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Don't feed the bears
September 16, 2008 10:27 PM   Subscribe

Yogi Bear may have been smarter than the average, but Ranger Smith had it right. Don't feed the bears. As a Montana game warden put it: human feeding "can lead to problems later and ultimately mean the animal has to be put down." A similar event had a Utah ranger upset, saying: "when you have a bear that becomes unafraid of humans, that's not a good thing."
posted by SeeAych4 (45 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
In Crested Butte, the local bears have been eating out of dumpsters for as long as anyone can remember, and have not hurt anybody. Last year, a town ordinance required everyone to use bear-proof lids on whatever was containing their refuse, leading to a bear problem.

The bears don't know where to find food anymore, and so they wander everyone's yeards every night. A couple of weeks ago my parents found bear prints leading up their back (outdoor) steps. Nobody knows what to do about it at this point (this being Crested Butte, nobody wants to put the bears down.)

Very sad, indeed.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:41 PM on September 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Boo Boo Runs Wild (slight derail, I just love John Kricfalusi).
posted by cj_ at 10:45 PM on September 16, 2008


We went through Jasper this summer and they had a retrospective in the local museum of inhabitants vs bears stories. Most were funny in a close-brush-with-death kind of way. Like the one bear that ate the family's whole larder except the hot dogs. Which made them wonder what the hell is in those things that even a bear won't eat 'em. But most of the stories ended with "so we had to shoot the bear the next time it came around." Not really so cool in the end.

The video of a Gremlin having been torn open like a sardine can by a bear was cool though.
posted by GuyZero at 10:47 PM on September 16, 2008


I grew up in Montana, and I had a science teacher who worked in Yellowstone as a ranger during the summer. He said the stupidest thing he ever saw way a man who had opened the door to his car and attempting to push a bear into the driver's seat so he could get a picture with the bear in the car next to his wife.

(This was back before they started keeping the bears away from all humans as much as possible, and it wasn't that uncommon to see a bear by the side of the road, begging for food.)
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 10:53 PM on September 16, 2008


I can't imagine anyone actually encouraging bears to hang around. While I respect the animals' right to inhabit the areas they inhabit, I've been through too many close campground encounters with the beasts to really have any love for them.

I play by the rules: all food is locked away, tightly, in out-of view coolers in car trunks. Nothing tempting is in sight. Last time, the incentive to trash the campsite was the plastic water jug (ripped from a shelf and stomped to death); before that, a previous camper's bottle cap was thoroughly dug up.

Bears are fucking scary. I grew up with the teaching that the difference between black bears and brown bears was that black bears would follow you up the tree, and brown bears would just bend the tree over and pluck you out of it.

Again, bears are scary.
posted by Graygorey at 11:10 PM on September 16, 2008


Calling Stephen Colbert....
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 11:13 PM on September 16, 2008


CheeseDigestsAll - wow, that's big time stupid.
I think folks can get away with bears in the area if bears have the "Oh, a human...*sigh* Ok, let's get out of here" attitude. I understand some people use whistles or air horns, which sort of instills that or capsaicin. Not guaranteed tho.
They're great to look at and photograph (I don't eat them so I don't hunt them purposefully). But baiting one is just crazy. Fear is not always, y'know, a bad thing.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:18 PM on September 16, 2008


As a rule I don't feed anything that might possibly prefer eating me as opposed to the Zagnut I have offered it.
posted by IvoShandor at 11:19 PM on September 16, 2008 [5 favorites]


Jeez, I can't imagine baiting a raccoon, and those are basically (in this context) unusually small bears.
posted by dhartung at 11:20 PM on September 16, 2008


That is sad. I think Crested Butte is one of the greatest cities in the US. As a bonus it has world class skiing. I find it depressing that such a great town is beginning to push nature out. I hope CB does not turn into an Aspen or Telluride.
posted by Mr_Zero at 11:34 PM on September 16, 2008


This is a 'guest comic' for a webcomic with a rather complex premise/backstory, but it still fits this topic: "Give this nice man back his pic-a-nic basket!"
posted by wendell at 11:48 PM on September 16, 2008


I remember visiting the Grand Canyon with my family, and watching a squirrel who wanted my brother's ice cream cone climb up his leg, then his back, then from his shoulder started walking down his arm until my brother dropped the cone. Whereupon the little bastard jumped off and started eating it contentedly.

I shit you not.

Now: picture a bear doing this.
posted by Ryvar at 12:03 AM on September 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


human feeding "can lead to problems later and ultimately mean the animal has to be put down."

So please don't feed the humans.
posted by humannaire at 12:04 AM on September 17, 2008


There are too many No Bears Allowed areas and not enough No People Allowed areas.
posted by pracowity at 12:11 AM on September 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


Bears are fucking scary. I grew up with the teaching that the difference between black bears and brown bears was that black bears would follow you up the tree, and brown bears would just bend the tree over and pluck you out of it.

Again, bears are scary.
posted by Graygorey at 1:10 AM on September 17 [+] [!]

About twenty years ago there was a big craze (in gun magazines anyways) to hunt big game with .44 magnum revolvers, all these manly men being studly and all, one bright writer suggested removing the front sight off of your pistol if you intend to hunt grizzly bears with it, as it then wouldn't be quite so uncomfortable for you when the bear jammed the pistol up your ass.
posted by dancestoblue at 12:13 AM on September 17, 2008 [5 favorites]


Back in the days before ubiquitous bear boxes and canisters, we would restock on long backpacking trips by spending a day at popular campsites, listening for the yelling and screaming that meant a bear had scored a food bag. Then we'd chase down the bear and drive it off the food taking our pick of the salvageable items.

I considered it our reward for minimizing the mess and helping keep the bears from getting put down. But I can tell you that there is no more vile substance known to man than bear slobber, with the rotten festering teeth that come from a life spent feeding on human goodies.
posted by Manjusri at 12:59 AM on September 17, 2008


1. Speaking of Yellowstone: My friend worked there for a summer and there was a family that was following a bear and her two CUBS into the woods! Who doesn't understand that a mom will beat the shit out of you if you even look at her cubs?! The rangers had to speed there to save them. Someone also asked my friend what time they caged the animals up at night.

2. This is why I think Planet Earth is such an amazing series, especially on HD. I think there are places that should have no humans allowed signs, and Planet Earth is the best way to see those places. I think it is actually a really important technological innovation keeping us out of nature. The last thing the rain forest needs is a McDonalds and a Gap.

3. Ole's Big Game bar in Paxton, Nebraska has some of the coolest stuffed big game. They even have an African Elephant! They also have a full polar bear But don't freak out, the guy shot them all between the 50's and 60's, so it's not an ongoing acquisition of big game.
posted by metricfan at 1:24 AM on September 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Just encountered a black bear last weekend, clapped my hands twice and it ambled off in a different direction. I've a bigger fear of moose during certain periods of the year than most bears.
posted by edgeways at 1:30 AM on September 17, 2008


Bears come in to my area on a regular basis. We have strict bear-proof trash container laws, which have cut down on the problem quite a bit.

In Crested Butte, the local bears have been eating out of dumpsters for as long as anyone can remember, and have not hurt anybody. Last year, a town ordinance required everyone to use bear-proof lids on whatever was containing their refuse, leading to a bear problem.

The bears don't know where to find food anymore, and so they wander everyone's yeards every night. A couple of weeks ago my parents found bear prints leading up their back (outdoor) steps. Nobody knows what to do about it at this point (this being Crested Butte, nobody wants to put the bears down.)


Well, you know the population will eventually adjust to the new situation. In our area problem bears are trapped and released in the wilderness far away from most habitation.
posted by D.C. at 2:42 AM on September 17, 2008


Someone also asked my friend what time they caged the animals up at night.

:mouth literally drops open:
posted by fleetmouse at 5:04 AM on September 17, 2008


I've charged a black bear unarmed (drove the bear off) and in 2 years will have deployed my 1st attempt at bear-proofing an apiary. I expect to loose a few hives 'till I get the combination of sharp metal and high voltage low current electricity right.
posted by rough ashlar at 6:05 AM on September 17, 2008


My recent trip through Yellowstone had the same thing happen: people on road sight Grizzly a freakin grizzly people oh my god and proceed to pull off with no warning, still blocking half of the road, get out of their cars, and chase the bear into the woods to try to get a good photograph. We came on this once there were about 50 (no exaggeration) cars gathered and slowed down to try to see what it was and also pick our way through the cars. My mom was considering getting out but then someone said 'bear', I happened to see it, was vaguely terrified, and we were gone.

The people are crazy and apparently have no understanding of the word 'wild'. A ranger we talked to later told us about a guy who had tried to put his kid on the back of a bison for a picture because, hey, they were just big cows. Luckily the rangers were watching. We saw bison not 10 feet from our car on the roadside and they were big enough to ever dissuade me of being that close voluntarily. The car would've done nothing.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 7:14 AM on September 17, 2008


Bears are too damn big, too damn hard to kill, and too damn smart. If they run away, it's because they're not feeling angry or energetic that day. But you never know what kind of day a given bear is having; get it wrong and you're bear food. All the "tips for dealing with bears" are useless; if that bear wants to eat you, and you can't get away, then nothing's gonna save you but a gun, and even then the bear's still likely to kill you before you can kill it.

I understand their beauty and place in the scheme of things. I want them to have a natural habitat. But I would also like there to be better methods for keeping them from chewing up unwary humans. Personal force fields maybe. Somebody get on that.
posted by emjaybee at 7:22 AM on September 17, 2008


I have an old Yellowstone postcard that shows three young bears standing up on their hind legs and leaning through the windows of a green station wagon, where a happy family is feeding them. That was back when feeding the bears was accepted and encouraged.

Yellowstone seems to have a higher-than-average number of tourists that do stupid things, though. It's always fun to ask the more experienced rangers about their best tourist stories.
posted by Ostara at 7:27 AM on September 17, 2008


I once pulled off a logging road in northern Maine to watch a black bear amble along (from a safe distance). My St. Bernard dog jumped out of the open window and chased the bear into the woods. I started calling the dog, and he popped out of the woods again, but the bear was chasing him now. I opened my door and the dog LEAPED over my lap into the car-- no small feat for a 110 pound dog. Then we got the hell out of there.
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:02 AM on September 17, 2008


Again, bears are scary.

And yet, if we ever domesticated them, I would want one.

I am an idiot.
posted by quin at 8:28 AM on September 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


There is a fantastic book called Do (Not) Feed the Bears : The Fitful History of Wildlife and Tourists in Yellowstone by Alice Wondrak Biel.

It's an historical study of the Yellowstone park management's attitude through the years vis-a-vis human/bear interaction, from the days when tourists were encouraged to feed the bears to the days when they were discouraged from feeding the bears, but encouraged to watch the bears rummage through the garbage (there were bleachers erected around a dump area for the purpose), to the days when the park put up signs featuring a jolly Yogi Bear telling tourists not to feed his real-life counterpart (mindfuck!)
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:57 AM on September 17, 2008


There is a saying, "a fed bear is a dead bear." Simple. Adroit. Accurate.
posted by Danf at 9:53 AM on September 17, 2008


I read about this in the paper this morning, and I still don't have the words to describe the depth of the stupidity involved. The guy was an outfitter, a freaking outfitter, for Christ's sake. And the severity of his punishment? $135 bucks. The lives of 5 bears, purchased for $135. I know a lot of folks in western Montana who gladly pay that fine for him, just for a chance to kick his ass.
posted by Wulfgar! at 11:19 AM on September 17, 2008


Yellowstone seems to have a higher-than-average number of tourists that do stupid things, though. It's always fun to ask the more experienced rangers about their best tourist stories.

Here's my I-was-a-dumb-Yellowstone-tourist story: in my defense, I was nine. There were a bunch of people pulled off the road to look at a bull moose, and I was all, "Sweet, a moose! I want to go see!" So I worked my way to the front of the mélange (my parents were a few feet behind) to ... try and see the moose. I didn't want to take photos or get extra close or pet him or anything; I just wanted to get a good look at him from ten or fifteen feet away, maybe watch him doing moose things for a bit. (Of course, now I know that ten or fifteen feet is a LOT closer to a moose than it is to people.)

However, Mr. Moose was justiably irritated with all these tourists and their flashy bulbs in his face, so he charged. Every single Zoobooks fact I'd ever read about "a full grown moose can split a wolf's skull with its hooves" and sundry bloodthirstiness ran through my head as I turned and ran with all the other freaked out tourists, but then I tripped! OhnoI'mgonndadieI'mgonndadieI'mgonna ... why am I not dead?

Oh. Right. He was just warning us. Message received, Monsieur le Moose.
posted by bettafish at 11:36 AM on September 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


“as it then wouldn't be quite so uncomfortable for you when the bear jammed the pistol up your ass”

Yeah, handguns are mostly for backup when hunting. But you can use a .50 cal revolver (you don’t want to use an automatic) for hunting. You could get away with a smaller cartridge for bear if it’s super mag or something. I’d go with a .50 though (S&W 500 Mag or a Ruger maybe with at least a 440 grain - I’d prefer 470.
(I’ve got a .500 Linebaugh, very nicely scoped, with 500 grain Hawks - 1850 fps, yeah, a bear will notice)
Elk and moose are pretty dangerous too.
(Although moose and squirrel seem to give the Russians a hard time)

Funny, people ask “why all the guns?” and never ask “why all the hand tools?”
Right tool for the right job. I’m not going into the city with my custom Linebaugh. I’m not going into the wild with a snub nose .38.
You - can - hunt bear with a pistol. But hunting bear with a pistol is, yeah, not for amateurs.
Hell you can pilot an aircraft at supersonic speeds too. Why folks take one thing lightly and yet recognize the demanding training and need for skill in the other I dunno.

I’m not surprised that if people are stupid enough to chase a bear to take pictures, they’re stupid enough to think that because they’re Dirty Harry they’re Teddy Roosevelt or Elgin Gates (speaking of super mag).

I suspect many people have shed their primal skills and fears and along with it have dumped respect for wildlife and the environment.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:49 AM on September 17, 2008


I’ve got a .500 Linebaugh

That must be a hell of a wrist breaker. But those big caliber single actions are sure fun to take to the range.

posted by quin at 12:09 PM on September 17, 2008


Thoreau on the moose
posted by homunculus at 12:28 PM on September 17, 2008


“That must be a hell of a wrist breaker.”

Yep. I don’t put a lot of rounds through it. It’s pretty expensive to shoot. I prefer using a rifle to hunt, but it’s a good backup. (Well, it’s an extremely well tuned piece I’m using as backup) But I’ve always been into overkill on allowing myself room for error and I’m a large guy so I can get away with the weight. I figure what with adrenaline, fear, etc. etc. I’d need every edge I can get. So I didn’t skimp. Only guy who could miss with it is a guy who could afford to treat it like a toy.
I thought about the zill(? What the hells the name of the gun with the .600 nitro express round?) Anyway, way way too pricey. But I like the idea of the one shot. If you’re down to your revolver, one shot is probably all you’re going to get anyway. And it’s good discipline. And I don’t know anyone who can sustain fire with it. Even though action films seem to be silly with gangsters and SF guys wielding big bore pistols in firefights.

“Thoreau on the moose”
Interesting read. Much as I like Thoreau, he did eventually go back to town. He’s wrong on the moose being gentle. I’ve actually, y’know, spent time with them. And unlike the goofballs in Africa, moose in North America still exist *because* of hunters.

And I wouldn’t hunt moose if they were endangered or something. I mean, if you have an overpopulation of moose in an area, forest tree regeneration goes down, you lose breeding habitat for birds (deciduous shrubbery and the like goes away).
So you either carefully manage wildlife and their habitat or you have an environmental catastrophe and massive die off.
Not to mention less genetic diversity among the surviving population and so greater vulnerability to parisites and disease.
Canada does aerial counts of moose, habitat inventories, hard science on reproductive rates, calf survival, wolf and bear predation, so they’re not just handing out rifles and saying “go geddem!”

That’s the thing people who idealize the environment don’t get - it’s a dynamic, not a static.
Much like you can’t just run out after a bear because you like it and don’t intend to do it any harm, and yet get it used to smelling you and associating you with food and so wind up killing it - neither can you ignore the ongoing impact the human footprint has.

The environment is not a thing apart. Difference being, I come in from the woods, I know I’m still an animal in an environment. Most people don’t seem to.
And so they ignore the fact that just them sitting there at home watching t.v. is them being an animal in ‘the environment’ and displacing other animals.

As a result - we have to compensate for this impact. It’s just not possible - as it might have been in Thoreau’s time - to just leave the wild alone. It’s nowhere near that big anymore.
So wild lands have to be managed and taken care of and part of that means hunting.

It’s appaling that what Cheney et.al does is called “hunting.” It’s got nothing to do with it. That’s just idiots with guns shooting at animals. Not hunting.

I have the same abhorrence of hunters who treat it like a game or an excuse to hurt something and don’t respect the environment as much as I have for the asshats who dump their McDonald’s trash out the car window.

But don’t tell me my stalking an animal for many hours to line up a shot and kill it cleanly and humanely, dress it out and honor the space and preserve the herd is anywhere near the moral equivalent of what most of the rest of you people do to your meat.

I hope Paul Theroux is a vegan. And luddite. And favors human population control. Etc. Etc. Etc. Either we drastically reduce our impact on the environment (and I mean - Amish lifestyle) or we’re negligent if we don’t hunt.

Yeah, it’s better for a moose to be alive. But it’s better that some moose are killed so they don’t overpopulate, break down all the trees, destroy other animals habitat (much like we’ve already done) then all starve to death. Unless we want to roll back the human footprint (in N.America) and how we live here to c.1300.

Hunting is, at heart, conservation. Anyone who doesn’t recognize that doesn’t get that we ourselves are animals and responsible for it as much as - and because we are - a part of it.
S’why bears think we’re food. We’re meat too.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:29 PM on September 17, 2008


Replace the word "bear" with "wildlife".

Just don't feed animals. I heard a guy on the on some morning radio talk show bitching that a cop had ticketed him for throwing an apple core out his window. His justification was that he thought a deer might like it. So you want to bring deer alongside the road. Problem? Deer could get hit, someone might swerve to avoid the deer and cause an accident. In either case, someone is going to suffer. DON'T FEED WILDLIFE, PERIOD. Just think it through and ask yourself if any animal will really benefit long-term from you, a human, feeding it. The answer is no.
posted by Lukenlogs at 3:46 PM on September 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah, it’s better for a moose to be alive. But it’s better that some moose are killed so they don’t overpopulate, break down all the trees, destroy other animals habitat (much like we’ve already done) then all starve to death. Unless we want to roll back the human footprint (in N.America) and how we live here to c.1300.

Agreed. I'm not a hunter, but I have no quarrel with hunting for all the reasons you described. Better a forest than a feed lot.
posted by homunculus at 3:52 PM on September 17, 2008


I have the same abhorrence of hunters who treat it like a game or an excuse to hurt something

Or a chance to collect a $150 bounty. Scumbags.
posted by homunculus at 4:02 PM on September 17, 2008


Smedleyman, I get the sense that you're more than a touch defensive about hunting. You needn't be. Most of us who do it understand the benefits, risks and consequences. Don't sweat the rest.

What I will take you to issue for is that you don't give the .44 mag nearly enough credit. And the .500 is just overly heavy ostentatious penis envy.

Heh. ~wink~
posted by Wulfgar! at 4:08 PM on September 17, 2008


Yeah. I s’pose my irritation is directed at the wannabe ‘hunters.’ It’s like someone taking your screen name, man. Still - a lot of folks don’t know what it’s about. It looks bloody and horrible. But you kill an animal yourself and eat it, you get the idea reinforced that you’re on earth only at the sufferance of nature. (Well, some do). Like eating what you grow. You know what it really cost as opposed to trading the green bits of paper.


Wulfgar! - well, I know people used to hunt bear with .44 mags. I’m just saying I wouldn’t be comfy with a .44 against a brownie. And I do think too many people over reach. I’m a fine tactical handgun shooter. But too many people think those skills translate. So I’ll take every precaution.
(buddy of mine is a homicide detective - the hat, the trenchcoat, the whole show - does double duty as a firearms instructor, but he’s not a hunter - I always picture him busting out of the woods with a snub nose .38 gunning down a deer like Cagney - Bang! Bang! Bang! “Gotcha! Ya Dirty Rat!”)

I do respect the guys who have the skills tho. And I always listen to them. Usually they tell me I’m a wimp.
Meh. I like precision equipment.
(Yeah, I got a small penis....so? The mohel was farsighted)
posted by Smedleyman at 5:56 PM on September 17, 2008


Lewis and Clark expedition encounters a bear.

In the evening the men in two of the rear canoes discovered a large brown bear lying in the open grounds about 300 paces from the river, and six of them went out to attack him, all good hunters; they took the advantage of a small eminence which concealed them and got within 40 paces of him unperceived, two of them reserved their fires as had been previously conscerted, the four others fired nearly at the same time and put each his bullet through him, two of the balls passed through the bulk of both lobes of his lungs, in an instant this monster ran at them with open mouth, the two who had reserved their fires discharged their pieces at him as he came towards them, boath of them struck him, one only slightly and the other fortunately broke his shoulder, this however only retarded his motion for a moment only, the men unable to reload their guns took to flight, the bear pursued and had very nearly overtaken them before they reached the river; two of the party betook themselves to a canoe and the others seperated an concealed themselves among the willows, reloaded their pieces, each discharged his piece at him as they had an opportunity they struck him several times again but the guns served only to direct the bear to them, in this manner he pursued two of them seperately so close that they were obliged to throw aside their guns and pouches and throw themselves into the river altho' the bank was nearly twenty feet perpendicular; so enraged was this anamal that he plunged into the river only a few feet behind the second man he had compelled take refuge in the water, when one of those who still remained on shore shot him through the head and finally killed him; they then took him on shore and butched him when they found eight balls had passed through him in different directions; the bear being old the flesh was indifferent, they therefore only took the skin and fleece,
posted by stargell at 6:11 PM on September 17, 2008


"Bears are too damn big, too damn hard to kill, and too damn smart. If they run away, it's because they're not feeling angry or energetic that day. "

This is the image of bears that Hollywood likes to project for entertainment, but doesn't really correspond with reality. I highly recommend Bear Attacks, Their Causes and Avoidance, by Stephen Herrero for a sober and well-researched examination of the topic. It's a gripping, albeit gruesome read and also offers advice on how best to react to an attack.

Short version: Play dead for a scared bear, fight back if it is trying to eat you. Of course, the trick is distinguishing between the two, and the book provides background for this. Food habituation is one of the main indicators for the latter.
posted by Manjusri at 9:41 PM on September 17, 2008


I get the sense that you're more than a touch defensive about hunting. Yeah, it's not like the bears are going to chase after his kids with pizza so that they can take a picture of them up close.
posted by sneebler at 7:12 AM on September 18, 2008


Manjusri, that does sound gripping. If I had my book by Bill Bryson, "Walk in the Woods", I would check to see if that's one of the many bear books he references--his take was, after reading several that contradicted themselves, that there was no definable successful strategy. Which is like you said; in a given bear encounter (say, coming around a trail bend and suddenly coming on one) will you have time to assess its mood?

But I haven't read it, so I won't pretend I know what I'm talking about there.
posted by emjaybee at 8:56 AM on September 18, 2008


It's been a while since I read it, but as I recall Herrero is very cautious about asserting strict guidelines, and it is a pretty limited set of data/anecdotes he is operating from. Nevertheless, by understanding the circumstances surrounding historical attacks I think I've got a bit better shot at surviving such an encounter. And since no one could possibly mistake me as an expert...

I try to prepare for quick decision-making in risky and novel situations by making a sort of mental flowchart and visualizing the triggers for the decision points. In the example you describe above, if the bear were to immediately charge me I would stand my ground, trying to look as big as possible, not looking the bear in the eyes. If it turns out to be a bluff charge I'd back away slowly, perhaps dropping my pack. Otherwise I'd wait until the last second and drop into a fetal position, protecting the back of my neck with my hands and interlocked fingers, and hopefully my back with the pack. This from the assumption that it is overwhelmingly likely that the bear is reacting to a perceived threat or encroachment. Stalking behavior, a sick or gaunt looking bear, an extremely remote location, and a Black Bear (in this scenario) would be things that might make me think predation. Actually getting eaten would change my mind real quick too. If I were attacked while sleeping at night without food I'd assume predation. If I'm sleeping with food (which I wouldn't dream of in grizzly country) then its probably after that, but that can easily cross over into predation.

I do most of my backpacking in California where the bears are all Black (even the big brown ones), all food-habituated, and those that get overly aggressive are culled. In maybe 40 adversarial encounters, I've only had one make any real attempt at intimidation and that because of a friends idiotic behavior, getting too close and then acting scared.
posted by Manjusri at 10:50 PM on September 18, 2008


Bear relocated for stealing honey in Montana
posted by homunculus at 9:25 AM on September 27, 2008


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