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Go Back   BHM Forum > Self-Reliance & Preparedness > Self-reliance > Hunting/Fishing/Trapping

Hunting/Fishing/Trapping Hunting, Fishing, Trapping and related conversations.

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  #1  
Old 05-09-2011, 01:33 PM
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Wyobuckaroo Male Wyobuckaroo is online now
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Default Bear Over the Mtn.

Was out on some of the county roads this past weekend messing around between errands, and saw a couple black bears crossing pastures at different places and times.

I'm sure they have been out of den for a while now. But it is time where a lot of field work is getting done, people moving around, and corn is already in the ground in many areas.

Also time where natural foods are still scarce, so bears are going to be at there "spring pest" stage.

People are starting to leave dog food out, bird feeders up, new plants, gardens tilled grubs and worms up, new live stock being born, you get the idea.

Problem here is.............. For whatever reason this is an area where transplanted bears are relocated to. Problem with that is, moving a problem bear only moves the problem.

Some times you just have to take care of business..................
KnowwhatImean
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  #2  
Old 07-18-2011, 09:09 PM
Ironclad Male Ironclad is offline
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Mr Buckaroo,
Yea, I know what you're talkin about. Black Bears are big time pests! But they are big time pests because... they are more like big stupid dogs; than they are anything like a really dangerous bears like a brown or a grizzly.

Me myself; I hate to shoot anything that isnt going onto my table or into my freezer. But, that's just me I guess?

Black Bears they can be scared away out of a territory pretty easy. Unless some stupid neighbor is making it too tempting for them with "easy eatings"... dog food left outside, trash cans filled with stinking stuff, etc etc.

I was one time long ago, camping in the Smokey Mountains, in a state park, with my girlfriend, in our tent, trying to "get romantic"...I was right in the middle of one of my best romantic moves, when a dang black bear came invading my camp site!! And the bear found my ice chest full of beer outside of the tent, and he decided he was going to get drunk! He messed aroung with that cooler for the longest time not getting it open until out of frustration, he just pounded it open and ice and beers went flying around. Then he just quietly and slowly took his time getting at all the beers...about 12 of them. He just politely sat there, as I watched him from my tent just a few feet away, on his haunches taking one can after another; holding it high above his head in his mouth; and chomping lightly on the aluminum can until all the beer drizzled down his gullet.

This was scary and funny at the same time; until all the beer ran out!? Now I not only had a black bear invading my camp site... I had a DRUNK black bear invading my camp site!? And then he decided to come look inside that tent over there! I had a gun; yea I know its against the law to carry a gun into a state park, but Ive never been known to follow all the laws all the time. And just about the time he started scratching open the front flap... a state ranger drove up with his truck lights illuminating everything, and he was hollering... "Sadie, get outa here!!!"

He got out of his truck, walked over to the bear, and just slapped her on the rump, and she ran off into the woods!?? Yea, that's right...that bear was a "she" named Sadie, and she was a well known pest in that camp site. She was about as dangerous as a big stupid dog, and no more. But Sadie was...a drunk!! She loved her beer!!

The Ranger explained it all to me; he appologized for the behavior of what appeared to be one of his favorite pets; he forgave me for carrying a loaded gun into a state park; and he thanked me for not using it on that black bear of his. And then he drove away after wishing us a good night?

Needless to say...me and my girlfriend were not able to rekindle that romantic mood, again, for the rest of that night!! Danged Bear!!
--Ironclad
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  #3  
Old 07-18-2011, 11:29 PM
kfander Male kfander is offline
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Three different bears have shown up on the wildlife camera that I set up in different places on my land. One place in particular appears to be a favorite hang out, as one of the bears will lie down in front of the camera, walk around the area, then come back. He visits roughly every two days, but shows at all times of the day or night while he's in the area.

There is a tree in that area that the bears leave messages on, I think, because they all are particularly attentive to that one tree.

The camera records dates and times and a couple of days ago, when I picked up the disk from the camera last, a smaller bear, probably a female, appeared on camera, the first time I've seen that particular bear, sniffed around on the tree and rubbed herself on it. Less than ten minutes later, the larger male, who has been showing up for the four months that I've had the camera there, came in and practically mugged the tree. That was twenty minutes before I picked up the disk.

I don't worry much about the bears. I'm not living on the land yet so there isn't a problem there, but I think there's room for all of us on the hundred acres.
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Old 07-19-2011, 02:20 AM
Ironclad Male Ironclad is offline
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Mr Kfander,

Forgive me, if my previous story seemed to be too humorous and stupid... about "how really dangerous" that any bear can be.

Up in Maine, where you live, I can only imagine that the animals are somewhat different from where I live?

You have described..."three bears together" which to me describes a family? And that is a dangerous dangerous possibility. Any bear in a family situation, especially the mother, will just go nuts on you, if you get too close to them. Most family units are a mother and her cubs. I doubt it if there is a male amongst that family unit? Bears just dont work that way. Male bears just do two things... they mate with a female; and they come back later and kill the cubs. Yea...that's real nice, isnt it? Male bears are mean assholes!! But Female bears when they are taking care of their cubs...they are mean bitches!!

But still, you dont have to kill them; unless you have to; unless you really need all of that meat; but bear meat doesnt taste that good anyway; so why dont you just scare them away?

But...be careful. Bears in a family unit, they are very protective and crazy in the way they get territorial. Be careful of them that way...just scare them off if you can. If you cant...then you have to do, what you have to do.

But please... just raise hell, shoot off a 12 guage shotgun several times in the air, in their general direction, and I promise you... they will probably be gone away from your land... maybe forever.

Of course, if they do come back, and kill your livestock, then just shoot the hell out of them, (this time use something bigger than that 12 guage shotgun... I like to keep a 30-06 rifle for jobs like that... 180 grain bullet should do the trick; go up to a 220 bullet if it is a really big bear...)and be done with it!! That's what I would do. And I wouldnt feel bad about it. And I would probably try to figure out a new recipe for bear meat? But good luck with that!? I dont know anybody yet can tell me how to make bear meat taste good. And they got so much fat on them; they are a bitch to butcher. Bears are just bad news; all around.
--Ironclad

Last edited by Ironclad; 07-19-2011 at 02:44 AM.
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  #5  
Old 07-19-2011, 02:55 AM
kfander Male kfander is offline
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Ironclad, I am fairly well familiar with black bears, and there is generally not much to worry about. Of course, nothing is for certain with a wild animal.

I mentioned that three different bears have shown up on my wildlife camera over the past few months, but they showed up individually, not together.

A large black male is the one that has shown up nearly everywhere I have placed my camera, and at least once every couple of days, and sometimes several times a day. My assumption is that my land is within his territorial range, which is shorter in Maine than in any other state.

A couple of days ago, a smaller bear showed up at my camera location, sniffed around the larger male's favorite tree, rubbed up against it, then walked off camera. About ten minutes later, the male appears and goes immediately to the tree.

This is their mating season, so my guess is that the smaller bear was a young female on the prowl, as probably was the third bear that my camera picked up a week or so ago.

I have a hundred acres, including a large cedar swamp, a brook, a couple of potato fields, and the rest in young mixed hardwoods and softwoods, with several small clearings, so it can probably support more than one bear. My land is bordered by other wooded properties on all sides so I am sure that none of them feel confined to that space.

When I say that I am not afraid of them, I don't mean to say that I don't respect their power. Whenever I am walking my land, I give them plenty of notice, so that they have time to hide, and that's something that bears do well.

In this part of Maine, at least, the bears have a whole lot of wooded land, and a lot of resources, so they don't tend to be very bold, as they are known to be in areas where they have to live in closer proximity to people's houses and farms. It is rare for a bear in northern Maine to prey on anyone's livestock. In fact, black bears seldom prey on animals at all. Roughly 85% of what they eat is plant matter, and the larger percentage the rest consists of insects, worms, and things that were already dead before the bear got to them. Most black bear prey animals are victims of opportunity, and they tend to be smaller animals such as rabbits, rodents, and birds, the latter of which may at times include free range chickens.

I know that my bears have been eating ants, as bears do, because nearly every ant hill that I've come across has been dug into.

I won't be moving onto our property at least until next spring. If the bears become a problem, I'll run them off but I am hoping that it doesn't come to that, and my guess is that they will simply move further into the woods, since I don't plan on doing anything stupid like leaving food out for them.

Last edited by kfander; 07-19-2011 at 04:16 PM.
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  #6  
Old 07-19-2011, 03:07 AM
Ironclad Male Ironclad is offline
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I hardly know how to respond...??

Mr Kfander...I didnt mean to set you off??
It sounds like you think you know more about your bears, than I gave you credit for.
It sounds like you think you know more about your bears, than you deserve.
For your sake; I hope you know what you are doing.
Have you ever done anything more, in the wild, than take pictures, with your wildlife cameras? I worry about you.
Good Luck to you my friend
Be Careful
--Ironclad

Last edited by Ironclad; 07-19-2011 at 05:02 AM. Reason: Christian compassion...misplaced
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Old 07-19-2011, 03:59 AM
Ironclad Male Ironclad is offline
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Mr Kfander,

You are seemingly a well practiced wordsmith? But I surely do doubt that you know as much as you pretend to know, about "bears"... n'est pas?

You my friend just might wind up being "lunch" someday, to a bear?

Please... be careful.
--Ironclad

Last edited by Ironclad; 07-19-2011 at 05:04 AM. Reason: Christian compassion...a warning
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  #8  
Old 07-19-2011, 05:29 PM
kfander Male kfander is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironclad View Post
Mr Kfander,

You are seemingly a well practiced wordsmith? But I surely do doubt that you know as much as you pretend to know, about "bears"... n'est pas?

You my friend just might wind up being "lunch" someday, to a bear?

Please... be careful.
--Ironclad
So far in the 2010s, there has been one fatality from a black bear in the United States. The victim was a caretaker on a property in Ohio that kept exotic pets. This was a caged bear that had been let out of its cage.

In the 2000s, there were seven fatal attacks. One of them involved a captive bear, and another was bear that someone had been feeding for a decade. Three were in national parks, where bears become habituated to campers and hikers. One bear broke through a glass window pane to gain entrance to someone's home in New Mexico, killing her. The last was a five-month old baby who was taken from a stroller on the porch of her family's vacation home in New York.

In the 1990s, there were two reported fatalities from black bear attacks in the United States, one in Alaska, the other in Colorado.

In the 1980s, there were no fatalities from black bear attacks in the United States.

There were three in the 1970s. One was a carnival bear, and another was in a national park.

There were two in the 1960s; one in Alaska, and another involving a pet bear in Arizona.

In the 1950s, there were two. One involved a pet bear, the other occurred in a state park.

There were two in the 1940s. One victim was a hunter who had first shot the bear. It is believe that he thought the bear to be dead, and was killed when he approached. The other occurred in a national forest.

In the 1930s, there were three. All were captive bears. One of these occurred in Ellsworth, Maine, when some idiot entered the bear's cage. Another involved a cage bear who had recently had her cubs taken away from her.

There were no reported cases of fatalities from black bear attacks in the 1920s or 1910s. In the 1900s, there were two attacks, but one bear claimed three victims, ages 3, 5, and 7. The other attack involved a caged bear.

Admittedly, the records may be scanty in the early years, my point being that black bears are not, as you suggest, known for attacking and killing people. Only one of these reports indicated that the bear had consumed any part of its victims. These were the three children that were killed in the 1900s. The baby that was taken from its stroller was killed, but not eaten.

In all of recorded history, not one person has been killed or even seriously wounded in the wild by a black bear in Maine. Nor is this common elsewhere, and I think that's remarkable when you consider the number of black bears that are believed to be out there.

Most attacks are by captive or pet bears, the bulk of the remainder occurring in state and national parks where people are prone to feeding bears intentionally or unintentionally, by not securing their campsites or food preparation areas.

Black bears seldom attack even when confronted by people and, when they occur, these attacks are most often limited to mock charges which do not result in actual contact.

What would happen if you should get between a mother bear and her cubs? Well, I wouldn't try it but most of the time the mother will run, and call to her cubs to do the same. Sometimes they don't, and that's why I wouldn't bank on it.

Black bears are not particularly territorial, nor do they travel in family groups, except for a mother bear and her cubs. In their second summer, the cubs are sent packing, either by mom or by mom's new boyfriend, and it is rare even for siblings to remain together beyond the age of two or three. Black bears are solitary creatures. They don't travel in family groups.

When confronted in the wild, a bear's first instinct is to run. They run, and then they circle back to see what they have run from. I have photographs from my wildlife camera that show a large male black bear running from what appears to be either a raccoon or a weasel. It's a night shot so it's hard to tell what it was, but it's clear that it's a much smaller animal than the bear.

The bear that is rummaging through your trash can at night is far more dangerous than the one that may be out in the forest with you. For one thing, you'll probably never see the one in the forest because he'll hear you coming and hide. For another, the bear that is going through your trash has become familiar with people, and may be less afraid of you.

Black bears sometimes do attack, however. When they do, they can be very effective predators indeed. Whether running uphill, downhill, through thick brush, climbing a tree, or swimming, they can do it faster than you can.

When they catch you, they are way more powerful than you are, so they are to be respected.
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Old 07-19-2011, 05:45 PM
kfander Male kfander is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironclad View Post
Have you ever done anything more, in the wild, than take pictures, with your wildlife cameras? I worry about you.
--Ironclad
I grew up around bears, and rarely saw them. Bears prefer it that way. When you ask what I might have done in the wild, in reference to bears, my only answer is that anything that I might want to do in the wild with bears would be reckless indeed. Bears prefer not to interact with people, and that is why I like the wildlife camera. I'm not trying to sneak up on them in order to get a picture, and they're not having to grow accustomed to me. This is also why I move my camera around to different places in the woods.

I grew up in the rural UP of Michigan. We didn't have video games; or even television until sometime after I started high school, so most everything we did, we did outdoors. There were bears out there. We could see the signs, and once in awhile we'd catch a brief glimpse of a bear before it retreated into the forest. Again, bears prefer to be given that option.

We camped in the woods almost as many nights as we slept in our beds during the summers. Again, there were bears out there, and we made allowances for that by cleaning up after ourselves and not leaving food lying around. But I didn't worry much then, nor would I worry now, about being attacked by a bear during the night.

Yes, it could happen, but a meteorite could come crashing down on my head; or more likely, I could encounter a drunk driver on my way home from the forest.

I spent a full year in a cabin in the woods by myself, including a three week period in which I couldn't have gotten out if I wanted to, given the snow. This was twenty miles from the nearest house, and that was practically the only house around for another twenty-five miles. There were bears roaming around outdoors during the night. I could see their tracks outside the cabin in the morning. Did you know that bears don't truly hibernate, and that some of them even wander around outside their dens during the winter?

Hungry bears roaming around outside my cabin at night. Well, I don't know how hungry they were, but bears spend most of their lives in search of food, so that's a good assumption. For that reason, if you are in bear country, you should be careful never to leave food unattended, even inside your cabin or home. Bears can get through your window or door, so it's a good idea not to give them a reason to do that.

Yes, be careful. Be cautious. Be aware. But there's no reason to be afraid of being attacked by a black bear if you take reasonable precautions.
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Old 07-20-2011, 06:38 PM
kfander Male kfander is offline
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Interestingly, the relative dangerousness of a bear is related to its habitat. Of polar bears, grizzlies and black bears, the polar bear is the most likely to attack because polar bears don't have places to hide in their normal habitat, thus they are aggressive. A grizzly bear's habitat consists of a mix of forests and open spaces; subsequently, in comparison to a polar bear, the grizzly is more likely to retreat, given that it's natural habitat often includes places where it can retreat to. Black bears are most commonly found in forests, thus they have developed the instinct to run and hide when confronted with a human being, although they certainly can be dangerous when they feel threatened, or at other times, given the individuality of bears.

Within the black bear species, those which live in areas such as Maine, where the majority of their habitat consists of thick forested areas, tend to be far less aggressive than those which may be found in New Mexico, Arizona, or other places where there is less cover. Also those whose habitat has been reduced by human encroachment may be more aggressive due to a combination of familiarity with people and hunger from a loss of natural food sources. This is even more apparent where their habitat has become largely fictionalized, such as national parks, and where their contacts with people are associated with food, either from direct feeding of the bears or inattentiveness to campsites and the like.

Last edited by kfander; 07-20-2011 at 07:07 PM. Reason: Typo
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  #11  
Old 07-20-2011, 06:48 PM
grumble Male grumble is offline
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Can't argue with anything you say, kfander, but I have one addition. That is, the sense that a human is a danger. Where bears (or any other predator) are hunted, they are much more likely to retreat than to attack. If they aren't hunted, they don't perceive humans as a threat. Thus you get more attacks in state and national parks than in places where they might get shot at.

Something else to consider is the time of day. If you surprise a bear in the daytime, you're a nuisance. If you surprise a bear at night, you're food.
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Old 07-20-2011, 07:04 PM
kfander Male kfander is offline
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That's very true, Grumble. Bears don't surprise easily, and they don't like it when they are. Dangerous activities include anything that allows you to move quietly or rapidly through the forest; thus, mountain bicyclists have been attacked as they travel rapidly and relatively quietly along trails that bears also use, sometimes coming upon a bear that hadn't heard them coming. For similar reasons, when I am walking through my cedar swamp, I often talk to myself, since the only thing that grows at the ground level is moss, so walking doesn't involve a lot of noise.

One thing I mentioned earlier is worth noting, as well. Bears do tend to run from anything that is approaching them, but they often circle back to see what they had run from. So if the bear retreats into the forest, you are not necessarily home free.
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Old 07-20-2011, 07:23 PM
grumble Male grumble is offline
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Ha! Very true! I have a short tale about that very thing.

In March 2008 I was taking my 2WD truck up over a 10,000 foot pass nearby, and didn't make it through a patch of crusty snow. I had to walk back to a neighbor's house about 6 miles away to get a tow out of the icy patch. As I was walking along the forest service road, I saw some tracks of a sow with two small cubs walking ahead of me. I found all sorts of reasons to talk to my dog as I walked along, until I came to a spot where momma and cubs peeled off the road. I was telling my neighbor about the tracks as we went back up the hill to snach my truck out. We stopped to look at the tracks in a couple places and what do you know, there were now TWO momma tracks and FOUR cub tracks walking right over my footprints!

My neighbor and I chuckled about it, but it was some uneasy chuckling on my part.
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Old 07-20-2011, 07:52 PM
kfander Male kfander is offline
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When I pick up the disks from my wildlife camera, I make a point of noting the times, so that I can see if the bear shows up a few minutes after I left, which might indicate that he was stalking me. So far, he hasn't come within a couple of hours of me, although I ran him off (according to the camera times) the last time, although I never saw him. That camera location was a hangout for him even before I came on the scene, so I've moved the camera from there. Right now, I have it mounted to a tree on the far end of the potato field that I'm leasing out, to see what might be coming out into the fields. I need to reduce the sensitivity though, since it took a few thousand photos and the closest thing to an animal it captured was a bird.
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Old 07-26-2011, 06:12 PM
kfander Male kfander is offline
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A couple days later, the bear did indeed show up on camera in the potato field.
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:15 AM
Mitch Male Mitch is offline
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I don't know how much time you are spending in the woods but things are a changin'. For 20+ years I only carried a 45 auto in the woods. I now believe that is just not enough gun! I do a lot of gold panning in the mountains here so I am out there a lot. The DNR here has made large areas bear preserves and forbid hunting there. The result is way over population and not enough food.

The bears are comming out and down to the valleys, especially the 2 and 3 year olds as the old boars run them off. To add to that we have wolves and lots of coyotes, and mountain lions. This is a very dry year. Not many berries or acorns. The bears are hungry, and that makes them much more dangerous.

I now carry a pistol grip, 20 inch barrel 12 guage pump on a sling loaded with 00 buck and slugs. I also swapped that 45 out for a 357 with hot 160 grain FMJ. I also carry bear spray (my 3rd. one this year!). I haven't had to kill one yet, but a couple of them were hard to convince to go on. The days of clapping your hands and shouting are over.

Do NOT assume that today's bears will behave like their grandfathers anymore than our teenagers will behave as we did.

Mitch
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Old 09-13-2011, 11:26 AM
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Question...................
Does your state allow running / hunting bears with dogs ?
Please post answers.

Luckily, here in this part of Wisconsin they can still use dogs.
Of all the big game biologist, from Maine to Montana, that I have known say the worst thing done to bears was not allowing the use of dogs. The use of dogs is the BEST resource these biologist say to keep bears "scared of humans" They all agree it is a real dis service to the bears.

Once the corn kernels start to turn from white to dull yellow, I start carrying a 12 ga on the 4 wheeler. One corn field sits between the creek and the woods outside of all the housing along the lake. Bears have an interstate size game trail along the shelter belt to a road crossing within 50 yards of my place.

Good luck
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Old 09-13-2011, 09:21 PM
kfander Male kfander is offline
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Mitch, I don't doubt that they are a problem in some areas. Here in northern Maine, they are not. Since before the snow melted in the woods, I have been walking my land, and have been clearing trees for the camp we're putting in and walking the land, getting an assessment for what we have there, including setting wildlife cameras up in different places around the hundred acres, nearly every dry day that we've had this spring and summer, and I'll keep going until the snow falls. I don't carry any weapons at all. My cameras have captured at least four different bears on our land this spring and summer, with one showing up repeatedly, but I've never seen one with my eyes; although I'm sure they've seen me. Black bears are not much of a problem in Maine, and never have been. If you look at a map of Maine, you'll see that nearly a third of the state is unpopulated (northwestern part), with no towns or paved roads. My land is near there, although there are a few towns between where I am and the real wilderness begins. Bears here are not forced to go through people's trash cans or plunder their livestock, and you seldom hear of it. Maine does allow bear hunting, including the use of bait and dogs, although dogs are not generally used here. It's bear season right now, in fact.

They weren't much of a problem in the UP of Michigan when I lived there either, nor do I hear from any of my relatives that they are now. Of course, some people will consider it to be a problem whenever they see one. It's reasonable to be cautious about bears because they can be dangerous, but so can dogs and many other things, including people, and bears are less of a problem than many of the creatures that we don't worry nearly so much about.

Last edited by kfander; 09-13-2011 at 09:53 PM.
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Old 09-14-2011, 09:35 PM
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Wyobuckaroo Male Wyobuckaroo is online now
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AGREE Kfanger....... Any wild animal can be a danger under the wrong circumstances.

Evan a chip monk can drill a row of tooth holes up and down your arm faster than you can yell "O SNAP" I have seen it happen.

If you have moose in your area, they can pose a BIG threat. (pun about there size not intended, but amusingly coincidental)

The key is any and all wild animals deserve respect for what they are capable of regardless of there size. Familiarity and complacence gets lots of people in trouble........

Keep safe
Wyo
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Old 09-14-2011, 09:53 PM
kfander Male kfander is offline
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Originally Posted by Wyobuckaroo View Post
If you have moose in your area, they can pose a BIG threat. (pun about there size not intended, but amusingly coincidental)
Oh yes, we have moose. Moose are the only large animals that I have seen with my own eyes. These two ran from me but, having driven the rural roads of Maine, I can attest to the fact that moose don't always run from you. They may not be the brightest of God's creations but they are well aware that they are bigger than you, or your car, for that matter.
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