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How dangerous is it to be BiGFooting alone?

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SWWASAS
19 hours ago, Hikingcoyote said:

I plan on spending some time around the Holy Cross Wilderness of Colorado this fall, and will be alone. I use a PLB and bear spray if I feel I need it. Typically 2 to 5 nights in the backcountry. Rather not be doing it alone but I dont know anyone with the time or effort to get out there. I've always felt pretty safe but don't get me wrong...theres been a few panic attacks. 

In my experience with BF in a handful of encounters, when I do something that upsets them,   if I back off, give them space to withdraw etc. things are fine.     The time when I tried to corner one and get it to break cover,   it got ugly and dangerous.  If they feel like they are controlling the situation things seem to be OK.   When I have tried to gain control, and this can apply to a lot of things,   it causes problems and angry reactions on their part.  If they are chasing you out of an area leave.   GIve them what they seem to want.   Almost all of my experience has been solo.  But quite honestly solo is not safe on several levels. Break a leg without a PLB and you are toast.    However I think solo has allowed contact in situations where a BF would never approach more than one person.  So I honestly presume that risk may be worth the reward.     The temperament of BF may depend on the region.    If your local BF have had bad interactions with humans, been shot at, shot, or whatever,  then probably all interactions are going to be ugly and dangerous for you.   If your locals have had good experience with humans then the opposite may be true.   You never know until you have contact.     Grizzly in Colorado are going to be much more of a risk than BF.   As a matter of fact BF may keep grizzly away if you are in their area, so having BF close may be a big positive.    I would bet a lot of money that BF and Grizzly are mortal enemies.   Grizzly are so bad tempered I cannot imagine them getting along with any other species.  And it both are predators then the problems really get bad because of competition for game.  

 

Bear spray at a minimum or both a gun and that for the bears.    If you try either on a BF I don't think we would hear from you again unless you carry more than a hand gun.  

Edited by SWWASAS
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NCBFr
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2 hours ago, SWWASAS said:

In my experience with BF in a handful of encounters, when I do something that upsets them,   if I back off, give them space to withdraw etc. things are fine.     The time when I tried to corner one and get it to break cover,   it got ugly and dangerous.  If they feel like they are controlling the situation things seem to be OK.

 

Completely agree.  It is my experience with 2 direct encounters and maybe one with my wife, they will give you a fair warning.Of course, if they didn't give me fair warning I probably would not be typing this.

 

As to bear spray, last time I used it it worked great.  Cleared us all out of our hotel room in about 5 seconds flat.  Truly whoops moment.

Edited by NCBFr

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Hikingcoyote
3 hours ago, SWWASAS said:

In my experience with BF in a handful of encounters, when I do something that upsets them,   if I back off, give them space to withdraw etc. things are fine.     The time when I tried to corner one and get it to break cover,   it got ugly and dangerous.  If they feel like they are controlling the situation things seem to be OK.   When I have tried to gain control, and this can apply to a lot of things,   it causes problems and angry reactions on their part.  If they are chasing you out of an area leave.   GIve them what they seem to want.   Almost all of my experience has been solo.  But quite honestly solo is not safe on several levels. Break a leg without a PLB and you are toast.    However I think solo has allowed contact in situations where a BF would never approach more than one person.  So I honestly presume that risk may be worth the reward.     The temperament of BF may depend on the region.    If your local BF have had bad interactions with humans, been shot at, shot, or whatever,  then probably all interactions are going to be ugly and dangerous for you.   If your locals have had good experience with humans then the opposite may be true.   You never know until you have contact.     Grizzly in Colorado are going to be much more of a risk than BF.   As a matter of fact BF may keep grizzly away if you are in their area, so having BF close may be a big positive.    I would bet a lot of money that BF and Grizzly are mortal enemies.   Grizzly are so bad tempered I cannot imagine them getting along with any other species.  And it both are predators then the problems really get bad because of competition for game.  

 

Bear spray at a minimum or both a gun and that for the bears.    If you try either on a BF I don't think we would hear from you again unless you carry more than a hand gun.  

You will not find Grizzly bears in Colorado. There are only sightings, not reported very often. No established population. Only Black bears and they are harmless. Easy to avoid contact. 

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Kiwakwe

Every time I've encountered black bear in the wild they've bolted away. And I've stupidly followed a large sow and cubs raiding feeders in my front yard out into the woods on 2 occasions, because I'm a slow learner. They are not harmless by any means, be careful out there. 

https://www.outsideonline.com/2399171/alex-woods-black-bear-attack

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norseman
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The first time you have a bear act like this? Your house of cards will fall. And then the stark reality that yer gonna dance with the devil comes into full view.

 

Just like the school yard bully that encounters someone meaner and tougher fer the first time.

 

Its an education.

 

The situation you should be planning for with each encounter isn’t if the bear will run..... but what if it doesn’t?

 

A beacon will be helpful to authorities looking fer yer body. And bear spray is helpful if the wind is right and the surrounding foliage doesn’t get in the way. A large bore handgun by comparison is like having the starship enterprise in yer pocket. If you practice, practice, practice? Your gonna come out on top 99.9999% of the time. Guns are mechanical objects and they can fail.

 

Cold steel is an option. They are always loaded. And they typically do not fail. It served the forester well. But you have to be close to be effective....  too close. Close enough fer teeth, hooves and claws to do damage back. I will take the pistol.

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Hikingcoyote

If you are having a violent encounter with a bear you did something wrong. Food storage, territory, etc.Any experienced hiker and avid outdoorsman knows that you don't require a gun to travel through the wilderness unless you plan on hunting or there is a specific problem animal in the area. Any encounters you do have should be dealt with by bear spray just fine. 

21 hours ago, SWWASAS said:

In my experience with BF in a handful of encounters, when I do something that upsets them,   if I back off, give them space to withdraw etc. things are fine.     The time when I tried to corner one and get it to break cover,   it got ugly and dangerous.  If they feel like they are controlling the situation things seem to be OK.   When I have tried to gain control, and this can apply to a lot of things,   it causes problems and angry reactions on their part.  If they are chasing you out of an area leave.   GIve them what they seem to want.   Almost all of my experience has been solo.  But quite honestly solo is not safe on several levels. Break a leg without a PLB and you are toast.    However I think solo has allowed contact in situations where a BF would never approach more than one person.  So I honestly presume that risk may be worth the reward.     The temperament of BF may depend on the region.    If your local BF have had bad interactions with humans, been shot at, shot, or whatever,  then probably all interactions are going to be ugly and dangerous for you.   If your locals have had good experience with humans then the opposite may be true.   You never know until you have contact.     Grizzly in Colorado are going to be much more of a risk than BF.   As a matter of fact BF may keep grizzly away if you are in their area, so having BF close may be a big positive.    I would bet a lot of money that BF and Grizzly are mortal enemies.   Grizzly are so bad tempered I cannot imagine them getting along with any other species.  And it both are predators then the problems really get bad because of competition for game.  

 

Bear spray at a minimum or both a gun and that for the bears.    If you try either on a BF I don't think we would hear from you again unless you carry more than a hand gun.  

You will not find Grizzly bears in Colorado. There are only sightings, not reported very often. No established population. Only Black bears and they are harmless. Easy to avoid contact. 

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salubrious
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3 hours ago, norseman said:

TAnd bear spray is helpful if the wind is right and the surrounding foliage doesn’t get in the way. A large bore handgun by comparison is like having the starship enterprise in yer pocket. If you practice, practice, practice? Your gonna come out on top 99.9999% of the time. Guns are mechanical objects and they can fail.

 

Cold steel is an option. They are always loaded. And they typically do not fail. It served the forester well. But you have to be close to be effective....  too close. Close enough fer teeth, hooves and claws to do damage back. I will take the pistol.

 

In encounters with bears its been shown many times that if you have bear spray your chances of ending the encounter without injury are higher than if you use a firearm as defense.

 

I had to learn this stuff as I was riding my mountain bike alone through an area with some of the highest large carnivore populations (including grizzlies) in North America, on a dirt road known as the 'Grizzly Hiway', which is in B.C.

If you encounter a bear, any bear:

if you are in bear country you will have your bear spray. There is no, 'what if I don't?'; you will have it.

The bear is in control. You cannot run from them or outride them on a bike. You have to stand them down

Never approach a bear

Never get between a bear and its cubs or its kill.

Don't feed a bear

If camping in bear country, your food, toothpaste, deodorant, etc will be well away from your camp!

Get familiar with arming your bear spray. Often bears if they charge you will do a mock charge and stop short. That's when you have to be already set to spray them down if they advance further.

more people are injured by black bears than grizzlies, simply because interactions between black bears and humans are more common. Most of the time bears want nothing to do with you; I find it quite interesting that a full grown grizzly will run away from a human if given the chance rather than have any sort of encounter. Having encountered several Grizzlies on my rides, I can attest that this is so. One theory I have is that bears have had encounters with something that looks like a human that can kick them in the rear. Just a theory...

 

 

 

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wiiawiwb
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52 minutes ago, Hikingcoyote said:

If you are having a violent encounter with a bear you did something wrong. Food storage, territory, etc.Any experienced hiker and avid outdoorsman knows that you don't require a gun to travel through the wilderness unless you plan on hunting or there is a specific problem animal in the area. Any encounters you do have should be dealt with by bear spray just fine. You will not find Grizzly bears in Colorado. There are only sightings, not reported very often. No established population. Only Black bears and they are harmless. Easy to avoid contact. 

 

52 minutes ago, Hikingcoyote said:

 

 

Rabid coyote or fox are a concern for me and while bear spray will likely work I would not want to take the chance of a bite.  Put it down quickly and humanely and avoid headaches down the line. 

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hiflier
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3 hours ago, salubrious said:

One theory I have is that bears have had encounters with something that looks like a human that can kick them in the rear. Just a theory...

 

And it's a good one. An 8 foot tall bipedal apex predator could have historically paved the way for its less hairy cousins even before the hairy cousins showed up. Human hunters could have done the job as well but in either case seeing a bear, any bear, take flight is a good thing. An important point to keep in mind though is that just because the bear took off doesn't mean it has left the are. So one must be always aware and on constant vigil for a chance return. Bears are highly intelligent. If nothing happened during the first encounter they may be bold enough to hang around or even follow a hiker. I could guess that once the dead winter carcasses have been consumed and the berries are not yet available there could be a level of hunger going on. The bear doesn't need to be famished, just hungry. BE SAFE!  

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Incorrigible1
6 hours ago, Hikingcoyote said:

Any experienced hiker and avid outdoorsman knows that you don't require a gun to travel through the wilderness unless you plan on hunting or there is a specific problem animal in the area.

 

 

Only Black bears and they are harmless.

 

 

What happens to the first person that discovers a problem animal?

 

Black bears harmless?

I beg to differ 

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hiflier
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30 minutes ago, Incorrigible1 said:

What happens to the first person that discovers a problem animal?

 

I'll let you know as I plan on being the second.

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Huntster
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8 hours ago, Hikingcoyote said:

If you are having a violent encounter with a bear you did something wrong. Food storage, territory, etc.Any experienced hiker and avid outdoorsman knows that you don't require a gun to travel through the wilderness unless you plan on hunting or there is a specific problem animal in the area. Any encounters you do have should be dealt with by bear spray just fine............

 

C'mon up to Alaska, Pilgrim. The bears are hungry, and they love your spray on seasoning.

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norseman
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7 hours ago, salubrious said:

 

In encounters with bears its been shown many times that if you have bear spray your chances of ending the encounter without injury are higher than if you use a firearm as defense.

 

I had to learn this stuff as I was riding my mountain bike alone through an area with some of the highest large carnivore populations (including grizzlies) in North America, on a dirt road known as the 'Grizzly Hiway', which is in B.C.

If you encounter a bear, any bear:

if you are in bear country you will have your bear spray. There is no, 'what if I don't?'; you will have it.

The bear is in control. You cannot run from them or outride them on a bike. You have to stand them down

Never approach a bear

Never get between a bear and its cubs or its kill.

Don't feed a bear

If camping in bear country, your food, toothpaste, deodorant, etc will be well away from your camp!

Get familiar with arming your bear spray. Often bears if they charge you will do a mock charge and stop short. That's when you have to be already set to spray them down if they advance further.

more people are injured by black bears than grizzlies, simply because interactions between black bears and humans are more common. Most of the time bears want nothing to do with you; I find it quite interesting that a full grown grizzly will run away from a human if given the chance rather than have any sort of encounter. Having encountered several Grizzlies on my rides, I can attest that this is so. One theory I have is that bears have had encounters with something that looks like a human that can kick them in the rear. Just a theory...

 

 

 

 

Thats what they tell you so that the bear is never harmed in the encounter. I don’t know about you? But the mountains are a windy place. Hard cast bullets do not care about wind. 

 

Again? What if the bear spray fails? What’s yer next step in defense? Ultimately it could be you or the bear. It don’t make any difference to me whether or not the Bears eyes are burning while he is eating me feet first. 

 

And just like Black Bears? Not all Grizzly Bears run away. You have been lucky. And good for you. There have been cases in which the bear knew full well it was stalking a human and killed and ate them. I too have been lucky with Grizzly Bear encounters, as well as Black Bears. Even hunting them. With that said I do not step foot in my woods or even go out on my ranch without packing a gun.

 

 

This bear is basically in my yard and didn’t give a hoot about me yelling at him. 

790A4A75-F2E5-44B3-B206-6E970474A530.jpeg

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Huntster
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This sign is currently posted 600 yards from my back door.

 

Folks are still a bit cautious after two people were killed by black bears in separate incidents two years ago. And that doesn't count the ones killed by grizzlies.

F67284AE-BB75-410B-9844-FE4F2DE300C2.jpeg

Edited by Huntster
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Huntster
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Twenty six people killed by bears since 2010 in North America. Nine by black bears, fifteen by brown bears, and two by polar bears. Seven of the 26 (27%) were in Alaska, which has fewer residents than Denver, CO.

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fatal_bear_attacks_in_North_America

 

 

 

https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/the-truth-about-bear-spray-vs-bullets/

 

Quote

........The bear spray failed and the rifles did not..........

Edited by Huntster
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