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Eagle94-A1

Bear Repellent Recommendation

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I personally would not take the extra weight.  Philmont does not have grizzlies and their brown bears are far more reclusive than the blackies in Wisconsin. As long as the group stays together and the boys do not sleep with food, you will not have a problem.  Besides, for repellent to really work well, you'd have to "arm" everyone, as the length of your hiking column will easily be 100 m at times.

 

The National Parks are far more dangerous for bears, as the majority of family campers do not follow the bear rules. Philmont is amazingly well run.  You will see very few bear bait situations during your trek.

 

Now SNAKES, that's a different issue.  We encountered two rattlers, found the boys playing with one, pinning it down with a hiking stick. One of the boys declared it to be a garter snake before the adults arrived at the scene.  

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In 2000 when I was at Philmont that wasn't the case.  A couple of boys ended up in the hospital and in our 100+ trek, we came across 4 bear and 5 traps.  The first night of base camp the boys on the Tooth of Time were cleared out at 2:00 am and they had to hike back to base camp in the dark.

 

It was not a good year for bear. 

 

Making blanket statements about recent history might not be very productive when the very next year one has a whole new situation ahead of them.  Who really knows when an off year will rear it's ugly head.

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Well, we had to adapt for teh weekend trip, couldn;'t get the enough permits to do the area we wanted. Plan B is national forest, and we definatley want the spray. Wife, dad, and friend were hiking a trail in the area, and encountered bear,.

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There are certain protocols that people are trained to follow in an earthquake.  Same for tornadoes, even so for snakes, and bears.  Even the people of Alaska will clue one in on how to deal with moose.  BWCA people have had bad experiences with the moose there.  Simply showing up in the woods with a canister of bear spray doesn't guarantee anything other than a heavier pack.  Encountering a bear is the wilderness is no big deal.  I have encountered them in my back yard and I didn't run out and buy bear spray.  I just make sure my garbage cans were secure, I carry my 9mm and life goes on.  My chances of meeting up again with this neighborhood is slim to none because I sing and make a lot more noise when I'm in the woods of my back yard.  If I can make life miserable enough with all the noise, they'll seek more serene pastures in the neighbor's backyard.  Now it's his problem.  :)

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Our Troop follows the same bear safety protocols no matter where we are camping:  1) cooking and dishes are done away from our tents; 2) food is stored in bear safe containers and in a bear bag or bear can when in the back country; and 3) no food is permitted in tents.  We encourage the boys to sleep in different clothes than they wore during the day but that rule isn't strongly enforced.  They know that if you see a bear, the first thing you look for is cubs.  If you see cubs, don't get between the momma and the cubs.

 

I agree that there are more problems in state parks where others don't follow protocols.  That is also why I'm typically reluctant to stay at shelters on well travelled trails.  A lot of those are known fast food joints for bears and smaller critters.  

 

I also find that after being on the trail for a couple of days, I develop a scent that tends to repel most living creatures.  :eek:

 

As for snakes, the majority of snake bites are on legs and arms -- usually from someone "playing" with a snake.  Watch where you are walking and don't play with snakes.  Rattle snakes at least tell you they are there some of the time... it's the one's that don't rattle that could be more of a problem.  Treat any snake as if it is poisonous.

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Depends on what they ate @@Stosh.

 

I would not eat a snake around farms in my area. With the rat poison laid around you might get a snake that ate a poisoned rat. Not good.

 

Also, Copperheads have to be cleaned properly to remove the venom sacks along their body, otherwise that venom could mix with the meat.

Edited by Krampus

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With all the warnings out there with GMO, antibiotics, acid rain in our lakes, septic, herbicide and insecticide run off in our streams, eating anything is probably poisonous to humans.

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Just got back from Philmont.  Only heard of one bear siting during our trek.  A young male (around 250 pounds) was caught in Base Camp and transported up to the Baldy Town area and released.  The next afternoon if showed up at Copper Park where we were camping.  It was wandering around the meadow area east of the campsite where the trails from French Henry and Baldy Town come into camp.  Our sister crew was coming into the meadow from Baldy Town and saw the bear.  They got together and "looked big" - started yelling and screaming at the bear.  The bear was about 25 yards away and just stared at them.  All of the sudden another crew came into the meadow from the French Henry trail and ended up about 10 yards from the bear.  The boys all started screaming bloody murder and they took off running in one direction and the bear took off running in the other direction.  No harm except for the scared boys on the F.H. trail.  We never considered carrying bear spray and probably wouldn't - however, do whatever makes you feel comfortable and safe.  Have a great trek.

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Yah, hmmm....

 

One wonders what happened to the "respect wildlife" part of Leave No Trace, eh?

 

I don't reckon it's necessary for everyone to start shoutin' and wavin' when they happen to come across one of our ursine brethren.  Just relax and give the bear some respectful space the way yeh want the bear to relax and give you some respectful space.

 

I'm always amused by da notion of smelly ground monkeys trying to run away from a bear.  Bears are fast.  Faster than smelly ground-monkey children.  Way faster than somewhat overweight ground-monkey adults.  :)

 

Beavah

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Yah, hmmm....

 

One wonders what happened to the "respect wildlife" part of Leave No Trace, eh?

 

I don't reckon it's necessary for everyone to start shoutin' and wavin' when they happen to come across one of our ursine brethren.  Just relax and give the bear some respectful space the way yeh want the bear to relax and give you some respectful space.

 

I'm always amused by da notion of smelly ground monkeys trying to run away from a bear.  Bears are fast.  Faster than smelly ground-monkey children.  Way faster than somewhat overweight ground-monkey adults.  :)

 

Beavah

Agreed. "Ground monkeys Running" reminds me of 'The Revenant'. In Yellowstone, many years ago, I watched through binoculars as a bear ran 'the 50' faster than any human ever could over really rough terrain. They look big and clumsy, until you see a male threaten the cubs of a female, then you can see why you wouldn't have a prayer.

A 44 mag wouldn't do much to a grizzly. Might kill it eventually, but not before you'd been eviscerated. I'm not sure it would even be of much use for a black bear for that matter, the times I've been charged there was no way I could have gotten off an accurate shot.

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To those who are thinking of carrying pepper spray let me give you some advise. I have carried it most of my career. Understand it is wind dependent and in every case that I have seen it used everyone even the person spraying it gets a dose. If you are going to carry it buy several and practice using it. That way you will learn how it functions but also the effect the spray will have on you and how to decon yourself.

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