View topic - Bear on Muriel Lake in Killarney

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PostPosted: May 5th, 2013, 8:09 pm 
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I thought that I would post this here since I am not convinced that Parks Staff will share the info with any future campers.

I was on Muriel Lake in Killarney this weekend. Our tent was up on the ridge on the good site on that lake so it was not in view. We heard what we thought was sticks breaking so went up to investigate.

It turns out a bear was breaking our tent...broke the poles at both ends so it was on it at least twice in addition to cutting the fly.

I have never heard of a bear going after a tent and, if I were going to that lake, I'd want to know.

And yes I know what I am doing. There has never been food anywhere near the tent and in fact, there were no clothes in the tent (at least none that had been worn) so there was no food smells in the tent at all.

On top of that, the bear did not run away when it saw us. It just moved about 20 feet away and then looked at us. It did leave when I fired the bear banger but even then it only left at 1/2 speed.

We told the staff at the park office when we came out.

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PostPosted: May 5th, 2013, 8:19 pm 
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I have stayed on that site about 5 times over the years. There is definitely a bear den in the low area behind that site...we saw it when we were bush whacking through there one time. One year we had a bear swim across the lake and climb the shore cliff and go right through our campsite...no damage done. Almost every night we would hear logs being roled over down there etc.

There bears are definitely there...sorry to hear that one of them caused you trouble.

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PostPosted: May 5th, 2013, 8:22 pm 
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This is my third or fourth time on that site and never had any problem.

I love the lake and have no problems with bears being around...but not tearing up my tent.

I am glad it happened in the afternoon. If it had been in the middle of the night, it would have been a bit too exciting.

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PostPosted: May 6th, 2013, 2:28 pm 
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Hi WWGOD?, two years ago I stayed at the very same campsite and had a bear walk through camp during the middle of the night. It wasn't destructive, but it gave everybody a good scare as it walked about. It left quickly when I set off an airhorn blast.

This isn't the first encounter with black bears going into backcountry campsites in Killarney. A year prior, 2010 while camped on Ruth Roy Lake (first campsite near to the portage) a bear swam across the lake and walked into the campsite from the west side of the site while I was sitting at the fire pit with my dog. He left as well with a blast from my air horn, unfortunately I didn't warn my wife who was sleeping in tent before hand.

A another occasion in 2009 while camped at George Lake we had a bear come strolling into our campsite during the middle of the day. Both incidents we could not persuade the bear to leave using an air horn and I resulted to firing off a bear banger.

I've camped several times on Nellie and Grace and have no had the same issue, could be use to raiding campsites at George lake or sloppy campers at the easily accessible sites in the south of the park.

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PostPosted: May 14th, 2013, 7:02 pm 
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Location: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
I've stayed on both sites on Muriel, and indeed we once saw a bear about 50 feet away from the site, casually walking by, around 11am. Didn't enter our site, and wandered off.

Coincidentally, two wardens paddled up only 5 minutes later. We assumed that they arrived because of the bear (we made a lot of noise to scare it off). Turns out they were just there to clear out the fire pit! They seemed completely indifferent to our report, which is understandable ("Did it attack or steal food? No? Oh well...")

I agree that there's a bear den somewhere nearby on Muriel. Sounds like they are getting habituated to people being around.

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PostPosted: May 17th, 2013, 7:42 pm 
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paddlingbill wrote:
Hi WWGOD?, two years ago I ... It left quickly when I set off an airhorn blast.
...
a bear swam across the lake and walked into the campsite from the west side of the site while I was sitting at the fire pit with my dog. He left as well with a blast from my air horn...
...
A another occasion in 2009 ... we could not persuade the bear to leave using an air horn and I resulted to firing off a bear banger.
Can I assume (judging by this thread) that everybody carries an air horn, a bear banger or a rifle while canoeing?


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PostPosted: May 17th, 2013, 8:00 pm 
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Location: Scarbados, Ontario Canada
Quote:
Can I assume (judging by this thread) that everybody carries an air horn, a bear banger or a rifle while canoeing?

NAw - too much bother. I take nothing unless I have kids along (with kids you cannot take chances) or the wife (to put her at ease) or some group that I am responsible for (a habit since the days when I took people out for pay). And the only defense is pepper spray, and since about 8 years ago, also a strong knife. That's in black bear country, of course.

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PostPosted: May 17th, 2013, 8:09 pm 
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But if you're wearing running shoes like those in your avatar you can run faster than others in your group---so YOU are safe!! :lol:

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PostPosted: May 17th, 2013, 8:33 pm 
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Hmmm - I just picture it. Something like this gal:


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PostPosted: May 19th, 2013, 5:47 pm 
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I can't imagine venturing into the interior of Killarney without at least an air horn & bear spray. The bears are kind of notorious there. Guess I should do some research into 'bear bangers' again....

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PostPosted: May 20th, 2013, 7:06 am 
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I always carry bangers. I keep a banger & the launcher in my pocket - but NOT assembled. If it goes off accidentally while in your pocket you'll be into a bad situation. If a bear was hanging around it would only take 15 seconds or so to screw the banger to the launcher & fire it.

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PostPosted: May 20th, 2013, 8:33 am 
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...the interior of Killarney without at least an air horn & bear spray. The bears are kind of notorious there.

I have to admit: we did vacate a site on Great Mountain Lake just after dinner when we discovered plenty of evidence that "our" beach was "their" launch site for nightly swims. We moved to a vacant site about 500m away.

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PostPosted: May 20th, 2013, 3:11 pm 
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Location: Kitchener Ontario
SteveBoal wrote:
I can't imagine venturing into the interior of Killarney without at least an air horn & bear spray. The bears are kind of notorious there. Guess I should do some research into 'bear bangers' again....


Guess we have been lucky....only 1 bear sighting in 11 trips. Never had any bear defence with us....maybe that should change?

My understanding was that you are far more likely to see a bear in the George Lake campground around the dumpsters !

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PostPosted: May 20th, 2013, 3:55 pm 
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Was just looking at the MEC site today. I need new spray and I have never had a set of bangers.

We're going to Pukaskwa this year..and there were problems in 2011. Many campsites have steel food boxes there.

http://www.mec.ca/product/4007-146/tru- ... ncher-kit/

also has flares. We also have hopelessly out of date flares for kayaking.

All this stuff takes little space. Like most all my bear sightings have been from the canoe just happening on to bears foraging or in the water.


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PostPosted: May 25th, 2013, 2:49 pm 
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I carry a bear banger on me almost all the time.

I have pepper spray on my pack. I also have a fixed blade knife also on my pack. Most of the time I know where my pepper spray and knife are but often the pack is not with me (at the other end of a portage etc).

When I am solo, I am a bit more careful about keeping track of my pepper spray and keeping it with me.

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