I hunted spring bear for quite a few years. The pelts were prime and the meat delicious. The problem was, if you were an ethical hunter and not just following the letter of the law, you had to be very wary of killing a sow who had cubs. Sows and boars are most always indistinguishable. You had to watch the bear feed a number of days to be sure there weren't cubs hiding back in the brush. The sow would leave them there until she felt 100% safe, which could take many visits to the bait sometimes. If you killed a sow with 1st-year cubs, they were doomed to starvation. It just wasn't ethical. I was sorry to see them end the spring season, but it was the only option IMO. We outlaw shooting any other game with young, why should bears be different?
So another story about an "aggressive bear" in a campsite. And the answer is: Warning shot? Why? Save everybody some time and money and dispatch the darn thing,. How about this. Everyone has to go through an education program and earn the right to camp in the woods. All these people move here and think "Oh the mountains are so nice I have to spend the night in them so I can twitter all my friends" without the foggiest clue of what they're getting themselves into and therefore their carelessness causes the death of another bear. If you can't defend yourself without killing then stay home. People don't know how to behave and that's the problem. My parents have lived around them since '74 and I spent the better share of my younger years around them and still see them on hikes and neither of us have ever been threatened so when I see these stories they have an entirely different meaning. Makes me sick every time we waste one of these animals because of someone's irresponsibility.
Abel, I couldnít agree more. I spend without exaggeration 50+ nights a year in the woods. I have had no issues with bears just using a bit of sense. The folks that have issues are likely cuddling with the bag of marshmallows and spilled soda in the tent. Itís like inviting a thief. The bear smelled something tasty and wanted a snack, was being an animal.
Point taken on the risk of killing a mother bear. Very valid reasoning.
To add to the point, many times we have bears in our camp. This picture was taken 30 min before we returned from fishing. Camp is 50yds away. And the night one I was sound asleep in camp
Reply by: Abel1 Posted: 8/2/2019 8:47:32 AM Points: 206
Those are some cool pictures Ajax. We were in Steamboat a couple of years ago and rode the gondola up the hill from the Ptarmigan to do some hiking. When we left the gondola we headed to the right side where we ran into 2 elderly people just coming up from the valley below. Both in their 80's and visiting from Kansas they informed us to make a lot of noise as there was a bear in the direction we were headed. So we took their advice and yes there he was along the path meandering like he was looking for berries or something. We watched him from a distance for a few minutes and turned around and went to the other side of the area and hiked those paths. Cool for sure but why push your luck? The elderly people survived using common sense and so did we. How many others would have elected to get as close to him as they could so they could get some great pictures? Remember your in their home now and they play by different rules. Leave your urban security at home. I have to applaud the individuals in the link for taking the higher road and using the preparations they had to scare the bear away. My only concern is now he has the CDOW posse after him and usually it doesn't work out to well. This was a curious bear and as you said looking for something that smelled good. The campers are the aggressors. Ride them out on a rail.
Ditto on the spring bear hunt. It worked before. Correct me if I'm wrong but I think the voters had the spring hunt done away with. Now back to dispatching the bear. If I was being attacked for no reason of my own and having tried everything else and had a firearm, I would use it. It was how as was brought up.
Reply by: Abel1 Posted: 8/3/2019 9:24:48 AM Points: 206
If your going to waste a bear because he is in your trash can/100 feet away because you feel scared/you stumble across one while your on a hike/call the game warden because he nips you while your trying to get past him on a walking path/lure him in by adding chickens or putting out suet balls for your pigs to chew on thus bringing them into your wanna be farm/leaving 50 pound bags of dog food under your deck/leaving your trash cans uncovered/surrounding yourself with bacon while your sleeping in your tent/ or if your like that milk toast that lives in Castle Pines that got so nervous of a mother bear hanging around in the area that he finally had to put her down and orphan her 2 cubs then yes I have a real problem. If your out in the mountains having a good time and one comes at you with his lips pulled back/snarling/standing on two legs wearing a red and white checkered handkerchief and holding a knife in one hand and a fork in the other then I wouldn't blame you for pulling out your firearm and showing him who's boss. I'm convinced your one of these people who has their mind already made up by the tone in your first post. Unfortunately there are far more people who share that opinion than there are of me. And that too is a problem.
Since 1970 there have only been 3 fatal black bear attacks in Colorado. [log in for link] Out of 1,028 incidents of American black bears acting aggressively toward people, recorded from 1964 to 1976 in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, 107 resulted in injury and occurred mainly in tourist hot spots where people regularly fed the bears handouts. That is a very low chance that if you encounter a bear it will end in an injury to you. The reality is that if you use your head, put your food up, and donít freak out you and the bear are gonna walk away from all but the rarest encounter. Its more dangerous driving to your camp spot.