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SWWASAS

Fatal cougar attack in Washington State

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MIB

With any kind of bear, by the time you are sure whether it's a bluff or the real thing, it's essentially too late to do anything about it.   I've been on the uncomfortable end of numerous black bear charges.  They've all turned out ok, but there was no way to be sure 'til they were 20 feet or less away coming at me at 30 mph or more.   Even if I'd shot one at that distance and killed it, it still would have hit me before it stopped.   

 

Personally, I've lost my patience / willingness to take that risk.   I've decided that if a bear starts doing that, I'm not waiting for last minute stops, it's going to start eating lead far enough away for lead to do some good.   That probably means killing bears I might not have had to, but it may well preserve the only life the good Lord gave me.   Gotta choose your priorities.   I'd rather get a citation than wake up as the main ingredient in bear poo.   Buying a bear tag that's valid where I hike is cheap insurance.  I don't have to justify anything, just tag the dang bear as if I planned it all along.

 

MIB

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bipedalist

The best book, Bear Attacks, with a research basis, even though published long ago says there is always the possibility a rogue black bear is predatory.  However, the bluff is their M.O. 

 

So, if you attempt to discourage one and they come back a second and third time, bluff or not, you would be well advised to empty everything you've got into suspect if you have a modicum of survival instinct or will to live.. 

 

Yah, the chances are miniscule you will become a statistic, but you don't want to be writtten up in a book as your last will and testament of bear attacks. 

 

Cats like to chase, bears will chase, if you want to be in a footrace with a predator, run!  Chances are you will lose.  But sometimes a chance chanced is your only ticket!

 

When in doubt, get the best bear spray you can as a first line, and like said in many threads before, practice with it..

 

And, though I do it all the time, don't hike alone, hike with somebody slower than you,  j/k

Edited by bipedalist
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norseman

Its better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.

3 hours ago, SWWASAS said:

Anyone know if grizzly ever bluff charge or do they always complete the attack?   Sort of good to know if you wait to get off a good shot.   My only experience is with black bear and they seem more afraid of me than I am of them during an encounter.  

 

They both bluff charge. And not all black bears will be scared of you. Hackles up, jaw popping, head lowered and slapping the ground with both front paws are all classic signs a black bear is about to charge you. And black bears tend to be more predatory of humans than grizzly bears. 

 

If your charged with a gun, I drop to one knee. We are much taller than a bear on all fours, the bear is traveling 30 mph. Chances of you shooting over his back are great. On one knee..... you and your firearm are more lined up horizontally with the bear and the round is going to travel nose to tail....... enfilade fire. There is less chance of missing entirely or shooting an angled shot into its rump, pissing it off.

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MIB

^^^^ Yep, good tactic.  

 

With a handgun, if you're right handed, drop  your right knee to the ground and bend the left, turning as you do to put the target forward to your left, drop your left elbow to the left knee as a brace and shoot two handed ... it's fast, it's accurate, it places you in a decent position to move quickly if needed, and it brings you down to a position to shoot as Norseman suggests THROUGH the target instead of behind it.    You can do much the same with a short rifle with only very slight variation.

 

MIB

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BC witness
7 hours ago, MIB said:

With any kind of bear, by the time you are sure whether it's a bluff or the real thing, it's essentially too late to do anything about it

 

That was the case with my grizzly charge. When the 3 yr old boar reached the point where I was sure that any closer would be too late, I emptied my 30-06 into him. His nose skidded to a stop no more than 20 ft from my toes, so had I hesitated any longer, he would have run over me, wounded or not. In those days, here in BC, 40 years ago, you could buy a grizzly tag over the counter, but that is no longer the case. Tags are issued on a lottery basis, so it could take years to get one. As you say, save your life and deal with the Conservation officer later.

 

About 20 years ago, a long time friend and hunting partner had a grizzly charge into his camp. He dropped it into the campfire, where another friend was stoking the fire as they had just returned. They left the bear on the spot, drove to Cranbrook to find the C.O., and brought him back to the camp. He cleared them of any offence, but took the carcass for study.

 

Also on the subject of grizzly charges, our own esteemed Thomas Steenburg was charged by one in the high country between Pemberton and Lillooet some years ago. He saw what he described as  a "ship's wake" approaching at speed through the brush towards the trail he was hiking on. He clambered up the nearest substantial tree, with the bear clawing up after him. It actually hooked claws into his fanny pack and ripped it off, along with some small bits of his fanny! After what seemed like hours in the tree with the bear milling about the base, it finally left, and hours after that, Thomas climbed down and made a hasty retreat to his distant Land Rover. Ask him to show you his scars sometime. :o

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PBeaton

:) 

 

See the source image

 

ps: Airdale, think I'd opt for a katana or somethin' a little lighter haha !

 

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norseman
4 minutes ago, PBeaton said:

:) 

 

See the source image

 

ps: Airdale, think I'd opt for a katana or somethin' a little lighter haha !

 

 

I read that the Indian trick to kill a Bear was with a big stone skull crusher and a piece of drift wood. The Indian when he got close would throw the bear the drift wood. The Bear would instinctively catch it with both paws. And then with the paws out of action the Indian would knife in and crack the Bear over the skull. :blink:

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PBeaton

That's a rumor, we just picked up a stick...haha ! ;);) 

136c9bbd204d917849b9c6b172a746f5.jpg

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SWWASAS

Good stuff on bear charges.      I think I will take my biggest gun from now on.   

 

I just saw a picture of the guy killed by the cougar this morning.    Expected him to be a small guy.   He was not.   Looked like he was at least 200 lbs and pushing 6 foot.     So much for that theory that cougars only go for small people.      The missing female hikers in this area I would likely assign to cougar attacks.    Cougars also drag their victims away to munch in more secluded areas.   Sometimes even up in trees.   .    Just that makes human remains hard to find.     A local talk show was saying that the male cougar stakes out a 10 by 10 mile territory as its own.   That is 100 square miles.   They keep other cougars out of their territory too.  Thinking about it, two of the missing women in this area are within 10 miles of where my cougar encounter was.  Wonder if that is why it confronted me?  

 

You wonder how many casual hikers know not to run?   They don't seem to pay much attention to approaching weather conditions or how long until dark they have  to hike and get out.    It is likely some are as ignorant about cougars as they are about that stuff.

 

 I have some outside motion sensing alarms and something is triggering them at night recently.      Thought it was rabbits but cannot see them when I go out and look.  One night it went off 4 times night before last.       I turned it off so I could get some sleep.    Have had issues with racoons but I can normally see racoons when I look.      I have one at the entrance to my driveway and another that covers the front of my shop.    Each of the two plays a different thing when selected.     The driveway one barks like a dog, and the shop one plays "Coming around the Mountain"     Way too much "Coming around the Mountain" going on at night.    

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Airdale
1 hour ago, PBeaton said:

:) 

 

See the source image

 

ps: Airdale, think I'd opt for a katana or somethin' a little lighter haha !

 

 

I'd forgotten about those ads Pat, weren't they for canned salmon, or was it beer? If you had one of those legendary katanas that could decapitate a horse or something, for stabbing though, long and sharp pointed would be the ticket. Seriously, something like a stout spear or pike that could be braced into the ground and use the attacker's mass and momentum against it would be my preference.

 

If that painting depicts a common tactic against bruins, then it is not anatomically correct, and that is all I'll say on the open side of the Forum!

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OntarioSquatch

A similar incident occurred with a jogger in Alberta

 

 

I don’t know how consistent bear spray would be in terms of deterring cougars, but I think it would generally be a lot more effective than just fleeing

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SWWASAS

This is just weird.    I just got a blanket phone message call from the Sheriffs Department.     A mentally challenged person is missing in my area.   He was last seen at a rural intersection about 1/2 mile from my house.  They asked property owners to check their property and out buildings.    I looked around because of the sensor alarm going off last night. Looked in my truck etc.    I will drive around and look a bit.    There are places if you get too close to the edge of the road there is a steep embankment very near where he was last seen.  I know because I fell off it in the dark one night when I went for a walk.    .   Fell down the embankment when I stepped off the road to avoid getting hit by a car.  Had a hell of a time getting free without getting all scratched up. .    An adult beverage or two was involved.    

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norseman
2 hours ago, OntarioSquatch said:

A similar incident occurred with a jogger in Alberta

 

 

I don’t know how consistent bear spray would be in terms of deterring cougars, but I think it would generally be a lot more effective than just fleeing

 

Thats why I dont like sneaky cats. They waited until his back was turned.

 

In that case I think the spray for him worked better than a gun. But that is not always the case.

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Catmandoo

Cougar and black bear populations will increase in Washington State. The black bear population is under estimated in WA. With the addition of recently enacted Wilderness Areas ( read no hunting ), we will have the "Park Deer Effect". Deer populations increase and so the predator populations increase.

Norseman pointed out that bear spray is a condiment. The carrier for the irritant is vegetable oil. Bear treat. That is why no one signed on to Smiths research when he was testing bear spray in Alaska during the early 90's.. The work is considered anecdotal. Smith watched Brown bears roll around on the ground where the irritant faded to no effect. I think wolves rolled on it also. Your can of bear treat has diminished range in cold weather. Practice cans are available that do not have irritant. Good idea to get the feel of range and spray pattern. If you practice with a test can or expired bear spray, please do not dump the vegetable oil where humans travel.

I carry bear spray. I have trekking poles. I snowshoe and carry an ice axe. I carry the ice axe all seasons. I keep in mind the 'sabre tooth tiger thing'. Cats  like to strike from behind. Many prehistoric skulls have puncture holes from large cats. The cats dragged the victim away by the head, especially children. Years ago I was snowshoeing and was passed by a young cougar, not quite running but not dragging it's tail. About 100' away, in a biting snowstorm, the cat had other plans and besides, I don't taste very good. 

I like to travel off trail so I can  hear the ground snaps. Cats are quiet and i don't expect to hear them. I look behind frequently to remember the terrain for the hike out and to see what is following me.

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PBeaton

Animal Planet is doin' Monster Week again, this one could be interestin'.

(Tuesday, May 29 at 8PM ET/PT)

Fear Island: Veteran wildlife conservationist Bradley Trevor Grieve leads an elite team into uncharted Alaskan wilderness in search of Grandfather - a bear locals believe is the largest to ever roam the earth. To prove the massive predator's existence, the team will rely on ancient indigenous tracking techniques to obtain DNA and video evidence of the beast. But as they track it deeper into its deadly domain - an island with the densest concentration of bears on the planet - they realize that their greatest challenge will be surviving the expedition.

There is also goin ta be one on the Yeti.

 

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