The black bear’s sleek black coat and seven-foot frame used to symbolize Adirondack wilderness. The black bear could be found munching on berries or grabbing fish from a stream. Today, black bears in the High Peaks scavenge for food left out by backpackers and hikers. Black bears are opportunist hunters and will eat whatever is the easiest to find. Why bother hunting when a human has a feast prepared?
Posts Tagged ‘bears’
Part III: The Bear Dance
July 28th-8am-My cell phone rang. It was Ray. “Hey- got a call last night from my neighbor- he’s camped on site 66, just above us. He said “BEAR!” Came about 4am. He says they tried yelling at it, but it completely ignored them. So they shot fireworks at it- That’s all they had. He said he thought there might be two. They saw the small one. I’ve got the chickens and the pontoon boat- what’s the plan?”
“Robin, Mom and I will meet you at the State Bridge at 11. We’ll go cook chickens. Anyone staying with you tonight? You’re gonna have bears.”
Part II : Bear Watch
Editor’s note: This is part two of a three-part series. Click here for Part 1
July 12, late afternoon- my phone rang. It was Ray. “Hey- listen, the only day I can get in here overnight this weekend is Saturday- just me- what’s your plan?”
He seemed a little uneased at the prospect of a night in camp alone. I couldn’t blame him. We’d already been visited 3 times by the bear. Twice in one night. Twice while we were there.
“I’ll be there on Saturday. I’ll row in- late evening. We’ll fish, camp out in the lean to, build a bonfire, and fend off the bears.”
Public Encouraged to Remove Birdfeeders, Feed Pets Indoors
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) reminds New Yorkers to avoid conflicts with bears by taking down bird feeders and securing garbage.
DEC has already received a few reports of bear sightings across the state. As bears emerge from their dens, they use their sensitive noses to find food. Human-related food sources such as bird feeders, pet food, and garbage can attract bears and lead to potential conflicts. Feeding bears either intentionally, which is illegal, or unintentionally through careless property management, has consequences for entire communities, as well as the bears themselves.
Say what you will about Adirondack bears, but they have their dignity. They may trash your camp, scare the city folk and steal your salmon sandwich, but at least they don’t hide out in the bowels, so to speak, of ADK privies, lying in wait for the next passing derriere to present itself for a quick snack.
At least not that we know of. At least not yet. Let’s hope bears can’t read.
An extremely disturbing story was reported by the Associated Press in late February about an Alaskan woman visiting an outhouse and — well, best let her tell it: “I got out there and sat down on the toilet and immediately something bit my butt right as I sat down. I jumped up and I screamed when it happened.”
No kidding. And if you’re the bear, you’re lucky that’s all she did.
The young woman was wounded, but not badly, and her brother Erik assumed it was a squirrel or a mink that had done the damage. So he shined his headlamp down the pit and — well, long story short, for the second time that morning someone ran screaming from the outhouse.
Both sister and brother said it was a miracle her injuries weren’t more severe. That should be obvious. The bear was at the bottom of an outhouse, so he couldn’t have been in a very good mood to begin with. I know I wouldn’t have been. Then someone comes along and moons him, and you have to figure that’s the last straw.
Bear Hunting Season Opens Sept. 19 in Northern New York
DEC regulates black bear hunting to manage populations toward levels that are acceptable to the public. Information about black bear hunting in New York, including season dates regulations, is available on DEC’s website. Additionally, DEC’s booklet Hunting the Black Bear in New York (PDF), includes tips on bear hunting and proper care of harvested bears.
In my weekly “Adk News Briefing” newsletter, I asked readers to share stories of backcountry bear encounters. Here are a few that came in via email (and one was kind enough to share some skat photos too):
A DIFFERENT KIND OF EXPOSURE: My wife Brenda and I have been wilderness camping for forty years in the Daks. We advanced from backpacking to canoe camping to small boat camping over many years. We finally got a pontoon boat so we could take our two dogs and as many “creature comforts” as we wanted. One of our favorite boat-in camping lakes is Lower Saranac. In 2018 we received a notice from DEC prior to our departure that there was a bear problem. We were used to bears in our back yard in Pennsylvania so we didn’t give it a second thought. We had an aluminum clad lockable box to store our 50 pounds (two other couples were going to join us later) of food.
Sunday, July 5, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) temporarily closed campsites and lean-tos in the Lake Colden area in the Adirondack High Peaks, Essex County, after a recent increase in bear activity. The sites are now reopen. Campers in other areas of the Eastern High Peaks are encouraged to follow DEC guidance for dealing with nuisance bears. Minimizing human-bear interactions can be accomplished through a few simple steps. Adirondack Explorer editor Brandon Loomis was backpacking over the weekend and experienced the increased bear activity firsthand. Read about it here (and watch a video): https://www.adirondackexplorer.org/stories/state-captures-bear-that-raided-lake-colden-campsites » Continue Reading.