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....mama bear and three cubs.

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....I was hiking out of the Roaring Plains area of West Virginia, came around a large rock in the trail and there they were!

Mama bear and her three cubs...eating something along the trail.

I froze...and was wishing very much that I had some pepper spray.

The babies noticed me and started running down the trail the direction I was headed...one after the other. The mama kept eating and only started running after she noticed her babies running away. She never noticed me.

I finally started breathing after she was a good ways down the trail. The goods news was that she was running away from me...the bad news was that it was the same direction I still had to go!

A bear by itself is kind of scary, but a mama and her cubs is downright frightening!

I had seen a mama and her cubs before but it was from the safety of my truck cab.

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Ah! We love bears! (Lots of bear in North Jersey.) But Momma with the cubs is always a worry.

Was hiking on the trail I used to maintain. Went around a bend. Baby Bear 1 went bounding off to the right. Beaby Bear 2 went bounding off straight ahead. Okay, said I. Momma is there somewhere. Waited a few minutes, and looked around the bend. There was Momma looking at me. She went bounding out after her cubs.

Always a thrill! Always somewhat frightening.

Gratuitous photo of Cindy Bear, whom I met whilst hiding a cache in the NWCDC,.

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I think I've met thirty or so bear while geocaching/hiking. Mostly New Jersey, with some sightings in Maine and Shenanoah, Virginia. No. I do NOT have a lot of photos. Photography is not the first thought when meeting bear in the wild.

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Out of curiosity....do you carry pepper-spray or am I just being overly cautious?

 

No. I don't. I figure it would take me so long to get it out, that it would be of no use. Them bear are fast! Almost got run over by a cub in Wawayanda. He was sunning himself on the right side of the trail. He heard me coming, and went shooting across the trail. Almost ran me over.

Generally, off in the woods, they are afraid of you, and run away, rather than try to attack.

Almost stepped on Stumpy once. A couple of miles in on a trail. I came around a bend, and there he was. Must have missed him by four feet. He took off through the mountain laurel (If you've ever tried to bushwhack through mountain laurel, you know how nasty that can be!) I felt sorry for him. Well, fifteen minutes later, after my heart beat came back to normal, and I was able to move again...

I've got another bear photo somewhere. I'll have to see if I can dig it up...

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I think I've heard of people carrying bells or anything else that makes a racket to scare them off before you are surprised. (Or they surprise YOU!)

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When I used to bring the dog out I use to have bells on the dog leash and I tend to make noise as I'm going through the woods because then you're less likely to have a surprise attack and they just move elsewhere.

 

We have a lot of habituated bears here which is a problem but it is what it is.

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A cacher made a comment recently about one of my caches being in prime bear territory and my thought was, well yea, but then everywhere around here in the bush is 'bear territory'.

 

Today, that territory was a 1/2 block from my home. I took MacKenzie out for his morning walk and had to do a quick retreat. A bear cub was jaywalking across the main street and then headed off through the small park. My problem wasn't with the cub...it was 'Where the heck is Momma'!!

 

We never did see momma, but the restaurant in town had a nasty, nasty mess to clean up around their trash bins.

 

So far this year that makes one moose and one bear playing tourist here. We don't even bother to count the deer... :laughing:

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Mama bears with cubs are about as bad as mama moose with calf... actually I would probably rather run into the bear then the moose. Bear are more likely to do a fake charge then veer off to reunite with cubs. Moose are more likely to stomp you before running off. Unfortunately, up here both are likely to be encountered... and if really unlucky: The Grizzly bears: in which case all bets are off.

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