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Grizzly Bear Deterrents while Backpack Camping (increased safety while sleeping)

We had an electric fence around our wall tent in elk camp for years; we did have our food in bags hanging high, but cooked in the tent so there was plenty of smell. Our horses would usually get fidgety at night if bears were around, but when we were gone with the horses during the day, we never had a problem, and there were plenty of grizz around. So, the fence worked for us.
 
A bad fart in the night is going to put out more odor than a granola bar enclosed in a wrapper. i think people overthink the scent issue sometimes. we use a bear fence and hang food, but i don't worry if i forget a little granola bar, or chapstick, or a toothbrush, or whiskey. all of which i've been yelled at for by my hunting partner.
A fart “should” dissipate. The food item smells doesn’t. That’s the problem.
 
I hunted for many years in the mountains north and west of West Yellowstone, MT, hunting for elk, moose, and bighorn sheep. Some years I used my horses and packed a camp back in the wilderness, other years I camped at the end of a Forest Service road. The only camp that was visited by any bears was the one at the end of the road.

There was a small meadow by my end of the road camp, and I circled it with an electric wire.

One day I walked around the wire checking it and there was a set of grizzly tracks in the snow that showed him coming down to the fence, then he abruptly ran away from it. I can just see him getting zapped when his wet nose touched that hot wire.

One night we heard a commotion and my horses ran off. I found tracks where a moose had walked through one side of the wire enclosure and my horses ran out the other side. My guess is that it was a bull moose that thought my horses were cow moose and my horses didn't want any part of him. I found them the next morning about a mile west of my camp.

We had meat in our camp just about every year that we were in there. We usually hung the meat in the stock rack in the back of my pickup.

One night we caught a black bear trying to steal the backstraps of an elk that was in the back of my pickup.

I've told this story before, but another year we had 2 elk and a moose hanging in the back of my truck. One night I went out to check my horses before going to bed, and there was a grizzly on the top of the road cut next to our tent. He woofed and clicked his teeth at me. I had my Ruger .44 mag on my hip and I shot over his head to scare him. It didn't. I then shot the tree next to him. That didn't phase him either. So I picked up a tennis ball size rock and threw it and hit him. He then ran off.

There was another camp about a quarter mile from ours, and they also had an elk. We heard a half dozen quick shots from their direction, and soon after we saw their headlights as they broke camp and left.

The next morning I got on one of my horses and tracked the grizzly from our camp to that other camp, then there was a spot of blood in the bear's tracks and I tracked him about 1/2 mile from their camp, then back to our camp. We also left the next day.

The grizzly had a radio collar and an ear tag, and when I reported the incident to FWP, they said he had been a problem bear near Cooke City and was trapped then released in the area where we were camped.

The Inter Agency Grizzly Study Team tracked that bear to his den, and the next spring they found his collar.
 
I hunt with slower people
Rule I learned in Alaska about side arms to carry. Carry a 44 mag. If you have bear trouble, shoot your buddy in the foot and run like h*ll! Actually did camp out a couple time up there. Kept a handgun and a rifle at my side while I slept. Spent a lot of time in their country but truth is, never had a problem with them!
 
I did see a good suggestion today from a Wyoming rancher and long time guide. Instead of a pistol, carry a short barreled pump shotgun with 00 buck and slugs alternating in magazine. He also said tagged bears are more likely to eat you. They're the relocated bears, which means they've been a problem somewhere else. He felt it's too easy to miss with a pistol. At a very minimum, carry bear spray. Wade Caudell was his name. He's somewhere near Jackson, WY
 
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That looks great. I’ve looked at these but hadn’t seen this particular brand. Might have to happen.
I looked into these but had heard that 0.5 joules isn't enough. You need something with 3-5 Joules because bears have plenty of hair to stop the app of the fence. What does it take to zap a horse or cow?
 
I hunted for many years in the mountains north and west of West Yellowstone, MT, hunting for elk, moose, and bighorn sheep. Some years I used my horses and packed a camp back in the wilderness, other years I camped at the end of a Forest Service road. The only camp that was visited by any bears was the one at the end of the road.

There was a small meadow by my end of the road camp, and I circled it with an electric wire.

One day I walked around the wire checking it and there was a set of grizzly tracks in the snow that showed him coming down to the fence, then he abruptly ran away from it. I can just see him getting zapped when his wet nose touched that hot wire.

One night we heard a commotion and my horses ran off. I found tracks where a moose had walked through one side of the wire enclosure and my horses ran out the other side. My guess is that it was a bull moose that thought my horses were cow moose and my horses didn't want any part of him. I found them the next morning about a mile west of my camp.

We had meat in our camp just about every year that we were in there. We usually hung the meat in the stock rack in the back of my pickup.

One night we caught a black bear trying to steal the backstraps of an elk that was in the back of my pickup.

I've told this story before, but another year we had 2 elk and a moose hanging in the back of my truck. One night I went out to check my horses before going to bed, and there was a grizzly on the top of the road cut next to our tent. He woofed and clicked his teeth at me. I had my Ruger .44 mag on my hip and I shot over his head to scare him. It didn't. I then shot the tree next to him. That didn't phase him either. So I picked up a tennis ball size rock and threw it and hit him. He then ran off.

There was another camp about a quarter mile from ours, and they also had an elk. We heard a half dozen quick shots from their direction, and soon after we saw their headlights as they broke camp and left.

The next morning I got on one of my horses and tracked the grizzly from our camp to that other camp, then there was a spot of blood in the bear's tracks and I tracked him about 1/2 mile from their camp, then back to our camp. We also left the next day.

The grizzly had a radio collar and an ear tag, and when I reported the incident to FWP, they said he had been a problem bear near Cooke City and was trapped then released in the area where we were camped.

The Inter Agency Grizzly Study Team tracked that bear to his den, and the next spring they found his collar.
Awesome stories and experiences!
 
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Instead of a pistol, carry a short barreled pump shotgun with 00 buck and slugs alternating in magazine.
The guy who cooked for an Alaskan outfitter told me that he showed up in camp with a large bore hogleg in his shoulder holster, only to be told, "File the sights off that barrel so when the griz shoves it up your arse ... it won't be as painful!" From then on he carried a short barreled 12gauge.
 
Hey folks! Experienced backpack hunter here in Montana and Idaho, often in pretty serious Griz country. I don't plan on not doing this any time soon, but every dang year there seem to be more and more serious Griz incidents in or near my hunting areas. In the last ten years my hunting crew has sprayed one angry sow with cubs, thrown a compound bow at a Grizzly in chaotic close-distance self-defense (it worked), and we have lost a cow Elk to a Grizzly.

It's time I think about boosting my camp defense, particularly while sleeping, and while solo. For better or worse, I am way less concerned when with a buddy or two, but we should probably boost our defenses as well. Current tactics in order of effectiveness:
  1. hanging food in trees far from camp
  2. sleeping with sidearm and spray ready
  3. sometimes sleeping with earbuds in so that my ignorance of sounds outside the tent magically keeps me safe
  4. peeing in a circle around my tent as a force field
In all seriousness, is anyone doing anything that makes them feel particularly safe while backpacked into Griz country? Electric fences, other deterrents? Thanks!
Bears hate the strong smell of Pinesol. I fill a pump up bug sprayer with it and spray around my camp before going to bed. No problems yet. Apparently, it also helps to keep other critters away from my camp.
 
Hey folks! Experienced backpack hunter here in Montana and Idaho, often in pretty serious Griz country. I don't plan on not doing this any time soon, but every dang year there seem to be more and more serious Griz incidents in or near my hunting areas. In the last ten years my hunting crew has sprayed one angry sow with cubs, thrown a compound bow at a Grizzly in chaotic close-distance self-defense (it worked), and we have lost a cow Elk to a Grizzly.

It's time I think about boosting my camp defense, particularly while sleeping, and while solo. For better or worse, I am way less concerned when with a buddy or two, but we should probably boost our defenses as well. Current tactics in order of effectiveness:
  1. hanging food in trees far from camp
  2. sleeping with sidearm and spray ready
  3. sometimes sleeping with earbuds in so that my ignorance of sounds outside the tent magically keeps me safe
  4. peeing in a circle around my tent as a force field
In all seriousness, is anyone doing anything that makes them feel particularly safe while backpacked into Griz country? Electric fences, other deterrents? Thanks!
Bears have learned to associate hunters and gun shots with a easy carcass meal. I've actually bumped black bears bedding up close to campsites waiting for night to fall and an easy meal to eat. While hunting/camping, I process and remove my kill immediately from the field. I also bring along a pump-up bug strayer filled with really strong Pinesol to spray around the campsite at night before going to bed.
 
Bears have learned to associate hunters and gun shots with a easy carcass meal. I've actually bumped black bears bedding up close to campsites waiting for night to fall and an easy meal to eat. While hunting/camping, I process and remove my kill immediately from the field. I also bring along a pump-up bug strayer filled with really strong Pinesol to spray around the campsite at night before going to bed.
I guess you can bring a small spray bottle along in your pack, right? I'd give it a shot.......the Pinesol, not the bear, LOLOLOLL
 
Bears hate the strong smell of Pinesol. I fill a pump up bug sprayer with it and spray around my camp before going to bed. No problems yet. Apparently, it also helps to keep other critters away from my camp.

I hate the smell of Pinesol, remind me to camp upwind of you and that other guy who burns his poop on the fire...
 
Alaska Fish And Game Dept. has some useful information on electric fence use in the backcountry:
Some good stuff here. To me, the big issue is dragging along 2 or 3 4'-long rebar rods to act as grounding rods, and the weight of the charger, and the weight of a sledge hammer to pound in a 4' grounding rod into the ground (rocks??), and the weight of the wire and support rods. even plastic rods weigh a good amount.
I have an electric fence (chicken fence) that puts out 0.5 joules but hell, it overs 125' (I believe) in length and weighs a considerable amount. How do you get all that stuff out into the woods??? You'd need one pack horse just for the fence and components. Implied in that article is that the D-battery outfits probably are't storing enough. Any bear has a lot of hair.
 
Sounds like you’re covering your bases pretty well.

But there’s only one real sure fire option. View this documentary.


Real serious hunters buy a second one for their basecamp in the middle of the trail head.

Ok I’ve reached my shitpost quota for today.
 
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