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  1. #61

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    We've got a problem bear in my neighborhood. Many garbage cans have been ransacked at night. All the local government organizations will do is issue you a set of "chains" to lock the cover of the city (Front Royal, VA) issued garbage bin. And I saw one just sauntering across the entrance road to the north end of Shenandoah National Park on Thursday morning. They are definitely out in northern Virginia.

  2. #62
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    In Georgia, two wildlife management areas that flank the Blood Mountain cannister only/no campfire section recently held a 2 week bear/hog gun season. This was on the Chestatee WMA and the Chattahoochee WMA. These two weeks are in addition to hunts that will be in the regular gun season.

    Vogel State Park, on the other side of Blood mountain, is carefully tracking their bears. They have a lot of bear activity and try to get campers to lock up their food. They have 5 known bears within the park which is surrounded by national forest. When they catch the bears "in the act", they will shoot them with paint ball guns to try to get them to be wary of humans. If their bears get too comfortable with people, they have to put them down.

  3. #63

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    Three of us were at Vogel about 2 weeks ago.I got the warning about bear activity upon check-in.We spent the first night around Calf Stomp Gap somewhere with no problems.The next day we passed a campground with bear boxes.I noticed that the latches on the bear box were essentially the same as those on my truck's tool box and did not impress me like the one I saw at Black Gap shelter on the AT Approach trail.There is apparently no standard when it comes to bear boxes as far as I can tell.

  4. #64
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    Quote Originally Posted by SWODaddy View Post
    In places where bears are protected, bears see humans as food opportunitieus. Places like GSMNP exascerbate this by concentrating humans.
    But as pointed out, the problem is irresponsible humans
    that simply won't follow rules and regulations that cause bears to associate people with food in GSMNP. The rules are pretty simple. Always have your food on you or hanging from the bear cables in camp. If EVERYONE did this, bears would never get human food and would not LEARN to associate people with food.

  5. #65
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    Fuquay Varina, NC
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    Did a section from Max Patch to Standing Bear Farm hostel the last weekend in September...saw a huge bear about 1.5 miles north of the hostel that lumbered onto the trail. Passed several other hikers heading north that had seen bears in that stretch as well. There was a mom and 2 cubs about 200 yds from the hostel as well just up from the gravel road that leads to I-40. Maria and Linda at Standing Bear said they've seen many lately.

  6. #66

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    I would be more scared of feral hogs in the Smokies. some of them are huge.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by stephanD View Post
    I would be more scared of feral hogs in the Smokies. some of them are huge.


    they are huge, and they should be respected-------and luckily, i have not heard of a pig attack in the park.......

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    But as pointed out, the problem is irresponsible humans
    that simply won't follow rules and regulations that cause bears to associate people with food in GSMNP. The rules are pretty simple. Always have your food on you or hanging from the bear cables in camp. If EVERYONE did this, bears would never get human food and would not LEARN to associate people with food.
    Spent the night at No Business Mtn Shelter last night. A journal entry from 2 days prior said "had a visit from a bear during breakfast. Gave him a pop-tart and said I respect you man". Some hikers are total morons!!

    The bear came back this morning, stole one hang and then got sprayed.
    .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. ..........
    Travel not for the destination, but for the joy of the journey.

  9. #69

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    Yes, people feeding the bears or whatever are the root of the problem but that is a moot point when facing down a pissed off bear.
    Protect yourself the best way you can. IMHO that means avoiding direct contact.

  10. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by DownYonder View Post
    Spent the night at No Business Mtn Shelter last night. A journal entry from 2 days prior said "had a visit from a bear during breakfast. Gave him a pop-tart and said I respect you man". Some hikers are total morons!!

    The bear came back this morning, stole one hang and then got sprayed.
    Stories like this make me think that a strict permit system complete with backcountry competency test (and the currently unaffordable adequate backcountry enforcement) should be required to help keep some folks away from our wilder areas and back in their neighborhood parks where they would clearly present less risk to themselves and the rest of us. Fast forward a few months, and a few more easily attained food rewards, and we'll likely see another human injured and a bear or 3 killed.

  11. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by GaryM View Post
    For what it is worth I noticed a set of claw marks on the tree my hammock was hanging on all night at Deep Gap, NC.
    Also saw a bunch of bear poop on the trail between Deep Gap and Betty Gap Creek this week.
    Gary - were you able to hang your food or did you need a bear canister? Getting ready to hit that section this weekend and trying to prepare appropriately.

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    But as pointed out, the problem is irresponsible humans
    that simply won't follow rules and regulations that cause bears to associate people with food in GSMNP. The rules are pretty simple. Always have your food on you or hanging from the bear cables in camp. If EVERYONE did this, bears would never get human food and would not LEARN to associate people with food.
    Quote Originally Posted by August W. View Post
    There aren't too many bears, (mountain lions, pikas, eagles, wolves - place another name assigned to any other creature here) rather too many irresponsible humans teaching bears to associate humans with food rewards. The idea that hunting bears would instill a fear of humans in them is a simple fantasy perpetuated by those with trophy hunting mentalities and/or financial motivation. Who can tell us if licensed hunters kill more bears per year than auto drivers, ranchers, or dogs? Each of them look the same to the bears so in their perspective they are being hunted from all directions year 'round. Still ain't too skeerd huh? Not to mention that nowhere has their home been more extensively jeopardized and covered with asphalt, concrete, stucco, monoculture and other various forms of destruction than the east coast. Bears, like most other living things, are simply reacting to your actions and those of your fellow humans. Bear canisters should be required on most public lands but sadly still represent nothing more than placing a bandaid on a major hemorrhage.

    Agree! HKDK said it in a nutshell. At the core of GSMNP negative bear/human encounters is ignorant human animal behavior. "Bear management is largely human management."


    https://www.nps.gov/grsm/learn/natur...-focusnps1.htm


    GSMNP has taken great steps forward in a comprehensive black bear management. Despite the opining here from the "bear experts" we might heed those with a far greater cumulative bear and human understanding.

  13. #73
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    I don't see GSMNP(NPS) allowing the symbol of the Great Smokey Mountains - the black bear - to be hunted within the NP. It's GSMNP.

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    I don't see GSMNP(NPS) allowing the symbol of the Great Smokey Mountains - the black bear - to be hunted within the NP. It's GSMNP.



    yeah.....

    and it would cause a huge back roar/back lash/ bad PR/ whatever one wants to call it...

    however, i think, within a few decades----they are going to have to find a way to keep the population in check....

  15. #75
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    If there weren't stationed NP Rangers, signage, and flagging, around the fields where the elk congregate at Oconaluftee Visitor Center and printed laws and regulations about approaching wildlife printed on GSMNP literature including back country permits and at the GSMNP website there would be visitors walking into the fields to get close up ignorant selfish Selfies with the elk.

    Then, visitors would be getting hurt. Oh, OK lets do a hunt? Too many elk?

    Not too bright of a species the human animal that is in the constant behavior of looking at something outside of themselves as the core of problems.

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