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Black bear question

jlong17

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 21, 2019
Messages
354
Location
'Merica
There are a few bear threads going right now, but I didn’t want to derail the authors thread. I have a question about black bear behavior, specifically in Colorado (if that makes a difference?) Are attacks very common? Can black bears be very aggressive towards people in areas where they are heavily hunted? First, a little background to what is generating this question.
So I was able to convince my wife to bring my 3 year old and join me on an afternoon elk hunt. I have a system to load my daughter in my pack so she can just cruise with me. We get about an hour into the hike and bump a big sow and 2 of her cubs at about 20 yards. It scared the crap out of my wife. I yelled “hey bear!” at her a few times but she was slow to get running. My daughter was stoked and just kept saying “hey bear” (in a cute friendly way). I’m in a bit of trouble with the wife right now as she thinks it was reckless and dangerous to put our daughter in that situation. I had my pistol with me and I was drawn on the bear quickly and would’ve had a open clean shooting lane if she charged. I’m very comfortable in the back country, and frequently hike solo into bear and lion country. I also practice with my pistol and feel like I was prepared. I have had several bear encounters, but each time was either by myself or with the guys… never with the family, and never that close to a mama with cubs.
So… what do you guys think? Was I an idiot for bringing my daughter out there with me? I’m just trying to raise my daughter in the outdoors and away from the sheltered life in front of the screen that I see in so many kids lives.
Thanks for reading!
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MTLabrador

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Joined
Apr 16, 2020
Messages
3,311
Location
Montana
I don’t have kids, but I was running around in black bear and grizzly country fishing with my dad since I could walk, and we ran into bears. Sounds like you did a good job keeping her safe, I wouldn’t worry about it at all.
 

kwyeewyk

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Joined
Feb 22, 2019
Messages
1,011
Location
Washington
Less dangerous than strapping her in a carseat and driving around. Would you be an idiot if you had a near miss with her in the car with you? Probably more risky hiking with her in the backpack as falling down is one of the biggest risks in the woods, and I wouldn't be overly worried about that either.
 
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jlong17

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 21, 2019
Messages
354
Location
'Merica
Less dangerous than strapping her in a carseat and driving around. Would you be an idiot if you had a near miss with her in the car with you? Probably more risky hiking with her in the backpack as falling down is one of the biggest risks in the woods, and I wouldn't be overly worried about that either.

That’s exactly what I said. Every day we take calculated risks…
 

Willy Dee

Active member
Joined
Sep 5, 2018
Messages
90
I have a seven year old son and an eleven year old daughter. Since my wife and I teach, we have the opportunity to take the kids into the wilderness a lot. We also travel the backcountry throughout the country for a few weeks every summer. During our trips, my kids have encountered bears, rattlesnakes, and moccasins. Not to mention spooking a bull moose in Utah and barely evading a flashflood in Arkansas among other things like getting really lost or supergluing cuts that really need stitches when hospitals are not easily accessible. But with risk there is reward. My kids are confident and competent in the woods, at school, and at home. They recognize the world as unpredictable but embrace the excitement that can bring. It is obviously a father's job to protect his children, but if they are protected too much we do more harm than good.
As a teacher, I see countless kids that cannot deal with adversity or understand that risk can lead to opportunity. They do not go outside. They do not drive. They do not flush cherry bombs down the toilet. They do not really live. They stare at phones, eat crap, do not move, and wonder why they are depressed.
Raising a kid outdoors is one of the best things a parent can do. The rewards far outweigh the risks. I do not think you are being reckless. You are being a good dad. At the very least, your wife should understand that such a close encounter means you should run out immediately and upgrade your pistol since we can never pay too much to be safe. You all seem to really love your daughter. May all kids be that lucky.
 
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BearFoot

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Joined
Jun 6, 2018
Messages
1,065
Location
Alaska
Me, my kids, my grand kids, have a lot of fun, where bears live. A few encounters over the years. Helps to raise awareness. Since the beginning of time, others have done the same. Most of us are still here.
 

KipCarson

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Joined
Aug 5, 2019
Messages
449
Location
Bossier City, Louisiana
I’d say you’re doing a good job. With as few bears as I see when I’m up there out hunting, set against all the stories I hear of the dumpster diving bears, the ones breaking into cabins, the never ending calls to the wardens about “problem bears” etc. I’d figure your chances of a bear encounter are about as good in the middle of any rural Colorado neighborhood as they are off when you’re off the beaten path.

Most people just need to change their perspective. A few quick stats I just looked up out of curiosity: “In 2019, 608 child passengers age 12 and younger died in motor vehicle crashes, and more than 91,000 were injured.”
“More children ages 1–4 die from drowning than any other cause of death except birth defects.” “For children ages 1–14, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death after motor vehicle crashes.” Across the U.S. more kids drown in backyard swimming pools and are killed in car wrecks daily than were ever harmed while doing a healthy activity like hiking and hunting. And I don’t see riding in the backseat or summertime pool fun being canceled anytime soon. My wife hates it when I pull out such logic on her though, good luck!
 

Akcabin

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Joined
Jul 11, 2021
Messages
316
Right on good job dad ! Take one make one.
I first started taking our 9 month old daughter n 1-1/2 year old son out on my 3 wheeler. We would be 5 miles out in AK wilderness. No cell phones then but I had dill pickels, Nella wafers, diapers n bottles.
I don't remember having any hesitation other than maybe my buddies having to watch me change poppy diapers while they drank beers.
 

tanner127

Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2021
Messages
29
Location
Lakewood, CA
I’m jealous! My daughter is almost 2 and a nonstop chatterbox. Hunting probably wouldn’t go well so I’ll have to try taking her out scouting next year. How did you rig up your pack? We have a wedge hip carrier for our newborn that I may be able to cut up next year and use the wedge as a seat in my pack.
 

jlong17

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Joined
Jan 21, 2019
Messages
354
Location
'Merica
I’m jealous! My daughter is almost 2 and a nonstop chatterbox. Hunting probably wouldn’t go well so I’ll have to try taking her out scouting next year. How did you rig up your pack? We have a wedge hip carrier for our newborn that I may be able to cut up next year and use the wedge as a seat in my pack.
Most of the time she likes standing, so I just strap a couple short, beefy sticks in the load lifter straps for her to put her feet on. When she get tired and want to sit, I snug up the top lateral strap for her to sit on and run the “brain” straps on each side of her. I’m still tinkering with a system that she could comfortably sleep in and I won’t have to worry about her falling out hahah.
 

Hammsolo

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Joined
May 16, 2020
Messages
895
You did nothing wrong. Adventure and learning always has a level of risk, with black bears it’s low. Do we stop driving if we get in an accident?
 

RevAda2008

New member
Joined
Oct 21, 2021
Messages
2
There are a few bear threads going right now, but I didn’t want to derail the authors thread. I have a question about black bear behavior, specifically in Colorado (if that makes a difference?) Are attacks very common? Can black bears be very aggressive towards people in areas where they are heavily hunted? First, a little background to what is generating this question.
So I was able to convince my wife to bring my 3 year old and join me on an afternoon elk hunt. I have a system to load my daughter in my pack so she can just cruise with me. We get about an hour into the hike and bump a big sow and 2 of her cubs at about 20 yards. It scared the crap out of my wife. I yelled “hey bear!” at her a few times but she was slow to get running. My daughter was stoked and just kept saying “hey bear” (in a cute friendly way). I’m in a bit of trouble with the wife right now as she thinks it was reckless and dangerous to put our daughter in that situation. I had my pistol with me and I was drawn on the bear quickly and would’ve had a open clean shooting lane if she charged. I’m very comfortable in the back country, and frequently hike solo into bear and lion country. I also practice with my pistol and feel like I was prepared. I have had several bear encounters, but each time was either by myself or with the guys… never with the family, and never that close to a mama with cubs.
So… what do you guys think? Was I an idiot for bringing my daughter out there with me? I’m just trying to raise my daughter in the outdoors and away from the sheltered life in front of the screen that I see in so many kids lives.
Thanks for reading!
View attachment 195530
The only way that you can keep your child "safe" is to not let them wander around with you in the woods, but then you will most likely have other problems. Sounds like you did a good job letting her see first hand what to do... Keep calm and shout "Hey bear"
 

Hilljackoutlaw

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Joined
Jan 15, 2019
Messages
4,040
I think your doing it right! I was in a similar predicament last week. I went and checked cameras and took little man with me and Holy crap you'd think the sky was falling. "Oh my Sean you could of tripped and fell and who knows what else what were you thinking?"

Apparently I wasn't thinking according to my wife. I thought it was rad as heck! And little man loved it he just jibber jabbered the whole time he can't actually say words yet but he sure was talking about stuff. He even slept awhile to. 20211015_163059.jpg Just one of those things better left alone and agree to disagree. Women just think differently than men and I'm slowly starting to understand that. 🙃


Screenshot_20211015-173947_Gallery.jpg
 

GlockZ

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Joined
Jul 31, 2016
Messages
680
Location
New Jersey
I'm gonna have to agree with the others and say you did the right thing. Even though your daughter is very young, she learned a valuable lesson that day.
 
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