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View Full Version : Tipi cooking in griz county: to Patrick



snowdevil
01-10-2003, 05:49 AM
From: Nick
Category: Category 1
Date: 21 Apr 2002
Time: 11:56:25 -0400
Remote Name: 208.22.47.146

Comments
Patrick,I was woundering if you would comment on cooking inside a tipi in Griz country. You probably have more exposure to this than anyone. The question is more to critters invading the tent while off hunting, leaving the tent vulnerable to destruction.

snowdevil
01-10-2003, 05:49 AM
From: Patrick
Category: Category 1
Date: 21 Apr 2002
Time: 12:13:16 -0400
Remote Name: 64.12.103.184

Comments
Nick--
I'm gonna have to head back down to the Shop and work some more on the Military Packs, so let me respectfully refer you to a posting I made back on Hunt Board #3(?), or thereabouts, on the subject. It's close to Tyde's position, but with a wrinkle or two he didn't mention, such as your "attitude" whilst out there. Might be worth a look. BTW, Tyde and R&R and others undoubtedly have a lot of experience on this subject too.
Patrick

snowdevil
01-10-2003, 05:50 AM
From: nick
Category: Category 1
Date: 21 Apr 2002
Time: 13:13:44 -0400
Remote Name: 208.22.47.146

Comments
Anyone have antthing to add on this subject?

snowdevil
01-10-2003, 05:50 AM
From: Stan
Category: Category 1
Date: 21 Apr 2002
Time: 14:18:21 -0400
Remote Name: 200.1.182.129

Comments
Nick,
I generally stick to cooking outside the tent and keeping any garbage or smelly food wrappers, etc, in a garbage bag, well away from the tent. It's always worked for me. I don't have a tipi (yet), so I get a little paranoid about cooking in an enclosed tent and retaining odors. In some parts of AK, no matter what you do, I think you'll always be a bit nervous at night. Part of the adventure (I guess!).
Good luck, Stan

snowdevil
01-10-2003, 05:51 AM
From: Tyde To Nick and Patrick
Category: Category 1
Date: 21 Apr 2002
Time: 19:11:21 -0400
Remote Name: 208.157.230.66

Comments
Nick I went back in the hunters forum and found this post that Patrick responded to you about (See way below). Apparently I have spent too much time around the PC crowd. Patrick hit the nail on the head. He's right, period. So while you are in bear country speak softly, but carry a "BIG STICK".
Patrick, between the possibles bag and the bear camping, we have two same answers. Either we are hitting on universal truth or it's freaky friday. Good luck on the military campaign.
Tyde
Patricks Post from Hunting board 3
THOUGHTS ON THE CAMPING-IN-BEAR-COUNTRY DEBATE-- Well, this is one of the better "rassles" we've seen here on the MB. Assuming y'all are going to flush me out of hiding on this subject sooner or later, I may as well step up to the plate and take (and give) my medicine on the issue. I certainly do have lots of experience packing in bear country, with my tipi/stoves, and lots in Alaska too. I'll begin with a few observations about the Debate in general, by which I mean in the larger, societal context. First, our Game Departments proclaim we must not harm the bears. This proclamation is partly based on the excellent ethics of controlled seasons and so forth that we hunters, ourselves, set in place nearly a hundred years ago. But it's also probably influenced nowadays by some degree of political correctness, as all of us must surely suspect. Be that as it may, is it the best policy for dangerous predators? These days? In my opinion, probably not. There are abundant bears and they are less and less polite to humans. Certainly that's because humans are not allowed to blast the ones who mess with us. And that's a mistake. The word gets out in the bear world that they can abuse us with impunity. It's not good for either species--us or the bears. And it's certainly not natural. I'm not pleased with this situation, and obviously Tim Sundles out in Idaho is mad as hell about it. Will it change, will we ever be able to defend ourselves and our property? In view of the PC factor, maybe not soon folks. Soooo...I reckon it's time to disclose my "technique" in bear country--for better or for worse. First of all, I am always armed with an appropriate-for-bear weapon. I will never understand those people who rely on luck or their citified notion of a warm and fuzzy Mother Nature to think that a weapon is "unjustified". Thoughts of natural selection cross my mind whenever these twits sound off. Secondly, my ATTITUDE in the woods is that of a large and dangerous predator--which is exactly what I am. Mind you, I'm not talking about swaggering along looking for trouble. On the contrary, I enjoy the beauty, the solitude, the absolute splendor of the natural world as much as anybody who ever lived--that's why I've devoted my life to things wild. And, I have just as valid a claim on being out there in wild country as the bears do. Doing my thing. It's not an "option" for me--it's a huge part of what makes my life tick. Thus, if I'm "messed with" the "messer" is going to catch hell. Consequently, wherever I am is MY TERRITORY! Including camp. I cook in my tipi, eat in my tipi and stay nice and warm and dry in my tipi. It is my home. I live there. I pee and poop near my tipi too. And I suspect that the local bears can smell or "sense" that I am not a critter to challenge. And they never have. If I ever am challenged I will kill the bear. Maybe the above sounds as if I'm giving bears too much credit for "sensing", somehow, that I mean business. Not scientific enough. Well, they've been on-planet for a long time and they didn't stick around by being too stupid. Do any of us really thing our forefathers would have tolerated a marauding bear. Or would they have despatched the bugger as a matter of course? Sure they did. And both they, and the bears who learned a healthy respect for humans benefitted. We're both still here. Anyhow, I go about my living out there in bear country. The only concession I make is to be very alert. And this alertness factor is zestful--I enjoy rambling in bear country. Makes me feel 100% alive. I sleep very well--my rifle (a light and "handy" one!) is right beside me with a round in the chamber and the safety on. Fundamentally, I reject the PC notion that I don't have as much right to be in the wilderness as some other creature. If the bears leave me alone they'll be just as safe as I am out there.-----------Patrick

snowdevil
01-10-2003, 05:52 AM
From: Nick
Category: Category 1
Date: 21 Apr 2002
Time: 20:50:05 -0400
Remote Name: 208.22.47.47

Comments
Thanks for the replys. All the advice is duly apreciated and applied. I'm of the same mind when it comes to close encounters of the big bear kind. While in Alaska hunting, I always carry my rifle in hand and always have a round in the chamber, even in tent. Although I don't have a paticular fear of bears,I just believe in being prepared.
I was just curious if anyone has had their tipi torn up while they were not at camp, say, out hunting or exploring. And if they did, did the destruction come because they cooked in tipi and the scent of food hung in the tipi fabric or was it from food storage or bear curiosity.
I'm not concerned,just curious.
Another reason I ask these questions is the possibility of backpack camping in Glacier Park with my wife ( where you can't carry legally ).
I'm sold on this tipi idea with a stove for warmth and cooking. It reminds me of when I was a kid and my dad had a squad tent and stove we used on backwoods bowhunting trips. We got away from that kind of luxury as I started backpack hunting. Now, after discovering Patrick's ultralite tipi and other equipment, I can have it all. thanks again,guys

snowdevil
01-10-2003, 05:52 AM
From: Stan
Category: Category 1
Date: 21 Apr 2002
Time: 21:13:17 -0400
Remote Name: 200.1.182.148

Comments
Nick,
Dittos on the round in the chamber at all times...
Are you really planning to backpack in Glacier without a gun? Personally the idea of being prohibited from packing a gun pisses me off so much I don't go into the parks much, but when I do, I pack pepper spray on the belt and keep a pistol in my pack for defensive use at camp/night. I also enjoy having the gun for the "screw the rules" aspect too. The bottom line for me is the old adage: "Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6"! (did I get the numbers right?) and I feel that I should be able to go where-ever I damn well please with a gun. I wonder if anyone has tried to challenge the park rules on guns in court?
Stan

snowdevil
01-10-2003, 05:53 AM
From: Nick
Category: Category 1
Date: 21 Apr 2002
Time: 21:28:49 -0400
Remote Name: 208.22.47.47

Comments
Yeah,I hear that. But.. 25 years ago while doing our around the rockies adventures and checking out Glacier we were stopped and searched (probably cause there was three grubby young guys) they found a .357 in the bottom of one of our backpacks. Long story short (and it's a good story), they got all our cash. It wasn't like we were looking for trouble (it was given to us by one of our dads, just in case). So I'm not up for a repeat on that hassle, and I'm sure it a way bigger hassle today.

snowdevil
01-10-2003, 05:53 AM
From: Nick
Category: Category 1
Date: 21 Apr 2002
Time: 21:32:29 -0400
Remote Name: 208.22.47.47

Comments
Yeah,I hear that. But.. 25 years ago while doing our around the rockies adventures and checking out Glacier we were stopped and searched (probably cause there was three grubby young guys) they found a .357 in the bottom of one of our backpacks. Long story short (and it's a good story), they got all our cash. It wasn't like we were looking for trouble (it was given to us by one of our dads, just in case). So I'm not up for a repeat on that hassle, and I'm sure it a way bigger hassle today.

snowdevil
01-10-2003, 05:54 AM
From: Patrick
Category: Category 1
Date: 21 Apr 2002
Time: 21:33:31 -0400
Remote Name: 152.163.207.76

Comments
Nick, And Stan and Tyde--
OK, I'll address the away-from-the-tipi-during-the-day issue specifically. To wit: the tent has never been bothered by bears. Probably my scent is too fresh. I was once rushed for time and bailed out of my High Camp here in CO, leaving the tipi up, food inside, everything. Got back two weeks (!!!) later and,yep, everything was in shambles. Too long away. I DO cook in my tipi, leave my food in there from dark to dark; it IS my home.
Like Stan, I smuggle a serious wheelgun into the Parks. Sounds like a very reasonable thing to do.
And Tyde, I'm delighted our views are so parallel--I like to think thought-out common sense is not dead yet!
Patrick

snowdevil
01-10-2003, 05:54 AM
From: Rod
Category: Category 1
Date: 22 Apr 2002
Time: 00:01:05 -0400
Remote Name: 209.206.230.129

Comments
Nick, You might want to call the park ( Glacier) and ask about the burning of "their" precious wood in your stove at a back country camp. This could be just as troublesome as packing a gun, in their minds. If you stay away from the more popular trails you might get away with cooking on the wood stove, but those rangers have a nasty way of showing up when not needed (which is most of the time!). My wife and I have about 700 miles of day hikes between the two of us in Glacier and in ten years of trips I have seen a total of two griz. and two black bears on the trail. From all the reports I read in the paper on bear attacks, I'd say 90% were during day light hours and due to unalert people ( Patricks' "attitude!" was missing just about everytime). The problem with overnight camping there is the lack of any real threat to the bears i.e. getting spanked by a large cal. bullet for causing problems and the park having back country campers stay in the same place. The bears aren't stupid and frequent these spots to see if any morsals were left behind. The number of bear problems in the Bob Marshall are much less and not just because fewer people visit. We hunt there! The bears, in general, learn to leave people alone. Rod

snowdevil
01-10-2003, 05:55 AM
From: R&R
Category: Category 1
Date: 22 Apr 2002
Time: 02:53:52 -0400
Remote Name: 209.161.164.131

Comments
Nick,
Not too much to add, Patrick and I pretty much run on the same cylinders when it comes to dealing with bears. Just got in from taking my 8 yr. old & his 4 fellow cub scouts camping and yes the .45/70 was always close at hand maybe politically incorrect for camping with cub scouts but I go with what works for me. BTW we had a great time even though we got dumped on by 6-8 inches of snow (springtime in AK)! I have had a bear drag my cooler off into the brush in the middle of the night and I went in and got my cooler back as soon as I could get some cover with a shotgun (when I threw rocks into the brush he just growled at me). I have had a bear continue to come in and raid camp knocking down meat poles and creating havock with our guests and a fellow guide, that bear definitely needed some killing (much like some people do) but one of our clients was an AK state trooper, if not for his presence I would have floated that bear I just wanted to get some sleep! One of the best bear hunters I know got his tent and belongings ripped up twice last season while out moose hunting so it does happen. But I think it is about the same likelihood as with humans, the majority of people aren't going to rob your home while on vacation but the one that does will make the news and the same goes for bears. Every once in awhile you run into an evil or rogue bear, same with humans and if he attacks without provocation or some sign of warning you are probably a cooked goose, chamber loaded or not. But it is the same odds we deal with each day in our communities we have just gotten used to it. If you spend 1/4 of the time in the "bears" neighborhood as you do your own the same sense of comfort eventually comes. As prepared as I try to be if a guy walks up and sticks me with a knife without saying a word, the advantage is his, same with bears, but if he growls or looks suspicious before attacking the odds shift immeasurably to my favor. They probably both have a reason bad tooth, starving, or in humans bad childhood, broke and desperate or a junkie but even with that I think with enough bears and enough people some times you just get a genetic flaw or something for evil ( best tranlation I can give ) and they are dangerous. Their is no solution other than to deal with both the same way, get rid of them, maybe not in time to save the previous victims but you can save the future ones. Anyway that's my view but it boils down to the same thing there are no guarantees, there is only risk do what seems right to minimize that risk and enjoy life both in your community and the outdoors. BTW I cook in the tent and in my house and I will continue to do so, and heaven help the creature that invades wherever I cook. Go have fun R&R

snowdevil
01-10-2003, 05:56 AM
From: DJ
Category: Category 1
Date: 22 Apr 2002
Time: 12:44:09 -0400
Remote Name: 67.232.62.100

Comments
I'll throw in my two cents. To not take proper precautions is, in my opinion, equivalent to standing on a mountain top with a metal pole in your hand during a lightning storm. Bears respond to their olfactory systems, not a reasoned thought process. If you want to reduce the possibility of encounters and tragedy, you keep your food and cooking area away from your sleeping quarters during seasons when bears are active. We do have a choice in the backcountry. Whether we chose to go there armed or unarmed, I think it's our responsibility to ourselves, our loved ones, and the bears to not invite conflict by failing to exercise our own common sense.

snowdevil
01-10-2003, 05:56 AM
From: Dale Lindsley
Category: Category 1
Date: 22 Apr 2002
Time: 13:37:10 -0400
Remote Name: 128.95.144.143

Comments
I would like to gently suggest that a discussion of breaking federal laws belongs on the "Politics" message board.

snowdevil
01-10-2003, 05:57 AM
From: R&R
Category: Category 1
Date: 22 Apr 2002
Time: 18:12:11 -0400
Remote Name: 209.161.165.129

Comments
To each his own, but this notion of cooking outside your tent is fairly new as far as the sourdoughs I have met up here. I can just imagine some of the old time trappers and hunters I know coming across me 100 yds. from my tent in a driving rainstorm trying to cook! I'm not sure which fate is worse their ribbing me or being mauled by a bear. But it sure sounds politically correct, however I believe if I place strong food smells 100 yds. from my tent their is not as much of my scent (olfactory reasoning) to spook a bruin from enjoying a snack. Then once he has been rewarded for that curiosity it would seem that my scent will have less effect on him staying away from my tent. You don't train a tiger to jump through a hoop of fire by holding up a burning hoop, you just hold up a hoop and reward him with food after he jumps through, do it enough times and he will jump through fire to get his reward, that's the way I see it. In the meantime I'll be cooking up vittles in the tent and riding a bike without a helmet but thanks for the advice. R&R

snowdevil
01-10-2003, 05:57 AM
From: DJ
Category: Category 1
Date: 22 Apr 2002
Time: 19:16:00 -0400
Remote Name: 67.250.154.198

Comments
I respect your posts, Randy, and I'm aware that you've had more experience in griz country than I, but I see absolutely no connection to political correctness here. I do not disagree that if I found myself face to face with a bear bent on doing me in, I would not hesitate to defend myself using whatever weapon I had available. But, tempting fate because of my preference to remain cozy and comfy in my tent or tipi while smelling like my evening supper rather than cooking under a kitchen tarp away from my bedroll in bear country seems pretty lame. I would have the right to defend myself if attacked while walking down the streets of New York City, too, but that doesn't mean I'd walk around by myself at night with thousand-dollar bills hanging out of my shirt pockets.

snowdevil
01-10-2003, 05:58 AM
From: Stan
Category: Category 1
Date: 22 Apr 2002
Time: 22:40:16 -0400
Remote Name: 200.1.182.160

Comments
Nick,
Thanks for explaining your park experience. I was wondering about the number of "random" searches in parks, as I was writing that. Your story pisses me off even more about parks and all the idiotic controls and rules. I'll stick to recreating outside of the parks.

snowdevil
01-10-2003, 05:59 AM
From: Shu
Category: Category 1
Date: 22 Apr 2002
Time: 23:27:26 -0400
Remote Name: 165.234.95.61

Comments
Stan--
I am sorry to hear that. There is usually something special about these places that made them parks in the first place.
Granted parks have a lot of idiotic rules but so do many other places. The law says I can not carry in a bar yet chances are better I will get into trouble there than in a national park.
There are some truly wonderful places in parks--I just avoid the tourist season and carry bear spray if appropriate.
shu

snowdevil
01-10-2003, 05:59 AM
From: Sundles
Category: Category 1
Date: 23 Apr 2002
Time: 00:33:23 -0400
Remote Name: 216.222.15.50

Comments
Im with R&R and Patrick. Ive killed many, many bears. I cook in my tent and will do so till the day I no longer use tents.
As far as National parks are concerned. Either stay out of the parks or carry bear repellent that has a high content of lead and other heavy metals. The US constitution says, ( 2nd ammendment) "shall not be infringed"!

snowdevil
01-10-2003, 06:00 AM
From: R&R to DJ
Category: Category 1
Date: 23 Apr 2002
Time: 02:03:57 -0400
Remote Name: 209.161.165.129

Comments
Heck DJ,
I'm just getting older and working hard on the crotchety part. As I said to each his own, but I'm afraid you missed my point by my tossing in the reference to P.C. Outdoorsmen up here have cooked for years in tents while prospecting, hunting, trapping, fishing etc. Very seldom do you have bear trouble because of it, that's not just my experience but many oldtimers whom have earned my respect for their wisdom of the "way of the bush". I don't smear bacon grease on my sleeping bag before retiring (that's my analogy to walking NYC with $100's flashing) I keep a clean camp much as I keep a clean house, it's just the right way to live! The other part that sailed by while you were pondering my P.C. reference is the way that wild animals are trained. The tiger example is relative to all wild animal training, killer whales, bears, dogs etc. Focus on that point. Reason dictates that my overpowering smell of my tent, bag etc. is my ring of fire, the little bit of scent I leave behind at my cook site away from my tent is better represented as just the ring. If after thinking about it, it makes sense use it, if not ignore it. We're all still going to do what works best for us each as individuals in a given situation. But the P.C. does apply, that didn't get started until the lycra and spandex crowd started humpiong around the hills with no firearms and trust me if I don't have a firearm I'm going to make some serious changes to how I do things in the wild, sorry just not much of a proponent for bear spray. I went to Denali last year to take my Mom who was up visiting. First time I've been to the park in 20 years or so. Great place, and I think it's a good idea we have some places like that. But you will not catch me backpacking with the hippies out there unless I decide to break the law and I have too many places I can roam and still take a rifle. If you have ever seen a griz tear up dirt and boulders to get at a little bitty ground squirrel you soon lose your faith in burying your food scraps (unless you're prepared to go half way to China). Anyway I enjoy your posts too DJ and I learn from everyone, experience nonwithstanding. Didn't intend to get your dander up and certainly meant you no disrespect. But if it riled you a bit pay attention that is normally the first stage for me when I'm about to learn something. Look forward to hearing more about your adventures and experiences in God's living room. Regards R&R

snowdevil
01-10-2003, 06:00 AM
From: Stan
Category: Category 1
Date: 23 Apr 2002
Time: 10:02:18 -0400
Remote Name: 207.17.218.55

Comments
To each his own Shu. Some parks are certainly special places, but there are lots of other places outside of parks beautiful and special too. And for me, the beauty includes not having my rights trampled on. The parks serve a purpose: to get people into nature (albeit, sometimes a canned and phony version)who aren't so lucky to live close to it. And that helps in the support for the preservation/conservation of natural resources (there's a balance to that one, I know). The other official reasons (such as the "all natural" eco spew) are complete hogwash in my opinion. Unfortunately, the areas highlighted as parks sometimes get trashed by the hoards and Winnebago parking. Since most people who use the parks rarely venture far from the roads, the actual "Park" should be much, much smaller, with the rest of the current Park land better off with a Wilderness or other designation to allow recreation without rights being trampled. But then...that would necessitate massive Park Service down-sizing and we certainly can't have that!
As long as bars stay confined to small buildings and do not expand into German multi-million acre Utopian beerfest areas, I won't complain about bars and guns!
Stan

snowdevil
01-10-2003, 06:01 AM
From: DJ
Category: Category 1
Date: 23 Apr 2002
Time: 11:20:27 -0400
Remote Name: 67.232.62.22

Comments
No problem; my dander wasn't too "up." I think the biggest problem is that we're comparing apples (hunted bears with relatively low human density and encounters in Alaska) and oranges (non-hunted bears with relatively high human density and encounters in the Lower 48). Our bears attend a lot more hours of classes than yours, but the curriculum ain't the best. On the other hand, your bears learn a lesson in the dangerous effects of lead that is of no further use to them. Just to clarify my earlier post, I in no way intended to lump you with the chest-thumping faction whose camp is, for all practical purposes, a bait station providing the camper the opportunity to exhibit his or her dominion over the animals. I get the impression that our views are not that dissimilar when it comes to the philosophy of shooting a bear in camp only as a last resort.

snowdevil
01-10-2003, 06:01 AM
From: Patrick
Category: Category 1
Date: 23 Apr 2002
Time: 14:15:08 -0400
Remote Name: 152.163.188.164

Comments
Hello DJ--
Just an add-on to your excellent post: the "remaining" bears DO receive a great object lesson. Human camp+dead bear nearby=stay away from human camps. They can certainly tell there was a human camp long after the camp is struck as well.
Absolutely, "only as a last resort".
Patrick

snowdevil
01-10-2003, 06:02 AM
From: Sundles to Patrick
Category: Category 1
Date: 23 Apr 2002
Time: 19:01:52 -0400
Remote Name: 216.222.15.26

Comments
Patrick,
Should a live bear be in my camp, it is already a "last resort". After the shock of the wolf encounter last summer, I have no intention of waiting aaround to see what happens any longer if wild carnivors show up IN MY CAMP. If they are in our camp,they have already demonstrated that they dont have a reasonable fear of humans. Waiting around to see if the situation precipitates is a fools game at that point--I'll never wait around to see what happens next again. (as you recall the wolves had been in my camp earlier that morning and I drove them off, only to have them return) If they are in my camp, they are shot from now on, period. It is too dangerous to me or my loved ones to stand around and see what Mr. Predator does next and hope I can counter him on his terms.
I get the feeling that so much of this debating is being done by people who have not "been to see the elephant". but are speculating.

snowdevil
01-10-2003, 06:02 AM
From: shu
Category: Category 1
Date: 23 Apr 2002
Time: 19:38:40 -0400
Remote Name: 165.234.94.72

Comments
Stan--
I tend to be pretty argumentative about subjects I think I know something about so don't misunderstand my intentions. I get the feeling most of the folks on this board would get along pretty well together if we were sitting around a campstove drinking strong coffee and arguing these same points.
First, I think R&R pretty much pegged what I feel is the greatest use of parks--taking your mother to visit. When I want to show my mother or my sisters' kids some nature I take them to a park or wildlife refuge.
And you stumbled over another reason I like parks--most people never venture far from the roads. While I prefer to avoid parks during tourist season there have been weekends in August that I had most of the backcountry to myself simply because I was willing to walk off the beaten path.
You are right, there are many special places outside of parks. Probably more special because I found them without anyone telling me they were there. But in many parts of the country parks are the only way to get a glimpse of what was there before man stepped in and developed it. And states without a large public land base offer few options to those who want to play outside but do not own land themselves.
I will admit I seldom visit a park if there are other options available. But would you have a place to go without FS/BLM lands?
By the way, I spent a lot of time in those German Utopian beerfest areas while overseas. Never found the need for a gun but did find myself a lot of trouble.
shu

snowdevil
01-10-2003, 06:03 AM
From: Stan
Category: Category 1
Date: 24 Apr 2002
Time: 00:03:11 -0400
Remote Name: 200.1.182.121

Comments
Shu,
I don't think I misunderstood you - I think most of us would be right at home together around a campfire. And what would be a campfire session without a little debate? I can get pretty fired up about some subjects too and before I know it, I've gone from responding to an individual to railing about a subject I feel strongly about!

snowdevil
01-10-2003, 06:04 AM
From: R&R
Category: Category 1
Date: 25 Apr 2002
Time: 13:19:08 -0400
Remote Name: 209.161.165.12

Comments
Hey DJ,
You make an excellent point as to the difference in our environments. Not all bears behave the same way, you get individual differences in bear behavior and geographical. My experience has been that I generalize the danger factor of bears in three different categories here in AK, bears in Southwest where I have done most of my guiding have a fairly high human contact experience and they are hunted regularly so they seem to be the ones that want to avoid human contact as much as possible (as a group, all generalizations have exceptions) in the mountains where we sheep hunt the bears are smaller but much more aggresive as they are not hunted as often as the big boys down south have less human contact and probably still feel they are at the top of the food chain in their environment (feel was a bad word, but they don't have enough experience to learn a different behavior), last but not least I feel bears in Denali Park could possibly be the worst to deal with, they get used to human smells, digging up food scraps and humans are never a threat to them.
You are certainly right killing a bear, for any reason is pretty much a last resort for me, I explained in an earlier post if I'm not going to eat it or it's not trying to eat me I'm not inclined to shoot. My best friend wants a brown and griz so bad he can taste it, I have no interest in same, but because it is something he wants I will back him up. That's one difference in us, he just shakes his head that I don't want a bear and I can't understand why he wants to kill one so bad. But it doesn't keep us from being friends just because we don't see everything the same way. And I would like to think if we never agree on how we should cook while camping, that wouldn't hinder us from forming a friendship should we ever get the chance to cross trails. Just too many things in common besides that one issue, a love of the outdoors, love of hunting and a deep and abiding respect for all the creatures that make their home there.
I too take precautions to make myself and my family as safe as possible in whatever environment we find ourselves in and the other critters around us two or four legged. But I find myself unwilling to make very many changes to take us out of our comfort level wherever we're at, be it NYC, LA, Hawaii or the middle of the Brooks Range. I go to the woods the same way I go to the city, to have a good time, respectful of those that make their home there and to not cause anyone or anything any undue grief. I am both cautious and alert in most any environment and prepared to extremes for most any situation, my wife thinks it borders on paranoia at times, yet I'm the one that's always relaxed and when difficulties arise I'm the one thats prepared to deal with it and keep on trucking. She calls me her boy scout. I have a backpack, much like Patricks possible pouch whose contents change for where our destination is and who's coming along. I can't keep the plane from falling out of the sky, I can't anticipate a pychopathic bear or human from attacking us with no warning, but the odds of those are slim and I can live with it if those happen my number was just up and time for the next adventure. Get outside those scenarios and I feel pretty comfortable dealing with the rest. It's the old Desidarata saga. Anyway thanks for your response it helped me understand where you are coming from and I enjoy talking to you. Randy