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Hey.... while riding, have you ever encountered a bear? If so what do you do? Would it be wise to cary bear spray with you while riding in the mountains, ya know, just in case?
 

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Old man on a bike
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Mostly bears really don't want much to do with you, just make noise while you ride (bells, singing, whatever you like) and you'll probably not see them. Grizzlies are more likely to be aggressive if you run into one vs a black bear, though. Getting between a cub and a mother isn't a good idea. If you're close enough to need to use a spray, it might be too late (especially if you don't have it very easily accessible), especially with a grizzly.

Personally I've been close to black bears several times but only once was I really worried (cub with mom close behind heading to the same point I was, but I got there first and never looked back). I had a young grizzly mess around my campsite once up in Idaho, but I was in my vehicle and had no personal problem other than a destroyed waterbag. I've ridden with guides in upper BC where they made sure we made plenty of noise and even though there were known grizzly bears in the area we didn't see them on the trail; a mom and three cubs were peacefully hanging out near the lodge feeding on berries, we were warned that there were a couple of males in the area that wouldn't be fun to run into.
 

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Never been a problem

Like the previous poster said - the only thing you really have to worry about is encountering a mom with cubs (or a grizz). I have lived in Durango, Colorado and on Vancouver Island, BC and seen dozens of bears over the years. Thankfully no grizzlies. Nearly every time I have seen them, they have already seen or heard me and are booking away from me like lightening. I did nearly run one over once when it crossed a logging road right in front of me as I was flying downhill. Scared the hell out of both of us.

In all practicality I do not think you will have the opportunity, or need, for pepper spray unless you are in an area with problem bears or grizzlies.

Now mountain lions on the other hand ...
 

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Self Appointed Judge&Jury
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This warning coming from several recent fatalities in our national parks.

Warning:
The National Park Rangers are advising hiker's & biker's in Glacier National Park and other Rocky Mountain parks to be alert for bears and take extra precautions to avoid an encounter.
They advise park visitors to wear little bells on their clothes so they make noise when hiking & biking. The bell noise allows bears to hear them coming from a distance and not be startled by a hiker or biker accidentally sneaking up on them. This might cause a bear to charge.
Visitors should also carry a pepper spray can just in case a bear is encountered. Spraying the pepper into the air will irritate the bear's sensitive nose and it will run away.
It is also a good idea to keep an eye out for fresh bear scat [droppings] so you have an idea if bears are in the area. People should be able to recognize the difference between black bear and grizzly bear scat.
Black bear droppings are smaller and often contain berries, leaves, and possibly bits of fur. Grizzly bear droppings tend to contain small bells, bike parts and smell like pepper.

http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=419242
 

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noMAD man
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I rounded a corner on a trail one cool morning in a forest near Silver City, NM and saw something "smoking" just off the trail. Being curious, I stopped to check, and it was a big, ol', steaming pile of obviously fresh bear scat. I even took a pic of my helmet off to the side of the pile. The pile was twice the size of my helmet. The pic is on 35mm film, and I ought to scan it over to my digital files for fun. While doing my hollywood production of filming my helmet and the scat, the goofy tourist in me finally awoke to the fact that the bear was probably still close by...Doh! I rode with my head on a swivel the rest of the ride...never saw the bear. I camp in the boonies most of the time, so I almost always have a pistol...for potential ne'er-do-wells, not animals. I had no false sense of security with a compact 9mm pistol and a bear...LOL!
 

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Two mountain bikers are riding thru the woods when they suddenly encounter a bear.

The bear rears up on its hind legs and lets out a terrifying roar.

Both bikers are frozen in their tracks.

One of the bikers whispers “I’m sure glad I rode my NOMAD today”

“What! It doesn’t matter what kind of bike you have you can’t ride faster than the bear,” replies the other.

“I don’t have to be faster than the bear, I just have to be faster than YOU,” he answers.
 

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Old man on a bike
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TNC said:
I rounded a corner on a trail one cool morning in a forest near Silver City, NM and saw something "smoking" just off the trail. Being curious, I stopped to check, and it was a big, ol', steaming pile of obviously fresh bear scat. I even took a pic of my helmet off to the side of the pile. The pile was twice the size of my helmet. The pic is on 35mm film, and I ought to scan it over to my digital files for fun. While doing my hollywood production of filming my helmet and the scat, the goofy tourist in me finally awoke to the fact that the bear was probably still close by...Doh! I rode with my head on a swivel the rest of the ride...never saw the bear. I camp in the boonies most of the time, so I almost always have a pistol...for potential ne'er-do-wells, not animals. I had no false sense of security with a compact 9mm pistol and a bear...LOL!
Reminds me of when I visited Whistler a few years ago and was just riding around the town/village on the network of paved bike paths heading off to some local singletrack in the mid-morning. Right in a residential area near a park in the middle of the pavement I come across a freshly made pile of steaming bear scat (I assume if it's still steaming it's fairly fresh). It was really large and my head went into immediate swivel mode as I pedaled away. I didn't stop and compare it to anything, and I wasn't going to stop let alone look for my camera, but I'm sure it was at least 3 or 4 helmets worth....had visions of some giant grizzly lurking nearby.
 

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rcapilli said:
Hey.... while riding, have you ever encountered a bear?
Yes. On one ride last year, I encountered a group of two, and maybe it was three.

rcapilli said:
If so what do you do?
Nothing, really. I've luckily never had a bear stick around long enough for me to get over my initial shock. Only Black Bear where I live though, and they known for being unaggressive. I thankfully do not have to worry about Grizzly.
 

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JonathanGennick said:
Yes. On one ride last year, I encountered a group of two, and maybe it was three.

Nothing, really. I've luckily never had a bear stick around long enough for me to get over my initial shock. Only Black Bear where I live though, and they known for being unaggressive. I thankfully do not have to worry about Grizzly.
Yep if it's a Black bear you have nothing to worry about. Yeah right check out the stats. on bear attacks.. They are commonly thought of as a docile species towards humans but in reality they will attack without warning. I bolded all attacks per species for your viewing pleasure. And remember if it says brown it means grizzly.

List of bear attacks in North America by decade

This is a list of known bear attacks that occurred in North America by decade in reverse chronological order. Three species of bear, the Brown Bear (Ursus arctos), the American Black Bear (Ursus americanus) and the Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) are identified in the article. The Grizzly Bear (Ursus arctos horribilis), the Kodiak Bear and the Mexican Brown Bear are treated as subspecies of the Brown Bear. There were about 52 recorded deaths due to black bears between 1900 and 2003 and about 50 deaths due to brown bears and about 5 due to polar bears in the same period. The most recent data is the most reliable and complete, but does not necessarily include all of the fatal attacks that have occurred in North America. Prior to recent decades bear attacks were not well documented, particularly those which took place in isolated regions. As a result there were more attacks and fatalities than have been recorded as shown here, particularly in Canada and Alaska.

This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.
Contents [hide]
1 2000s
2 1990s
3 1980s
4 1970s
5 1960s
6 1940s
7 1920s
8 1910s
9 1880s
10 Notes
11 General References
12 See also

[edit] 2000s
Name, age, gender Date Species Location, comments
Stephen Miller, 39, male April 22, 2008 Brown Big Bear Lake, California. A famous bear trained to perform in movies unexpectedly turned on a handler, ly biting him in the neck. The bear was recently featured in the movie Semi-Pro featuring Will Ferrell. Pepper Spray was used to subdue the bear, and no further injuries were reported. The bear was a 7.5-foot (2.3 m) 700-pound (320 kg) 5 year old male named Rocky. He was being held in the "Predators in Action" animal training facility at the time of the incident. The bear's fate has yet to be determined. [1]
Don Peters, 51, male November 25, 2007 Brown Mountain Aire Lodge west of Sundre, about 90 km northwest of Calgary. The 51-year-old did not return from a hunting trip in Western Alberta. He was killed by a grizzly near his vehicle after going hunting alone. His body was found three days later. His rifle was found nearby. It had been fired but there was nothing to indicate the bear had been hit. Officials were trying to trap the bear but would not say whether it would be killed if captured. Upon capture, the bear may be shot, moved to another area or let go, depending on an evaluation of the bear; said Alberta resources spokesman Dave Ealey. [2]
Nick Ruberto, 22, male September 5, 2007 Black Whilst drinking with his friends in Ely, Minnesota, the unfortunate Mr. Ruberto wandered into the woods to e. He never returned. Upon waking up the following morning, his friends found his mauled remains 60 yards (55 m) away from the cabin. The bear was later captured and killed by the Minnesota DNR. [3]
Robin Kochorek, 31, female July 20, 2007 Black The 31-year-old woman was reported missing on July 20th after being separated from friends while mountain biking at Panorama Mountain Resort, British Columbia. She was killed by a black bear who was right where the body was recovered at 8 a.m. July 21st. Indications were that the bear had preyed upon this person or obviously was trying to claim ownership. The bear was shot on site by RCMP.[4]
Samuel Evan Ives, 11, male June 17, 2007 Black Taken from a tent in American Fork Canyon in the Uinta National Forest in Utah County, Utah where he was sleeping with his stepfather, mother and 6-year-old brother. The bear was later killed by state Wildlife officials.[5]
Jean-Francois Pagé, 28, male April 28, 2006 Brown ly mauled while staking mineral claims near Ross River, Yukon, Canada. He unknowingly walked right past a bear den containing a sow and 2 cubs. [6]
Elora Petrasek, 6, female April 13, 2006 Black She was killed and her mother and 2 year-old brother seriously injured in an attack in the Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee.[7]
Arthur Louie, 60, male September 20, 2005 Brown Killed by a female and two cubs while he was walking back to his mining camp after his truck had a flat tire at Bowron River, British Columbia.[8]
Jacqueline Perry, 30, female September 6, 2005 Black Killed in a predatory attack at the Missinaibi Lake Provincial Park, north of Chapleau, Ontario, Canada. Her husband was seriously injured trying to protect her. Ministry staff shot and killed the bear at approximately 8:00 a.m. Saturday, September 10, 2005, near the area where the attack occurred in a remote area of the park. [9][10] The bear involved had already attempted to attack two fisherman an hour before this attack occurred
Harvey Robinson, 69, male August 26, 2005 Black ly mauled while picking plums at Selkirk, north of Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Rich Huffman, 61, male; Kathy Huffman, 58, female June 23, 2005 Brown Killed in their tent at a campsite along the Hulahula river 12 miles (19 km) upriver from Kaktovik in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Isabelle Dube, 35, female June 5, 2005 Brown Killed while jogging with 2 friends on the Bench Trail in Canmore, Alberta
Merlyn Carter, 71, male 2005 Black Found in the main cabin of his fishing camp located 300 km Northeast of Ft. Smith, Northwest Territories, Canada.
Timothy Treadwell, 46, male ; Amie Huguenard, 37, female October 2003 Brown Found by their pilot, and most of their bodies consumed at Kaflia Bay, Katmai National Park, Alaska on October 6, 2003. Treadwell was world-famous for his books and documentaries on living with wild bears in Alaska. State Troopers investigating the incident recovered an audiotape of the attack. Only a few days before, Treadwell filmed himself with the bear that killed him in the background, while commenting that it was a bear just like this one - older, struggling to bulk up for the winter - that posed the most threat to humans. The two were killed on the last night before their scheduled pickup, after spending several months in the Alaskan bush. [11]
Forestry worker April 17, 2003 Black Stalked, killed and partially consumed by a large, black bear near Waswanipi, a village in northern Quebec.
Christopher Bayduza September 2002 Black Attacked and killed at a remote oil rigging site in northeastern British Columbia.
Maurice Malenfant September 2002 Black Attacked and killed in his campsite in Gaspé region of Quebec.
Ester Schwimmer, 5 months, female August 2002 Black Bear grabs and kills 5 month old infant from stroller on the porch of home in Fallsburg, New York.
Timothy Hilston, 50, male October 30, 2001 Brown Bear attacked and killed an elk hunter as he was gutting an elk in Western Montana. [12]
Adelia Maestras Trujillo, 93, female August 2001 Black Bear breaks into a house in New Mexico and is confronted by the elderly owner who dies during the attack.
Kyle Harry, 18, male June 3, 2001 Black Attacked and killed at a rural campsite 25 km. east of Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories, Canada.
George Tullos, 41, male July 14, 2000 Brown His partially consumed body was found at Run Amuk campground in Hyder, Alaska.
Mary-Beth Miller, 24, female July 2000 Black Attacked and killed while on a training run in Quebec, Canada.
Glena Ann Bradley, female May 2000 Black Killed and partially consumed by a 112-pound (51 kg) female and her 40-pound (18 kg) yearling. The attack occurred near the Goshen Prong/Little River trail junction 1.5 miles (2.4 km) upstream from Elkmont, Great Smoky Mountains near Gatlinburg, Tennessee

[edit] 1990s
Name, age, gender Date Species Location, Comments
Ned Rasmussen, male November 1999 Brown Found 2 days after he disappeared on a deer hunting trip on Uganik Island, Alaska.
Ken Cates, 53, male May 25, 1999 Brown Killed while hiking on the Funny River Trail near Soldotna, Alaska. Investigators found bear at the scene, and determined that Cates fired two shots with his rifle scoring at least one hit. The bear was never found.
Craig Dahl, 26, male May 17, 1998 Brown Last seen alive hiking in the Two Medicine area of Glacier National Park. His partially consumed remains were found three days later.
Audelio Luis Cortes, 40, male February 8, 1998 Brown Killed by a single head bite while working with a seismic crew in the Swanson River oil field near Kenai, Alaska
Patti McConnell, 37, female August 17, 1997 Black Died from injuries while defending herself from attack near Liard River Hotsprings, British Columbia
Raymond Kitchen, 56, male August 17, 1997 Black Died from injuries while attempting to rescue McConnell. McConnell's 13 year old son and an unidentified 20 year Calgary Alberta man were also injured in the attack Liard River Hotsprings, British Columbia
Christine Courtney, 32, female July 5, 1996 Brown Killed while hiking in Kluane National Park, Yukon. Her husband was also attacked but survived.
Sevend "Sven" Satre, 53, male June 1996 Black Killed while checking fencelines at his rural ranch in British Columbia
Shane Fumerton, Bill Caspell October 9, 1995 Brown Killed by bears claiming shot elk near Radium Hot Springs, British Columbia
Marcie Trent, 77, female; and her son, Larry Waldron, 45 July 1, 1995 Brown Killed by a bear defending a moose carcass on the McHugh Creek Trail near Anchorage, Alaska.
Colin McClelland, 24, male August 10, 1993 Black Killed as a result of a crushed skull after a 240-pound (110 kg) male Black bear tore open the door to his trailer and attacked at WAGH Mountain, Colorado. The bear was later killed by game wardens.
John Petranyi, male October 3, 1992 Brown Attacked and killed by a female with 2 cubs on the Loop Trail, Upper McDonald Valley, Glacier National Park. The attack occurred less than 200 yards (180 m) from the campground area where Julie Helgeson was dragged from her sleeping bag and killed in August 1967.
Sebastien Lauzier, male June 14, 1992 Black Attacked and killed on field assignment near Cochrane, Ontario.
Raymond Jakubauskas, 32, and Carola Frehe, 48 October 11, 1991 Black Bates Island, Opeongo Lake, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada
James Waddell, 12, male, May 26, 1991 Black Dragged from a tent during the night and killed. Marten River Campground, Lesser Slave Lake, Alberta, Canada

[edit] 1980s
Name, age, gender Date Species Location, Comments
Gary Goeden, male found September 1, 1987; missing since July 28, 1987 Brown His partially consumed remains were found at Natahki Lake, Many Glacier Valley, Glacier National Park.
Charles Gibbs, 40, male April 25, 1987 Brown He was last seen alive following and photographing a female with cubs at Elk Mountain in Glacier National Park. Investigators recovered film of the female approaching in attack mode at 50 yards (46 m).
William Tesinsky, photographer October 1986 Brown Approached an female too closely in the Otter Creek area of Hayden Valley, Yellowstone National Park.
Brigitta Fredenhagen July 1984 Brown Dragged from a tent during the night and killed at a backcountry campsite at the southern end of White Lake in Yellowstone National Park.[13]
Roger May June 1983 Brown Dragged from a tent during the night and killed at the Rainbow Point campground in the Gallatin National Forest just Northwest of Yellowstone National Park.
Laurence Gordon, male September 30, 1980 Brown Attacked and killed at the Elizabeth Lake campsite in the Belly River valley, Glacier National Park.
Male and Female August 17, 1980 Unknown Killed near Zama, Alberta, Canada
Jane Ammerman, female; Kim Eberly, male July 24, 1980 Brown Attacked and killed during the night at an illegal campsite at Divide Creek in the St. Mary valley, Glacier National Park.
12 year old boy July 18, 1980 Black Killed at Leo Creek, British Columbia, Canada while fishing with two friends

[edit] 1970s
Name, age, gender Date Species Location, Comments
Unknown, male June 19, 1978 Black Porcupine Mountains State Park, Michigan
George Halfkenny, Mark Halfkenny, Billy Rhindress May 13, 1978 Black All three boys were stalked and killed while fishing near Radiant Lake, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada
Mary Pat Mahoney, 22, female September 23, 1976 Brown She was dragged from a tent and killed at Many Glacier campground in Glacier National Park.
Alan Precup, male August, 1976 Brown He disappeared while backpacking in the Alaskan wilderness. Days later, searchers found his campsite with his bare skeleton, one intact hand, and both feet, still booted.
Harry Walker June 1972 Brown Killed by a bear that was feeding on food that was left out at illegal campsite near Old Faithful Inn, Yellowstone National Park.
John Richardson, 31, male 1971 Black Killed while camping at West side of Rocky Mountain National Park.

[edit] 1960s
Name, age, gender Date Species Location, Comments
Male October 1, 1968 Black Killed near Atikokan, Ontario, Canada.
Julie Helgeson, 19, female August 13, 1967 Brown Killed at Granite Park campsite in Glacier National Park by a female bear. Attack occurred during the night; bear dragged the victim off while still in her sleeping bag. Attack site was less than 200 yards (180 m) from where John Petranyi was attacked and killed on the loop trail in 1992. Helgeson's companion, Roy Ducat, was severely mauled during the attack.
Michelle Koons, 19, female August 13, 1967 Brown Killed at Trout Lake campsite in Glacier National Park by a female bear.
Although Helgeson and Koons were the same age and killed on the same night, these were separate attacks by different bears approximately 10 miles (16 km) apart.[14]

[edit] 1940s
Name, age, gender Date Species Location, Comments
Unknown August 1942 Unknown Killed at Old Faithful campground in Yellowstone National Park.

[edit] 1920s
Name, age, gender Date Species Location, Comments
Joseph B. "Frenchy" Duret, 60 June 12, 1922 Brown Infamous trapper, prospector, guide and cattleman trapped and then was attacked and partially devoured by a huge grizzly. Frenchy crawled 1.5-mile (2.4 km) back towards his ranch and died in Frenchy Meadow on Slough Creek in the Absaroka Wilderness, Wyoming

[edit] 1910s
Name, age, gender Date Species Location, Comments
Frank Welch, 61 September 8, 1916 Brown Killed at a camp near Sylvan Pass, Yellowstone. A bear was later killed in this area and it was "Old Two Toes".
Charles Brown III, 18, male 1916 Brown Killed at a roadside camp in Yellowstone National Park
John Graham, 63 May 4, 1912 Brown Killed on Crevice Mountain, MT by a bear that escaped from his trap. The bear lost 3 toes and became known as "Old Two Toes"

[edit] 1880s
Name, age, gender Date Species Location, Comments
Franklin Devereaux, 52, male 4 Sept 1883 Unknown Killed in Cheboygan County, Michigan; victim was a hunter and trapper. Both Bear and victim were found - the bear of a gunshot wound and the hunter from a blow to his head from the bear.
 

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Woodlot local
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I am glad somebody piped up when it was mentioned that black bears are harmless???? WTF!?

All bears are and should be considered deadly animals. One swipe of the paw from a small bear can rip you jugular clean in half. Often they are very docile and friendly, BUT they are wild animals and can be unpredictable.

Personally I have run into at least 2 dozen bears while riding (all black bears). MOST of the time they run off when they see humans, but it is not always the case.

http://artofmanliness.com/2008/01/30/how-to-survive-a-bear-attack/

I know the title of this link it kind of funny, but it gives a great summary of what to do in a Grizzly attack or Black bear attack. There are two distinct tactics to surviving attacks by these different bears.

I am speaking from experience in working in the logging industry for a few years in northern British Columbia and southern Alaska when I say there is a lot of misinformation out there about bear attacks. i.e. Playing dead with a black bear WRONG!!!, Climbing a tree with a black bear WRONG!!!

Remember that bears live in the woods and sweat and get dirty, they also have fur and that fur stinks really, really bad. If you smell something nasty in the woods that you've never smelled before there is or was likely a bear nearby. Twice I've been close enough to smell a bear and it is a smell I will never forget.

Have a read of the link. It is the best basic summary I could find without spending a few hours writing one myself.

Be safe out there.
 

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BobRocket said:
I am glad somebody piped up when it was mentioned that black bears are harmless???? WTF!?
I did not say they were harmless. You read far too much into my comment. In my experience, Black Bear are generally unaggressive. But that isn't the same as saying they are harmless.
 
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