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Fishnwire

Visitor in the Night

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As I've mentioned before, my camp is quite secluded and a fair distance from civilization of any kind. The bears out there are not used to people and always keep their distance from the camp when we're there. I know there are bears around. I've seen them from the boat on the shoreline and there is sometimes evidence that they've been sniffing around the camp after we're gone. These aren't city bears and they don't like the smell and noise of people...like I say, they do a good job of keeping their distance almost all the time. For this reason I've got in the habit of leaving my coolers (food, beer, pop, etc) outside on the porch. They sit right against the camp about three feet away from the front door and right underneath a large window. I never had any problems, not during the day when I'm out fishing (or whatever) and not at night. Can you guess where this story is going?

 

Tuesday night, I'm all alone at camp, having stayed an extra day than my father-in-law who had to leave for a doctor's appointment. At about 3 am I'm suddenly awakened by a huge bang. For a second I thought the wood stove had burst. Then I realized it was coming from the porch. Right away I knew what it was. I grabbed a flashlight and looked out the window. I saw the cooler lid (which was previously affixed to the cooler) and a trail of food and beer going off toward the bush. I threw on some clothes and my boots (it was raining hard) and went outside. Standing about 15 feet away from me and making his way back toward the strewn about contents of the cooler is a big black bear. I started yelling at him and he started to take off. Then he stopped for a second, looked at the pile of food by the porch, then back at me...like he was trying to decide whether the risk was worth the reward. I started screaming my head off and jumping up and down on the porch, and he reluctantly made his way into the bush and out of flashlight range.

 

I quickly gathered up my food and beer. I know I was taking a chance "stealing" a bear's dinner in the dark by myself...the term "mauled" kept coming to mind but I didn't want to give him any reason to come back. This was one of the few times in my life I wished I had a firearm. It would have been comforting just to fire off a shot or two in the air. Like I said, he wasn't in a big rush to move along when I was yelling and him. I wouldn't have taken a shot at the bear, but it would have been nice to scare him off with something more than curse words. I could only find the cooler's lid and not the cooler itself but I had a spare one I put all my stuff in, and then I put that cooler INSIDE the camp. I guess that's where I'm going to have to keep them from now on. It's too bad because the ice lasts longer out there than in the warm camp and they take up a fair amount of otherwise useful space.

 

In the morning light I went looking for the cooler. It was a good twenty to thirty yards out of my yard past the tree line. This is one of those great big 5 day coolers and he dragged it through some pretty dirty bush like nothing. It had a few punctures in it, claw marks they look like, and the lid was torn off, but it's still a usable cooler. (I think I'll be able to re-affix the lid with the right size screws) He didn't get too much food (possible none) as it fell out when he pulled the cooler off the porch. He must have been ticked off when he got that big tub in the bush and realized it was empty. Good. Hopefully he won't waste his time coming around again. I doubt it though. If you spend time in bear country...you're gonna have bears, right?

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If you spend time in bear country...you're gonna have bears, right?

 

Truer words were never spoken.

My brother-in-law has a beautiful house in the woods, and complains non-stop about the squirrels and rabbits :dunno: .

Jim

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This was one of the few times in my life I wished I had a firearm. It would have been comforting just to fire off a shot or two in the air. Like I said, he wasn't in a big rush to move along when I was yelling and him. I wouldn't have taken a shot at the bear, but it would have been nice to scare him off with something more than curse words.

 

I always bring my can of bear mase with me when i'm up north, just in case.

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I know of at least one case where a hunter yelled at a black bear to make it run and instead it charged him and knocked him down - a bowhunter in Cochrane. It came at him so fast he had no time to do anything. Luckily his partner came running and saved him. Otherwise he figured he was a goner.

 

He was a mess and required lots of stitches, but he was well enough to talk to a CBC reporter the next day and give an interview.

 

Please don't assume they will all be scared of you. All it takes is one that reacts differently.

 

Did you at least have a hunting knife on you? If not, yelling at a hungry bear in the dark, and getting in between him and food, might not have been the brightest of ideas.

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Did you learn anything? I noticed you said you'd be keeping your food inside from now on, but you need to be better prepared for a Bear encounter!

 

Setting off fireworks before going to bed will keep them away, a can of Bear spray can be worth a lot, a canned air horn like they use at sporting events works too!... and then there's a 12 gauge with OO buckshot...

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Having spent a lot of time in bear country out west I too am accustom to them. If you are able to build or even get a solid steel storage for you food would be better. They will eventually come into the house for it too. No amount of yelling will help you then. A confused bear in a tight environment is not a place I want to be. Play it safe and smart and keep you food away from living space. Even building a hoist and lifting the coolers will work.

 

Glad things work out for you.

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At this point I would try to get back and check on your camp with some frequency. Once they find food they can become quite persistent.

 

I've heard of people burying a plastic 45ga drum to use as a cooler, tough for them to pry that screw on top off.

 

Bring a pail of good size rocks on in the camp and a noise maker of some type, leave these at the ready beside the door. Another trick is to build a wooden bin and attach a couple of those cheap, battery operated security alarms that activate if they are separated. Might scare him off, but it will give you a heads up and time to try to chase him off before he's into the food. Or worst of all the beer.

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I always bring my can of bear mase with me when i'm up north, just in case.

 

We bring a shotgun :)

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FIREWORKS!!!!! FIREWORKS!!!!! I never go into the bush without a few.....its a ritual for me. Either way you have some protection if needed or some entertainment on the last night of your trip!!

 

Jason

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FIREWORKS!!!!! FIREWORKS!!!!! I never go into the bush without a few.....its a ritual for me. Either way you have some protection if needed or some entertainment on the last night of your trip!!

 

Jason

 

Roman candles would be a hoot!!!!!

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the little m80s are awesome. you can light them and strategically place them for maximum effect. under the chair is a good one. or beside a guy in an icehut.

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get a sling shot, cheap and easy.. Wont hurt anything but reminds them your around,.. Works really good on skunks.

 

For a bear it mint just remind it your higher up on the food chain.,. if not you should be far enough to run like mad. :)

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Sounds like me and the 22 I carry in the airplane Paul.... just enough to really piss the bruin off ...so he finishes me off quickly !

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We bring a shotgun :)

 

Yep. You can use it as a noisemaker if that's your preference, and if you meet that one bear in a thousand that won't run, then you've got that covered too. ;)

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Its not the bears you have to worry about its the ferrets

oh man i laughed when i first saw this maybe its just me LOL

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My last trip up north my buddy brought some of them "cherry bomb" style fireworks incase bears came to the site. After lighting off a couple we were getting looks from the other campers like we were shooting off a gun how loud they were. If a bear came the idea was to light the whole brick :lol:

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Having had a few similar confrontation's when on crown land/private property a shotgun is a must have for this guy, why even risk it?

Only one warning shot from this guy!

I Carry a bear tag all fall just for this very reason.

Glad it worked out for you.

 

RF

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At one time when carrying a shotgun for self defense against bears it was an unwritten rule that you had it loaded with 00 buckshot. In the event that it was contested that it was not self defense, the spread of the shot would be your alibi, if the 9 or 12 pellets could be covered by the palm of a hand it was obvious the bear was very close as opposed to a slug or a rifle where the range could not be readily verified. Truth is , at self defense ranges, feet not yards, a duckload would probably work.

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And to think iam up here in sudbury area looking for a bear to harvest since friday? go figure,, got some grouse tho!!

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i get some plywood and a box of 3" nails, nail them about every inch and put them infront of your door and nail the plywood under your windows.

that will slow them down a bit when your not there.

ya i definitely wouldnt be running out there after him, not that bright but it was your natural reaction when someone or something is taking something from you.

my foreman told me a story about a few years ago when he was up fishing some back lake for a few days, he had a tent/camp site all set up and when he got back from fishing a bear went through his cooler and all he found left were 2 packages of hotdogs weiners. he said the one had teeth marks and that was it. For a bears that are known to hang out in garbage dumps and eat garbage but wont touch hotdog weiners really makes you wonder whats in them hahaha!!

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We have bearbangers that work really well....basically no different from fireworks -- a little charge on the end of a pen. Pop the pen and it shoots and lets off a big bang. Shoot in the air and they'll run. Shoot at their feet and you'll scare the crap out of them. Just don't shoot behind them and have it running towards you when the bang goes off.

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