Discussion in 'Camping, Hiking, Cooking' started by Mike Ediger, Jan 10, 2009.
Agree with the gun idea, one shot in the air and that bear is likely to be gone real quick!
Yeah tried that this summer with a cougar (shot at an old stump), but a half a mile later or so (where my truck was) the damn cat was still following me, just a little further back. That spooked the heck out of me.
Buy a hunting license. Since the wise voters of Washington decided to end hound hunting Bears and Cougars are much less afraid of man and much more aggressive towards us and our pets.
Ask the people of Auburn who have lost goats and dogs to Cougars over the last couple of years. My next door neighbour on Lake Tapps had his little Yorkie snatched by a Coyote about 3 months ago, broad daylight and right off the back porch. She chased it with a broom and the 'yote dropped the dog after about a block.
Gator, do you think hound hunting is ethical and good sport? What kind of moron sends there dog after an animal, then when their dogs alerts, they walk to the tree and shoot the animal out of it. Sweet! :beathead:
That’s not hunting, that’s killing.
Cougars follow out of curiosity and to determine if you are weak or injured. The chance of a cat attacking a grown man who is able bodied is the equivalent of getting struck by lightning 3 times in one day. The fact of the matter is, cats are aware of your presence whenever you are out in the wild; it's just rare to see them see you. As far as carrying a fire arm in the lower 48 to protect yourself against wildlife give me a break....... you probably shouldn't even be out there if you feel the need to protect yourself from the wilderness. It’s not a place to be on the offensive, it's a place to embrace the fact that you're not in control (feeling alive). Carrying your gun gives you the opportunity to use it (99% of time unwarranted). I spend a lot of time bushwhacking the wilderness behind my house. I run into big critters all the time. I stand there, speak softly and sit down calmly. I have never had an incident or even false charge. Usually the bears will continue doing what their doing and then move on, sometimes take off. It’s all about attitude and your motives for being out there. If, I do, happen to ever get mauled, Oh fucking well. :beer2: Having said that, moose are the only thing to be wary of.
I don't know if hound hunting is good sport or not as I have never done. I have had friends tell me it was some of the most difficult physical hunting they had ever done. I think I would probably enjoy chasing hounds and Cougar on horseback though.
Hound hunting and baiting Bear is the very best way to insure that the proper animal is taken. The current methods in Washington anyway are as targets of opportunity. This means that the young and stupid are taken and the old and smart are left. This applies to Cougar as well as Bears. The main problems with Bears and Cougars in WA is the overpopulation and the encroachment of people in to the marginal areas and the over population of mature animals forcing the younger animals into the marginal areas. This creates interaction and that is always bad for the wild animals.
Both ways can target mature animals and thus relieve the pressure on the younger animals. I have to admit that sitting over a pile of doughnuts for a bear does not excite me but neither does fishing with Roe or Sandshrimp.
As for packing a firearm, to each his own. I was raised on a ranch in Central BC and have grown up with wolves and Bears. We used to lose nearly a dozen cows a years to Bears and Wolves and they were anything but afraid of us or our horses. I find it amazing that people actual support the reintroduction and uncontrolled expansion of Wolf packs. But that is just my experience. At my Cabin on the Horsefly I see Grizzly about once a month. Last year we had a Sow with two cubs hanging around all summer. We never crossed but that is me being careful and lucky. I saw here probably 10 times while fishing, got woofed 4 or 5 times.
You say the Wilderness is not a place to be offensive I say it is not a place to be timid. You have a better chance bluffing an animal than talking it out of something. Only moved to Idaho last Fall so I don't know that much but my neighbour has had Grizzly in his yard and Wolves in his pasture. I do know they are around.
I've been following the back packing into N.Idaho Lakes thread. Looking forward to stumbling up to some of them next Summer.
Mike, I have hiked over 2,000 miles in the Sierras and in every month of the year. Back then a light tent was six or seven pounds. The tent was always welcome despite it's weight. Although the Sierras are known as a fairly benign range there is little benign about 100 mosquitos per cubic foot of air. I was usually even more concerned about snakes as I have seen rattlers all the way to 11,000 feet. I didn't want one of those bad boys cuddling me in the middle of the night.
I have seen you haul your pontoon up the hill where we usually fish and I'm pretty sure a man of your strength would be little bothered by a 4# tent. The tent offers a level of comfort and protection in the back country that is often the difference between an enjoyable trip and a truly miserable one. We did the Enchanted Gorge in 1966-two of us in a tent and two in the Red Worm-one of those tube tents popular back in the sixties. And it rained. We crossed 3 12,000' passes the first day so needless to say there were no trees to sting up the Red Worm. Those guys got soaked and were just pathetic. We stayed warm and dry and finished the trip in dry sleeping bags. A lesson learned.
A few years back I read a story about a guy who was camping at Big Bend State Park in Texas. Apparently he was sleeping on the ground in his sleeping bag. Sometime during the night he rolled over and felt something long and round under his bag. Terrified he started to inch his way out of the bag without disturbing whatever he was sharing his campsite with. After almost 3 hours of barely moving he was free of his bag and ran to his truck to get his shotgun. Returning to the scene he blasted the offending creature and only then realized that he had gone to bed with one of those long 6 D-cell flashlights by his side and had rolled over on it in the night!
I had a hunting license, why I had a cougar tag, I don't know, I don't hunt cougars, I've heard they are not good for eating, so I see no point in killing them. It was probably a situation like PanHandle said, curiosity on the cat's part. Usually cougars don't let you see them when they stalk you. I saw no point in killing the cat, hence why I shot the stump. It just spooked the heck out of me that the cat came back and continued to follow after the shot. It was by my choice to go fishing up there, so I see no reason to kill a cat (in his home) just so I could feel comfortable. Now if it attacked I would have defended myself.
By reputation Cougar is supposed to be quite good eating. I had a some once but can't remember as it was a wild game dinner and their was all sorts of stuff.
I don't buy the 'it was curious' stuff after the first time it was scared off. Lots of problems with Cougars stalking and attacking humans on the North half of Vancouver Island. You can Goolgle it.
My neighbour in BC had a Cougar stalking him last Winter for about a half of a mile. He figures it was only the dog that kept it off of him. He went to his house and returned with his 30-30 and the Cat actually jumped down in the road in front of him and started a 'sneak' right at him. There had been Cougar tracks on his deck a few times in the preceeding month and he was sure it was the same one.
He planted it right there in the middle of the road. He now carries a pistol on his walks even though it is illegal in Canada.
A fellow in Northport was calling 'Yotes with a rabbit call when he heard a sound behind him he turned to look and when his eyes met the Cougars the cat jumped at him. He whacked it with the rifle butt and shot it as it turned to face him. 'Just curious' I guess.
I've made the switch to a homemade hammock and silnylon tarp for backpacking unless I'm hiking with my wife, then I use a 2 lb single wall silnylon tent. The tarp set up gives me a place to hang out and cook if the weather sucks and the hammock has a bug net and keeps me off the ground. There has really been a renaissance in lightweight backpacking gear in recent years. Mostly due to the popularity of thru hiking trails like the AT and the PCT. Most all of the best stuff is being made in basements and garages by small cottage industry venders here in the good ol' USA. And you would be hard pressed to find most of this really good gear at REI. It's just not necessary to carry a 7 lb tent anymore. Bivy, bivy + tarp, hammock or lightweight single wall tent in silnylon, spinntex or cuben. Pick your poison.
I use a silnylon tarptent made by Anti-Gravity Gear. The thing is awesome if you're solo, but it will work for two in a pinch. It packs down to about 1lb, so there isn't really any excuse for me not carrying it.
Do you have a degree in Wildlife biology? Do have a house cat?
You should do some research on Cougar attacks in the lower 48. I have. Like I said, you are more likely to win the lottery twice in one day than get attacked by a mountain lion. My feeling is that Vancouver Island, is well, and island. Cougars are forced into human interaction and therefore become habituated and aggressive. VI has one of the densest populations of cougar on earth. Cats are very afraid of humans. Think about it, if they weren't most anyone hiking in the woods would be an easy meal, easy. Too much human interaction turns curiosity into predation.
Never turn your back on a cat. Never bend over and drink water with your back to the woods (this can trigger the predator instinct. Many deer are killed when drinking from a stream. If a cat is stalking you, face it and walk in its direction--- it will take off. This indicates to the cat that you’re not afraid and therefore not prey potential. Find deep water. Yes, it’s a myth that cougar don’t like water, but it is true that it’s very rare a cat will go in water where they are forced to swim. As I mentioned, they‘re looking for weakness. I will say this; whenever I take my kids in the woods, I always make them walk in front of me. That way, I appear to be the weakest link. The bottom line is----- fear is unnecessary.
The North half of VI has much fewer people and much more area than Northern Idaho. That being said it does have a very dense population of cats and they are the Apex predator there.
It is not necessarily a natural reaction that Cats fear man. I think it is more of a learned behavior that includes the unknown. There is more than ample evidence that non habituated Bears have no fear of humans, only suspicion of an unknown animal. Brown Bears and Polar Bears, being the top of the food change have been know to hunt stalk and hunt man for food many many times.
On the Queen Charlottes Black Bears are as thick as fleas on mongrels ass. There are no documented cases of Bear attacks but on some rivers the Bears outnumber the fisherman and I and many more people have had fish taken off of our lines by Bears. Nothing like hooking up a 400 pound BB with a 4x tippet.
The Euros who work for BC Wildlife on counting fish milking the fish and such carry Pepper Spray and sometimes a big dog. The dogs are for warning not protection by the way. The First Nations people, who do the same thing all carry shotguns and laugh at the notion of a dog and Spray for protection. One needs to think about the experience level of the two groups and make you own decision on which is the better idea.
I have never fished the Charlottes and not had a Bear within less than 100 feet at least once a day. Sometimes, many more and much closer. They don't catch there own fish like Blackies do sometimes in the Alaskan Islands but only seem to scavenge.
As for the chances, you are right, between slim and none for sure. That's why you can't even think about it as it is a waste of time. But putting in a can of spray or, to my mind, a short barreled .44 in a shoulder holster, is cheap insurance and gives almost as much of a feeling of safety as being zipped into a tent. You pay Auto Insurance, even though you know you will never need it , right?
Just remember to keep animals in you mind, just not necessarily in the front.
Ha, this guy is funny. Glad As I am has arrived on the scene. I like both his content and humor.:thumb:
I have a good military goretex biivy sack, actually have two...anyone want to make an offer? I also prefer taking a small tent. I will either be bringing a lightweight kelty (given to me and it works great) or my two person walrus four season tent. It weighs 6-8lbs, which is heavy for something its size, but I can use or not use the super rain fly. Open or not open the huge windows, and it has a vestibule to stow all my crap if it was raining like it has a time or two in the PNW. If I'm going with someone else I will opt for the larger Walrus four season tent, room for three comfortably, two vestibules and of course that ever popular second door that aids in the escape if a large beast enters from one end (I don't believe that if a bear or cougar is coming in one door they can't modify their plan because I'm "slipping" out the back). Oh, Walrus, great tents. I think many years back they were bought out...maybe by MSR, another company I support with my vote of dollars.
Pan, when I hike with my family, be it all of us or any combination I always let them "lead". It makes them feel good, and it makes me feel good too. I think that being in the back also makes me the weakest link and at my size I'm hopeful the big cat will think twice about pouncing on my fat ass. If one were to do something ahead of me to one of them I hope my reaction time will be better not having it happen in a scuffle behind me. We also make enough noise to announce our presence, but not too much to truly spoil the adventure.
Last summer I got up early to fish and to get to the spot I wanted to fish, I had to walk about 3/4 of a mile on a mountain ridge with a pretty steep descent. As I came around a corner, I must have startled a couger that was hanging out waiting for the first rays of sun to hit him. The noise of the fast moving stream below must have masked the noise I make while I was walking. Anyways, the couger walked just a few feet and stood there not more than 20 feet away. All I had with me was my rod so I yelled at him. He didn't even flinch. Without thinking, I slowly bent down and grabbed the first loose rock I could find and threw it at him. I hit him in the rear end and he ran about 20 feet down the hill and stopped again. I grabbed another rock and threw it in his direction, and it crashed through the brush and scared him off. Needless to say that woke me up and I went on down to the creek to fish, but I never could shake the feeling that something was watching me. I have been the woods quite a bit growing up and that is the first time I have ever seen a couger in the wild. Having a gun, pepper spray, tent or something is probably only going to give you a little more confindence out in the wild. Remaining calm and aware while you are in the woods will go much further, but with that being said, I don't have any problem with someone carrying a pistol for a just in case something goes really bad type of moment.
I usually have a lot of respect for what you post, so I'm a bit surprised to see you posting bullshit. Find a houndsman and ask him about chasing dogs through the snow. Ask him about chasing dogs through terrain nobody would ever choose to go through. Ask him about long nights in the woods looking for lost dogs. Ask him about missing work on monday to find dogs that he couldn't catch up to on sunday.