don't make noise other than that a hiker would make passing by on the trail. I don't throw things at her or otherwise annoy her physically. She has denned right off the main trail. She looks as shown every time someone passes.

 

I am on a different ridge approximately 50 yards away when I take the pics. And as noted, I use a big zoom. I think if someone is interested in the same view through binoculars or a zoom lens, it is completely appropriate.

 

At 150' I would have to disagree with you. Especially is you are offering to bring others along to see her. She wasn't smart enough to know that she denned so close to humans. I only hope she doesn't have to pay the price for her mistake later on.

I'm no expert on bears so I don't know if she will try to keep that as a home base or will take her cubs and move on soon. Hopefully she will move on to avoid problems.

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At 150' I would have to disagree with you. Especially is you are offering to bring others along to see her. She wasn't smart enough to know that she denned so close to humans. I only hope she doesn't have to pay the price for her mistake later on.

I'm no expert on bears so I don't know if she will try to keep that as a home base or will take her cubs and move on soon. Hopefully she will move on to avoid problems.

 

:lol: "Pay the price" for what? Hunting is not allowed back here. She has denned in a township park at a spot that the main trail comes within 100' feet of. Many, many people walk past her every day and are likely completely unaware of her. I am certain that she checks out every one of them and that this is routine for her.

 

As a geocacher, you should know that 150' as the crow flies can be substantially different when terrain is added in. You will note that my previous posts highlighted I was on a different ridge (probably also 100' above) and the zoomed but non-cropped pics above demonstrate that vantage point.

 

I consider seeing a bear in the wild a unique privilege. I know many people have never experienced such a sight and would enjoy doing so. If I can share the experience by showing a spot from where a reasonable glimpse can be captured with the right equipment, I am willing to do it. My expectation is that I would be leading responsible people who respect nature to this spot not a kazoo band armed with slingshots and pellet guns.

 

To suggest it is irresponsible when you have neither seen the spot or have first hand knowledge of the circumstances is out of line.

Edited by Team Rampant Lion
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At 150' I would have to disagree with you. Especially is you are offering to bring others along to see her. She wasn't smart enough to know that she denned so close to humans. I only hope she doesn't have to pay the price for her mistake later on.

I'm no expert on bears so I don't know if she will try to keep that as a home base or will take her cubs and move on soon. Hopefully she will move on to avoid problems.

 

:mad: "Pay the price" for what? Hunting is not allowed back here. She has denned in a township park at a spot that the main trail comes within 100' feet of. Many, many people walk past her every day and are likely completely unaware of her. I am certain that she checks out every one of them and that this is routine for her.

 

As a geocacher, you should know that 150' as the crow flies can be substantially different when terrain is added in. You will note that my previous posts highlighted I was on a different ridge (probably also 100' above) and the zoomed but non-cropped pics above demonstrate that vantage point.

 

I consider seeing a bear in the wild a unique privilege. I know many people have never experienced such a sight and would enjoy doing so. If I can share the experience by showing a spot from where a reasonable glimpse can be captured with the right equipment, I am willing to do it. My expectation is that I would be leading responsible people who respect nature to this spot not a kazoo band armed with slingshots and pellet guns.

 

To suggest it is irresponsible when you have neither seen the spot or have first hand knowledge of the circumstances is out of line.

 

As you just wrote, it was a suggestion. Not out of line at all. I am allowed to ask responsible questions and expect responsible, reasonable answers which you gave.

There should be no hard feelings from you.

I know exactly what 150' is whether it is open space or a wooded area.

 

I'd be willing to bet that if the bear was spotted in a National Park or someplace with an on staff naturalist, she would be protected from observation at close range like this.

 

I appreciate your feeling and wanting to share the experience but ask you to consider that not everyone you point to that sight will have the same respect and knowledge about what they are experiencing.

 

No hard feelings?

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I appreciate your feeling and wanting to share the experience but ask you to consider that not everyone you point to that sight will have the same respect and knowledge about what they are experiencing.

 

No hard feelings?

 

No hard feelings at all (just in a spirited debate type of mood today).

 

But I do consider geocachers a group strongly biased toward respect and knowledge of nature.

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Do you soak yourself in honey before going out? I am amazed at how many bears you come across. The caches that you have posted are they in a rural setting?

 

According to briansnat, it is my jelly donut underpants that are the problem. :P

 

Seriously, I believe there are three key reasons I see more bears than most. First, I tend to hike alone with my dog so I am not making much noise - they are less inclined to scoot and when they do I hear them. Second, I look around a lot. I really believe every cacher in our area has as many close encounters as I do they just don't realize it because they either walked right under them (up in tree) or right past them looking at their GPS. Third, northwest NJ (and Sussex County in particular) is really overpopulated with black bear. A TV show on black bears suggested their natural territory range should be 1 bear per 7 square miles which, if accurate, would suggest we should have 75 bears in the 521 square miles of Sussex County. If I recall correctly, the last estimate was somewhere in the 1,200 to 1,800 range in Sussex County. That's about 1 bear per every 0.35 miles.

 

While most of my caches are placed in rural and rugged locations, the one from which this bear can be spotted is only about 0.3 miles from the police station and 0.5 miles from the main downtown area of Sparta, NJ. A town with a population of approximately 20,000. As Geobrnd can attest, there is not just one bear in this location but at least 4 as he came across all of them in one trip last year.

 

Welcome to caching in northwest NJ. :rolleyes:

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This is our bear encounter over this past weekend. It's not as exciting as the above posts but it is a sighting.

No pictures either.

 

First read my log.

My Log

 

then read bob393's log.

 

bob393's Log

 

WOW! Luckily this time of the year they are sluggish. Here is an excerpt from Lynn Rogers (a bear expert) on their state this time of year.

 

Black bears keep their heads and torsos warm enough that they can wake if disturbed, though some may take awhile to do so. In a 1981 article in Natural History, Rogers told of the time he accidentally fell onto a six-year-old female in her den. Even though her cub bawled, she didn't wake up for at least eight minutes. On the other hand, some individuals can revive disconcertingly quickly.

 

Although it is good to keep in mind that they are now waking up.

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In my decade or so of hiking, I've 'met' twenty or more bear, in New Jersey, Maine and Virginia. I only ever needed to see one bear! :D Usually, the run too fast for me to get a picture, like the one I almost stepped on in Wawayanda. Here's a picture that I've posted already, of a bear at Mahlon Dickerson Reservation. (The only other bear picture I've taken is of one on the AT, near a campground in Shenandoah National Park.)

c3c72f57-b41a-4f07-acc3-7a9c226f6049.jpg

I've read that bear should normally have a territory of a square mile each. New Jersey is definitely overpopulated with bear. I'm a realist. I have no problem with hunting (except that it cuts into hiking time...) We had a bear that tried to walk through Dover, on the way to the fleamarket. The police chased him north, into Wharton. Not sure what the people in Wharton thought of that. :ph34r:

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In my decade or so of hiking, I've 'met' twenty or more bear, in New Jersey, Maine and Virginia. I only ever needed to see one bear! :) Usually, the run too fast for me to get a picture, like the one I almost stepped on in Wawayanda. Here's a picture that I've posted already, of a bear at Mahlon Dickerson Reservation. (The only other bear picture I've taken is of one on the AT, near a campground in Shenandoah National Park.)

c3c72f57-b41a-4f07-acc3-7a9c226f6049.jpg

I've read that bear should normally have a territory of a square mile each. New Jersey is definitely overpopulated with bear. I'm a realist. I have no problem with hunting (except that it cuts into hiking time...) We had a bear that tried to walk through Dover, on the way to the fleamarket. The police chased him north, into Wharton. Not sure what the people in Wharton thought of that. ;)

 

Just yesterday a friend of mine in Wharton told me about bears scaling the four foot chain link fence to get to his suet feeders.

 

He stopped using those feeders.

 

bigpix

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Last night a bear took out my bird feeders... it did not seem that sluggish as it walked away! I've seen bears on the trails (sometimes on the caches), but mostly in my own back yard. I tend to think that "alerting them to human presence" often is probably a good idea, if they are on/close to trails, so that they might get the notion to move further away from the trail for their regular haunts. Of course, where is a bear to go? We're overpopulated with people and bears and deer here. I think we need to get some grey wolves, too, but then again most people think I'm a nut job. Most importantly, we need something that will eat lots of chipmonks.

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A bear has taken out my bird feeders every spring for the past 3 years. He/she hasn't been by this year yet though.

 

The feeders are suspended on a wire hung 20 feet above ground between my house and a nearby tree.

You'd think they would be safe there, but the bear simply climbs the tree and rips out the wire. How it even knows to do that is beyond me. The wire is barely visible with the naked eye from the ground.

 

The strange thing is that it takes them down once, then never returns. Maybe the capsicum powder I mix in with my bird seed to keep squirrels out isn't pleasant for the bear.

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6-Year-Old Girl Dies in Tenn. Bear Attack

The Associated Press

Friday, April 14, 2006

 

BENTON, Tenn. -- A bear attacked a family at a camp site in the Cherokee National Forest on Thursday, killing a 6-year-old girl and injuring her 2-year-old brother and mother, authorities said.

 

The attack took place near a pool of water on Chilhowee Mountain, said Dan Hicks, spokesman for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

 

Witnesses described the bear picking up the boy in its mouth while the mother and other visitors tried to fend it off with sticks and rocks, Hicks said. The mother was injured before the bear was chased away.

 

The girl ran away during that attack, but was found dead a short time later with the bear nearby. A park ranger fired at least one shot at the bear before it bolted off.

 

The woman and her son were flown by helicopter to Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga, where both were being treated for wounds consistent with a bear attack, Hicks said.

 

Hospital officials did not immediately return calls for comment, but Hicks said the boy was listed in critical condition. The victims' names were not released.

 

Forest Service employees, TWRA game agents and several hunters were searching for the bear in an area spanning several thousand acres.

 

The 640,000-acre park runs along the southeastern Tennessee border with North Carolina, southwest of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

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How to deal with a bear encounter

 

Hope I never have to; I'll feel bad for either killing it or permanantly disabling it.

 

Some of those tips seem a little more grizzly oriented. From what I have read the "fetal position" tip should be avoided with a black bear. If they have not yet gotten within close proximity, talking loud and deep while backing away slowly is recommended. If they are actually attacking, the recommendations I read were to fight back. According the Sierra Club..

 

If it is a black, brown, or cinnamon bear and it isn't bluffing, don't run or climb a tree - bears are much faster than you are at both. Some experts recommend putting up a noisy fight, using pepper spray, your hiking stick, a skillet, or anything else that's handy to bang it about the head. You'll probably survive, though somewhat battered.

 

Of course, they add - "These tactics may not work. Stay alert, avoid bears".

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Some of those tips seem a little more grizzly oriented. From what I have read the "fetal position" tip should be avoided with a black bear. If they have not yet gotten within close proximity, talking loud and deep while backing away slowly is recommended. If they are actually attacking, the recommendations I read were to fight back.

 

Indeed; if I had my hiking stick with me, I'd be going for the eyes, ears, jaw, and genetals. Of course, if the didn't run away after seeing me, I'd probably run first. Just because I know how to ruff up a bear doesn't mean I'm itching to try :anitongue:

 

and I would only use a play-dead sort of thing at the last minute. I'd be too concerned that I'd get mauled to hell before the bear got bored/thought I was dead.

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A bear was spotted in Trenton the other day near the DEPE offices, yesterday a bear was spotted in Livingston. Today a bear was spotted in Newark. No bears were spotted in Sparta or West Milford in the same period. Hmmmm Update looks like the bear from Newark was killed in Irvington.

Edited by Packanack
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We spotted two Bears on the pine swamp trails today in Mahlon Dickerson Reservation, they took one look at us and ran the other direction. Also, spotted another one off the road by the Jefferson Twsp. police HQ Weldon road, on 5/5. Klizich spotted the same Bear, same spot on 5/9. This is where the Bears belong, not in the city of Trenton and Irvington...

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A bear was spotted in Trenton the other day near the DEPE offices, yesterday a bear was spotted in Livingston. Today a bear was spotted in Newark. No bears were spotted in Sparta or West Milford in the same period. Hmmmm Update looks like the bear from Newark was killed in Irvington.

 

The one in Trenton was shot and killed.

The one in Livingston made it onto national news last night and was probably the same one that was killed in Irvington today. They had it cornered and were going to tranq. it but it made a move towards the shooter so cops shot and killed it.

 

As it made it's way through Livingston into West Orange it went from wooded areas to suburban developements. Then it ran out of woods and didn't have a chance. For a while it looked like it might make it's way towards Sout h Mountain Reservation which is a couple of thousand wooded acres. But, it didn't have a map.

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I spotted onen West Milford on Monday but somehow it did not make it onto the news.

 

I spotted one on the way home from work on Monday just west of West Milford (Newfoundland?). It was looking across the northbound side of Route 23 apparently waiting for a break in traffic. I was half expecting to hear about it being hit by a car. Maybe it was the same one.

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Andy Bear and I were benchmarking on Millbrook Road in Hardwick yesterday. (Nice trip up into the DWGNRA.) We searched the woods alongside the road for about twenty minutes without finding the benchmark. We got back into the car, and were looking to see where the next mark was, when a bear went running across the road. Young cub, about 70-100 pounds. Ten minutes earlier, we would have been in the woods when he came running through. :cry: Our first bear of the year. Andy Bear says that it was his cousin Tony.

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I had my first bear encounter on Saturday after many years of hiking. I was in Norvin Green coming down from Assiniwikam Mt. and had just rejoined the red trail from the pink trail.

 

I heard scampering off to my left and saw a very cute cub running around about 100-150ft from me. I froze as I realized that a little cub meant a big mom nearby. I spotted mom a few moments later and luckily she was a bit further into the woods and the cub was headed back to her and not towards me.

 

It looked like she had spotted me also so I made a quick and noisy exit down the trail. I rate my encounter as about 50%, "Wow, there's a bear", and 50%, "Holy S**t, that's a pretty big bear, I hope she's in a good mood".

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The REAL Quoddy and I had our first CLOSE encounter with a black bear today. Quoddy reacted just as I expected he would, which is why he's on the 26' extended leash, charged straight at it. By the time I looked the bear, approximately 300 pounds, was stopping about 80-90' away to access us, then continued his retreat. I couldn't get my camera out of the holder in time. Quite a "rush" to see one that close up, but amazingly, no fear. Spotted it on the way to Flora Glen in Massachusetts. Maybe the name should be changed to Fauna.

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