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Old 05-20-2011, 03:08 PM
 
164 posts, read 223,257 times
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I just read the thread regarding the man in Nome who was mauled by a bear. It's terrible. I realize that bear attacks are quite rare, and most can be prevented using good sense and knowing bear behavior...but obviously attacks like the one in Nome do happen. How many maulings are there on average in Alaska a year? I also was curious how frequently you see bears in your day to day lives. Is it a rare or frequent occurence? I suppose it depends where you live in Alaska. Lol I've only seen one black bear in my entire life. Thanks!
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Old 05-20-2011, 08:10 PM
 
Location: Big Island- Hawaii, AK, WA where the whales are!
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Yes that was a sad case. I can't answer how many maulings a year happens but see I see Blacks more than Browns. I am only here in the summer but see bears pretty regular especially when the salmon come in. Last summer had 3 in the yard. I have a friend that lives in Girdwood and Seward year round and is a bear magnet. Already this season had to play dead with a Brown on trail in Girdwood, it was woofing and pounding. Luckily the dog chased it off. Last year had a Black sniff her leg as she played dead under a truck downtown Seward.

I don't worry or care about them in WA but in AK I try to stay alert for any bears. Last year after work I walked passed one 10ft away and didn't see it. The next night the police shot it saying it was agressive it wasn't but was becoming a garbage bear. The funny one was couple of seasons ago when a Black walked into the Holiday Inn in town.
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Old 05-20-2011, 08:21 PM
 
Location: Palmer
2,518 posts, read 5,885,965 times
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People that live in bear areas see them all the time. Sometimes almost every day. People in more urban areas like where I am, almost never see a bear.

I have spent quite a lot of time in bear country. Places where we expect to see bears every day, where in the morning you see fresh bear tracks are on top of your own tracks in the sand from the night before...every daily. You need to be very aware and just realize that you are not the top of the food chain. So you act a little more like a deer than a lion. You pay attention to what is around you. You think before walking by a salmon stream at night. You carry protection but don't depend on it. Your brain is much better protection than any gun.

Obviously this guy had plenty of firepower but couldn't get it into play soon enough.
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Old 05-20-2011, 10:37 PM
 
Location: Alaska
6,307 posts, read 4,190,809 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EllaRose View Post
I just read the thread regarding the man in Nome who was mauled by a bear. It's terrible. I realize that bear attacks are quite rare, and most can be prevented using good sense and knowing bear behavior...but obviously attacks like the one in Nome do happen. How many maulings are there on average in Alaska a year? I also was curious how frequently you see bears in your day to day lives. Is it a rare or frequent occurence? I suppose it depends where you live in Alaska. Lol I've only seen one black bear in my entire life. Thanks!
We are heading out of Whittier Sunday for 5 days of bear hunting so I'll come back and tell you how many we saw and how many rugs we bring home.. Spring bear meat is awesome!

Last year it was 7 blackies in three days, took one, missed one..

Until then here's a pick of a sow chowing down on a salmon..

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Old 05-20-2011, 11:21 PM
 
Location: Naptowne, Alaska
15,596 posts, read 34,613,775 times
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Or this one!

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Old 05-21-2011, 06:31 AM
 
164 posts, read 223,257 times
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Thanks everyone! I love hiking and fishing, but I certainly don't live in bear country, so it's not something that I've ever had to worry about. When I move to Alaska, I'll have to get used to not being at the top of the food chain. It sounds like an elevated level of awareness will take you a long way in bear country.

I've read that if bear charges you, you're supposed to stand your ground. I'm not going to lie...I honestly think that I would die from fright before the bear ever reached me. Has this happened to anyone here? How frightening.

@Rance and Crossfire--Love your pics!

@Crossfire--Good luck with your hunt! I've never tried bear meat...I've heard mixed opinions about it. Is it comparable to anything? (I'm going to assume that it doesn't taste like chicken .)
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Old 05-21-2011, 07:16 AM
 
Location: Naptowne, Alaska
15,596 posts, read 34,613,775 times
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I've been charged by a brown bear sow with cubs. Although it was over in seconds it seemed like minutes. I was amazingly calm the entire time. I just figured man this is gonna hurt...but she slid to a stop about 20 feet away. I just stood there thinking to myself what a beautiful bear. The sun was on her face and she had spectacular colors in her fur. Fortunately she turned and walked away. Maybe because I stood my ground and did not stare her in the eye, and spoke softly it's ok, I'm not here to bother you! That was on my birthday years ago. One of my best gifts ever!

I was also charged by a black bear that chased me up a 966 cat front end loader. The bear climbed up the tire after me as I climbed up onto the cab roof. That one was gonna tear me a new you know what! Fortunately there was a co-worker that alerted me or that bear would have gotten from behind and I'd never have seen it coming.

They say to fight black bears like your life depends on it...because basically it does. A brownie your supposed to play dead, take your mauling like a man, and hope to live to talk about it! All bears have different attitudes and personalities so you can never be sure whats going to happen.
Making noise to alert bears while hiking is a must. They really hate to be startled or bothered around a moose kill.
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Old 05-21-2011, 08:28 AM
 
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I have seen only one bear this year, a small black bear who was already running into the bushes apparently having had a close call with the car in front of me. When hiking I make noise from time to time, and if hiking alone sometimes consider different destinations. My fear of bears is (1) catching one by surprise, (2) coming across a Mama bear with cubs, (3) running into a bear who had been previously wounded by a gun.

Some people are more afraid of them than others. I would hate to have it prevent me from getting out there in nature.

Personally, I'd rather live in bear country than in great-big-humungus-spider country. But that's just me.
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Old 05-21-2011, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
1,786 posts, read 2,312,850 times
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Thought I would add the Brown bear picture of a sow and 2 cubs... sorry a bit blurry... in a boat... raining and rough waters but the best I could do.... Admiralty Island... Seymour Canal

http://a7.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/228262_2001352029470_1113633358_32390719_298640_n. jpg (broken link)
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Old 05-21-2011, 11:48 AM
 
447 posts, read 580,749 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naturesdreams View Post
Thought I would add the Brown bear picture of a sow and 2 cubs... sorry a bit blurry... in a boat... raining and rough waters but the best I could do.... Admiralty Island... Seymour Canal
Them's be blackies.
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