Encounter with Grizzlies

Last week our oldest son and his family went hiking/camping in the mountains of western Alberta. The campsite they chose had warnings of bear sightings and an app was offered for updates, which they took. On the second or third day the campground was advised that a pair of adult Grizzlies was possibly heading in their direction and to be aware. They decided to stay close to home until word was given that the bears had either veered off or passed on by. It was a warm day and Christina and the kids were having lunch while Jared wandered down to the edge of the nearby stream for a quick dip to cool off. Word came that the bears were nearing the camping ground so she ordered the kids into the van but couldn’t reach Jared who was up to his waist in ice cold, glacial meltwater. The first of the Grizzlies suddenly appeared as she was gathering up the last of the food from their table and was hustling to the van. At this point she realized that while 5 year old Hanna had gone where she’d been ordered, 3 year old Isaac had, predictably, gone back into the tent instead, since that’s where his toys were. With the huge bear less than ten feet distant, she walked in front of it to the tent, grabbed Isaac, and hauled him back to the safety of the van. The bear paid no attention and appeared to be interested only in the few scraps of food that had fallen to the ground.

Jared, meanwhile, had spotted what was going on up the slope and was about to get out of the water to find a circuitous route back when the second bear showed up just a few yards away and was coming directly at him. He retreated back and lowered himself to neck depth but noted he was now practically numb with cold and could barely move. The bear never even looked at him but entered the shallows and began to drink. He estimated that if he had taken three steps forward he could have touched the animal. Another ten minutes passed before it wandered off and Jared managed to get out of the now-arctic temperature water. There was much relief among the campers, of course, but Jared’s great regret was that he had been unable to get a single picture.

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Wow, now that is a story!! :flushed:

And also the reason this chicken does not want to go camping anymore, not where there are bears, anyway.

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Glad all ended well for bears and humans.

Most grizzly bears, other than grizzly moms with cubs, are not interested in mixing it up with humans. They would only bother with you if they couldn’t get food elsewhere.

Most of the bear attacks I read about either involve grizzly moms with cubs, bears desperate for food, or humans who take dogs into a bear area. Dogs should not be allowed in bear habitats.

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I’ve never seen any reason whatever to go camping. Robin and I went once with the kids back in about 1996. I told her afterward that if they wanted to sleep in a tent I’d be glad to put it up in the backyard anytime. “What about cooking and eating in the great outdoors?” I can very easily manage to cook and eat indoors. “But don’t you enjoy the fresh air?” We live in Canada, there’s nothing but fresh air. “Hiking in the woods?” I can walk around the neighborhood, everyone has trees in their yard. Camping has never been suggested again.

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My family used to go on camping trips with me when I was just a little tyke, and while our parents enjoyed it, I never cared much for the experience.

Hubby and I used to camp with his family for awhile after we were married, and I tolerated it for his sake, but still didn’t care for it.

We’re now both too old to be camping out, and we stay at nice lodging, instead. Much better, especially when there’s a jacuzzi in the room.

And, NO bears!

Whew! That’s a close encounter of the scary kind. My husband and I did a lot of camping, hiking, canoeing and fishing when stationed at Ft. Wainwright AK in the mid 1970’s. Bears were always on my mind but thank goodness we never spotted any or vice versa! My husband would look for bear scat and if he found any would determine if it was fresh or not. If fresh we left the area. Our son M.C. was between 1 - 4 years when we were in AK and he loved our outdoor excursions especially berry picking. The Fairbanks area had an abundance of low bush blueberries. My worry about the bears was the highest when berry picking since the bears enjoyed them too. We used a pronged metal berry picker that scooped up a lot of berries at once. M.C. was too little to handle the picker that well so he was our bell ringer to “scare the bears” away. His job kept him amused and made him part of the team effort whether it did actually keep bears away or not! Terrific memories but I would not want to do any primitive camping now with or without bears.

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It was always a little creepy when we had to leave our tent to use the outhouse in the dark. We had flashlights, but it was always hard to tell if we were going in the right direction, because the scenery looked so weird at night and there were so many side roads. Which one was the outhouse on? How far back is it? And, what is watching us in those dark forest shadows as we’re walking? It felt spooky.

Never cared for camping.

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My uncle grampa, my uncle and my father went fishing one day and my uncle saw a black tail coming from a tree, they thought it was a huge monkey so they came closer, it turns out it was a black jaguar and when it came down from the tree, everyone freaked out and ran separate ways, no one was harmed thank God.

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