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Anyone encounter Bears while on the trail?

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        01-12-2013, 02:45 PM
      #41
    Yearling
    That's one animal I've never got a photo of. Never seem to have a camera with me when I bump into them. I used to go up to Alaska a lot. Mostly fishing, occasionally bear hunting while fishing. My only serious encounter was with a Grizzly in Alaska while fishing. He was seriously offended with our presence and if we had not thrown a few salmon at his feet in an offering, we may have had a serious incident.

    I've encountered Grizzlies in Yellowstone in the back country around Mary Lake as we rode horses in. For the most part, those bears disappeared as soon as they discovered us.

    I have much more experience with the buffalo. We see them so often that we become a little casual to their presence. I always try to keep a enough distance that if one becomes riled, I have enough space to get my horse up to speed to make up for the quick first those critters have. And we have had a few buffalo charge us. Luckily they don't pursue you very far. If you get out of their way quickly, they are happy to return to being lazy.

    If you out number them, The bison will usually move away.


    Sometimes in the winter months we just ride right upon them in the fog.



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        01-12-2013, 03:02 PM
      #42
    Started
    I have nothing at all worthwhile to input towards the conversation, as the most likely I am to come across wildlife is a rat BUT I am loving these stories and photos!
         
        01-12-2013, 03:44 PM
      #43
    Yearling
    A few years ago, I was starting my young gelding. We would often go for rides after work, and occasionally, I would misjudge our distance and be returning to the trailer well after dark.

    On one of these evenings, We were coming up the trail in the dusk as the sun had gone behind the mountain. We kicked out a young moose. I recognized him, because I had frequently seen him in this same area of the trail and he had broke off one side of his antlers. I had nick named him Lefty. Since he only had his left antler.

    My young gelding had really been dogging it. It was taking a lot of encouragement from me to keep him moving forward. He was slowing down and spooking at every shadow lurking in the dark along the trail. And it was getting dark and I wanted to be back at the trailer. I was getting frustrated with how much effort it was taking to try and keep him moving.

    As we spooked this young bull moose. He jumped right out on the trail and took off at a brisk gait. My gelding seeing this horse size animal trotting up the trail, lost his fears and decided he better keep up and he would be left behind. Of course the closer we got to the moose, the faster he went. Pretty quick we were doing a really fast foxtrot up the trail. It was great for me, Since I could work now on holding him to the smooth gait I was trying to develop and now have to worry about motivating him to move forward.

    After a several hundred yards, the moose tired of this pursuit and abandoned the trail and ducked off into the heavy brush. But my gelding could still hear him crashing through the thick stuff and kept moving forward at a brisk gait. It was enough excitement to keep him moving briskly the rest of the way back to the truck.

    I've been tree'd by an angry moose, So I'm sure this is not the correct thing to do with all of them. But in this case it was exciting to see that moose just a horse length or two ahead me moving up the trail.
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        01-13-2013, 12:26 PM
      #44
    Weanling
    Another bear story

    This happend in 1999, our second trip to the Rockies. We were in the Tetons, riding the center mountain.
    Never realized we'd get with 10 ft of a huge griz.

    In anticipation of a close encounter, we asked the locals what you do with a close encounter of this type. Now this is a solo bear, and not one with cubs.

    The locals said if this happens you have to be the aggressor. The hair is still up on the back of my neck, and I'm thinking be the aggressor, ok, nothing else I can think of right now. I'm on a 16.3 hd horse and this bear is bigger than we are. So, I turn his head toward the bear and ask him to take a couple of steps toward the bear, and I can just hear him thinking "are you sure you want to do this?" He takes the steps toward the griz and the bear gets down and walks up the mountain. Now who trained who here.

    We go a short distance down the trail and come up a solo hiker. No gun, no maze, no nothing except he is white as a sheet, and I'm sure he needs his diaper changed. As it turns out there were two bears at that location, one on each side of the trail. He said he was sure he was done for. He got down on all fours crawled a short distance, took a picture and headed down the trail.

    We had not gone very far and the wife said he is trying to catch us. Sure enough he is running full bore down the trail to catch us. And he says " I'm not going to let the cavalry out of my sight until we get off of this mountain"
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        01-14-2013, 06:14 PM
      #45
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bbsmfg3    



    We go a short distance down the trail and come up a solo hiker. No gun, no maze, no nothing except he is white as a sheet, and I'm sure he needs his diaper changed. As it turns out there were two bears at that location, one on each side of the trail. He said he was sure he was done for. He got down on all fours crawled a short distance, took a picture and headed down the trail.

    "
    He was too scared to control his bowels, but not too scared to snap a pic!

    We have lots of black bears, and I've bumped into them more than I'd like, but haven't had any incidents. Fall seems to be the worst time to run into them, especially if the berry crop has been poor. One year I stopped going for walks entirely because they were all over the place, and because my crazy dog tries to chase them.

    I've only seen a bear a couple times on horseback, and the horses were fine, fortunately. I think they probably see and smell bears all the time in the pasture, so they're relatively used to them. I would be a lot more concerned about getting dumped by the horse than anything a black bear might do (even with cubs). That being said, I'm not going to walk up and shake hands either.

    Bear bells are probably a good idea, but then you miss out on all the other wildlife! I love to give a coyote or a deer a little chase across the field or down a trail.
         
        01-14-2013, 10:31 PM
      #46
    Weanling
    And then there is plain stupidity

    Been several years back. Really do not remember where we were. We were up in the lower elevation mountains. High enough to be cool for the bears. Riding along a trail with a lot of down fall on either side of it, and about 50 yards from the shore line of a large lake. You've heard of the fur flying!! Not ours but that of a a couple of bear cubs that came running up the bank and climbing a tall, but small diameter, fur tree. They are up there raising one barrel of ruckus. And momma griz is down at the shore line equally being noisy. Before she got up the bank, we high tailed it back down the trail and made our way around her in the worst down fall I've ever ridden, but it was much better than trying to shake hands with mad momma. The trail head was about a 1/2 mile from where we encounter the cubs, but seemed like miles going thru the down fall. Finally got to the trail head, and there were some orientals there to take pictures of wildlife. We told them about momma griz and warned against going down that trail. As we were loading the horses in the trailer we looked over and down that trail they went running. Every wonder why humans get attacked? Shear stupidity.
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        01-14-2013, 11:24 PM
      #47
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bbsmfg3    
    Every wonder why humans get attacked? Shear stupidity.
    Yeah, evolution in action
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