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PostPosted: April 27th, 2009, 12:20 pm 
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I'm as "anti-gun" as they come, but if there are women/children along on a wilderness camping trip in BC, a firearm is warranted --- in my opinion, as if anyone cares what my opinion is, lol ...

But yeah, the smaller the person, ie a child, the more attractive of a target he is to a prey animal like a cougar --- for sure.

Also, women who are actively menstruating are at risk from bears which pick up on the scent readily. As part of basic scent-management it's probably a good idea is to burn any used sanitary pads. Any kind of scented soap/detergent/aftershave should be left behind. (Of course, you guys already know all of this, I'm sure).

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PostPosted: April 27th, 2009, 2:09 pm 
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While I agree that bear awareness and attack prevention are key, we also need to be careful about not propagating myths. Tom, there is no hard and substantive evidence that a woman's menstrual period has any effect on bear attacks. Certainly, some smells attract bears, who are curious and spend their lives eating a great deal. However, they are more likely to be attracted to that bit of fish guts in the canoe from last year's camping trip, than a woman in menstruous.


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PostPosted: April 27th, 2009, 2:18 pm 
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How does one go about putting the death stake into old, unfounded men's tales?

http://www.myccr.com/press/articles/art ... icle_id=22

Seriously, if it were a problem, I don't think many First Nations or pioneer women would have survived.



Barbara

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PostPosted: April 27th, 2009, 3:01 pm 
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Hmm, well thats interesting. I know for a fact that bears have a sense of smell on the same level as as bloodhounds and any scent that's different or that might be attractive to them has the potential for attracting them. I didn't know about this study, though.

My friend took his wife to a zoo once to see if they reacted any differently to her during several intervals during here cycle and the monkeys definitely reacted differently at some part of the cycle. Until somebody does double blind tests are we supposed to disregard the advice to leave scented soaps at home?

I've never advocated leaving a member of the group behind simply because of she's at a certain part of her cycle but on the other hand I'm still pretty sure its a good idea to dispose of anything that might create an attractive scent to an animal who's sense of smell is on par with a bloodhound. Be that an empty can of sardines, scented soap or used sanitary pads.

However, I'm willing to change my thinking on anything if the evidence is strong enough, and I'll certainly take this new information into consideration, and thanks for pointing it out.

And yes, thats a good point about how could native women have survived if this was such a problem. Maybe this would be a good one for "The Mythbusters"? You guys seen that show? This would be right up their alley.

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PostPosted: April 27th, 2009, 4:29 pm 
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Scented soaps are definitely a no-no, if you're concerned about bears. I have seen evidence of bears taking a bite out of soaps, candles, even a foam canoe saddle, only because they smelled like they might be food. I've had a fair number of bear encounters(black, as well as brown) and never had a threatening experience. There is a point to being careful, but let's not get paranoid about everything that goes "bump" in the night.


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PostPosted: April 28th, 2009, 8:41 am 
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TomH, you're spreading a lot of misinformation about grizzlies. Please read up a bit before offering any more opinions. A black bear is far more likely to stalk and eat a person than a grizz.

You make it sound like a grizzly will attack if they smell any food, blood, or fear in you. Ridiculous. If this were true, I'd never go hiking, and the body count would be astronomical! I've had many encounters with grizzlies, and never felt seriously threatened.

Fatal grizzly attacks almost always involve defense of food or a surprised animal. Not to dismiss their capability; I've been charged and I know the respect they demand! But to me they are more predictable than a black bear any day.

One more thought, bears are one of the most underestimated animals when it comes to intelligence IMO. To say they don't think and only act on instinct tells me maybe you haven't been around them too much? I've seen the same look on their face as a smart dog gets, sizing you up and consciously assessing the situation. Way beyond instinct.

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PostPosted: April 28th, 2009, 12:08 pm 
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GWA wrote:
TomH, you're spreading a lot of misinformation about grizzlies. Please read up a bit before offering any more opinions. A black bear is far more likely to stalk and eat a person than a grizz.


GWA is right, do some reading. Herrero's book is the bible on bear behavior. Get it, read it and stop worrying so much. :wink:

Quote:
I've seen the same look on their face as a smart dog gets, sizing you up and consciously assessing the situation.


Bears are smarter than most dogs. If my dog was as smart as a bear, she'd have figured out how to steal steaks out of my refrigerator a long time ago.

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PostPosted: April 28th, 2009, 4:04 pm 
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Sure, predatory black bears are dangerous, but grizzlies are more territorial. A young 2 or 3 year old male grizzly establishing territory is pretty dangerous, regardless if you surprise him or approach his food. Although a grizz may not want to eat you, when they choose to teach you a lesson about being on their turf, that's enough to seriously injure or kill you.

That Wikipedia fatal bear attack history list has plenty of grizz fatals.


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PostPosted: April 28th, 2009, 4:22 pm 
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A mature black bear supposedly has the intelligence of a 3 year old girl, which is about the same as a 33 year old man I would think.

Herrero's book is the bible alright, it's all in there, everything you need to know. IIRC he found no correlation between bear attacks and menstruating women.

I was charged by a grizzly near Lake Louise and I believe I survived to tell the tale because I stood my ground until the last second and then played dead.


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PostPosted: April 28th, 2009, 4:45 pm 
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If I was "worrying so much" about bear attacks, I wouldn't go solo kayaking in the remote parts of the coast that I do.

And I'm sticking to my guns on the smell thing. My opinion is that it's unwise to smell like food (especially fish), have things that smell like food in the tent or laying around the camp.

I didn't say this would automatically cause you to be attacked, I simply think it's important. Like having a JIS7 spec VHF and dressing for immersion on open water is important.

To lead people to think odor management is unimportant is wrong, I think.

I disagree with your point, but I aprreciate your chiming in with it.

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PostPosted: April 28th, 2009, 5:19 pm 
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Menstruating women are far more dangerous than any bear :D


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PostPosted: April 28th, 2009, 5:32 pm 
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Hahaha --- yeah, truth be known, the real reason it's best to leave the menstruating women behind is so the BEARS will be safe.

The cat's out of the bag, lol ...


(I have Herrero's book on hold from VPL, too.)

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PostPosted: April 28th, 2009, 7:45 pm 
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In over 40 years of solo backwoods canoeing, I have never been bothered in any aggressive way by any bear (black or brown) . Most of those years were pre-menopause, and my cycle never seemed to have ANY effect on 4-legged wildlife at all.

I do, however, always carry a Ruko 12 ga. cylinder-barrel side-by-side, high-brass loads - 00 in one barrel , rifled slug in the other. Don't carry it because of bears tho': - only have it in case of bush pigs. :evil:

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PostPosted: April 28th, 2009, 8:41 pm 
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I hear you sk8.

I've never been bothered by one either, and I've spent hundreds of nights alone in the woods of the remote BC mid-coast, just me in my little tent.

On the other hand, I'm not about to bring smelly food into my tent, either --- it's just common sense, really.

Last trip I went on we brought a shotty because we had a girl with us, not because we were concerned about her scent attracting bears but because anybody who's physically small like a small woman or child is at greater risk than somebody like myself, 220 pounds, 6'1". Personally, I think size is a bigger factor than scent in a bear's evaluation of a potential prey item. I'm only in favor of bring a gun if there's small children or women in the party. If it's just me, what the hey --- I'll duke it out with my spray and bowie knife ...
;)

Grrr - why does it take 30 seconds for this webpage's text box to accept input? I have to type, wait half a minute for the text to show up, type some more --- very frustrating. And my cpu is only running at between 3 and 8 percent. I'm not even running any other apps.

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Mariners must navigate these waters the same way a mouse negotiates a kitchen patrolled by cats: by darting furtively from one hiding place to the next.
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PostPosted: May 3rd, 2009, 10:31 am 
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I'm reading Herrero's, "Bear Attacks", and finding it a good read, well researched.

Did any of you folks look at my online album of photos I took last summer on a paddle across Queen Charlotte Strait to the mainland from Port Hardy? There were cougar activity warning signs at Shelter Bay but nobody seemed to know why they were there.
http://picasaweb.google.com/cyberhun2000/Burnett_Bay_08_Best#slideshow

Turns out a kayaker was in fact actually attacked there shortly before! She was part of a group of trainee guides and had left momentarily for a pee and it attacked when she was bent down, looking small. She was ok, just a few scratches, but the cat got her shoe. Later, parts of the shoe were found in a pile of cougar scat nearby.

edit:
Oh, and on the subject of menstrual blood odors being a factor in bear attacks --- from, "Bear Attacks" by Herrero, page 60:
"There were several factors [in this bear attack] / Michelle was menstruating and using external pads, which held the odor of menstrual blood." So there.

You folks that have been charged by a bear and stood your ground --- good for you, you've got heart. I'm not sure I could resist the temptation to run away from a charging bear. Yikes!

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