Hunting in Bear Country

Here is another very useful from South Cox on “Hunting in Bear Country”.For me I think that we need to change our habits while in backcountry. While I do believe that there is an increase in bear populations, I also believe there is an indirect correlation to bear sightings or encounters.

This would have to do with the climate change, not necessarily “Global Warming.”The relation I believe, is that in the northwest (at least) where the cooler months are getting shorter, bears are are going into hibernation later. So, we as hunters, hikers and backpackers may encounter more bears during the early fall times with the bears eating on carcasses, last bit of bugs, berries, roots and the like. This is just a theory of course, as I am no way a biologist!

Following the bear mauling I experienced, you’d probably expect that I’d take every precaution available to avoid a repeat.  Because of the circumstances of the mauling: surprising the mother and cubs at close range, inside her comfort zone, I haven’t changed the way I spend my time in bear country much.  I recognize that it was really a freak accurance and that not every bear has intentions of making a snack out of me.  I don’t always hang my food, as recommended, but when I’m leaving my basecamp unoccupied I do.  I try not to stash food in my tent where I sleep, though I’m not as diligent about it as I should be.  I carry pepper spray, though I don’t have as much faith in the new stuff as the old.  I give sows with cubs a WIDE berth (which is probably the most significant habit I have changed).  I don’t carry a side arm, too much weight and not legal in many states during the archery season.  I think my encounter was one of those “struck by lightning” chance happenings.  I literally don’t loose any sleep over another encounter.

Read the full article here.

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