April 14, 2013

About Black Bears and Black Bear Encounters

Black Bear Facts

Black Bear in Campsite
Black bears are the most populous bear in North America.  These bears have lived almost everywhere in North America where there is some sort of large area of wilderness that is other than desert.  However, beginning in the early 1900's, the distribution of the bear began to wither.  In the past 25 years, bear populations have again been growing.  It is difficult to say how many bears there are at any one given time, but according to a study by Wildlife Conservation Society and the Nevada Department of Wildlife, in 1931, black bears were extinct in Nevada and today there are almost 300 bears living in the state.

Black bears eat almost anything.  Usually, less than 10% of a bears diet is "meat", and usually this meat is bugs or larvae.  The other 90% of the bears diet is vegetation or fruits that the bear can find in its habitat.  Like humans, bears love to eat, and like humans, bears like convenience.  Bears are lazy, but very smart.  Bears are usually shy.  Bears learn and will grow to not fear humans if they associate humans with food.  When bears learn to no longer fear humans, many times, the bear will have to be put down or removed to a more desolate area in order to prevent potential problems in the future.


Black Bear Encounters

Bear encounters, for the most part are best to be avoided.  If there are bears in the area, the best way to avoid a dangerous encounter is to plan accordingly.  First and foremost, properly store food.  Ensure that all food is stored in a bear canister or bear locker.  Do not leave food in your car.  A locked door will not stop a bear.  Do not eat where you sleep.  If hiking make noise so as not to surprise a bear.

If a bear does wander into your campsite or onto your trail, scan the area for cubs and observe the temperament of the bear.  In most instances the black bear will run as soon as it has seen or heard you, but if it does not back away slowly.  Do not get between the mother and her cubs.  Talk calmly and firmly.  If the bear looks or steps in your direction continue to back away and wave your hands speaking firmly.  Do not run.  Bears will outrun you and running may trigger predatory instincts.  Give the bear space and continue to live your happy life.  If the black bear does attack fight back.  To be safe, it can't hurt to have FRONTIERSMAN Bear Attack Deterrent with Hip Holster - Maximum Strength & 30 Foot Range .