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Thread: Stepped in bear poop yesterday at my prospecting area, advice?

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  1. #16
    Northern California

    Aug 2007
    Southern California
    XLT, GMT, 6000D Coinmaster
    4281 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Hi firebird,
    Yup, all kinda wild animals out there all the time but most of the time we do not see them but stepping into a fresh pile of bear scat is smelly, unpleasant and alerts you to the fact that you are Not alone out there. The canyon I hike in has had Bad Bears (bears from parks where people have fed them and are now breaking into cars, etc. for more free food) dumped in it since he late 70's and then I began having my food bags (on a rope way up in the air) taken by the bears, they just chew the rope at the tree and food falls from the sky, a near miracle for the bears.

    Like many others have said, make noise as usually the bears want nothing to do with us, usually! A firearm is a good Noise maker and in general is easier to carry and use. You are more likely to have your firearm on you as opposed to always carrying a warning horn with its can of compressed air attached to it on you at all times or even having a can of bear spray on you at all times. Bears can smell food from a very, very, very long distance away and then they simply follow their noses to the stuff that smells. Hence - no food on yourself, in your tent, etc. and don't cook in camp. Yes those are the rules that I've broken for many years so now I hike in a steel cable with me to hang my food bags from and since I started using the steel cable I've lost Zero food bags.

    Bears, and all animals, are smart! Protect your food and yourself from them. Making noise will usually cause a Bear to retreat but having four more 300 grain slugs left in the cylinder is still a comforting thought for ME! (having fired two to scare the animal off)

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	1655913 Steel cable system requires two food bags, one for each end of the Paracord over one or the other pulley. The bottles have easy to remove lids and the bottles are filled with cayenne pepper for making an up close attacker think twice about continuing its assault on me. As a precaution, the pepper can be sprinkled on the ground all around one's camp as any nasal oriented animal will inhale it should they come across it. I've been charged by bears and a variety of other animals Including A DOG Pack, I think the dog pack was the worst as there were simply more of them coming from different directions. Yes, one of the dogs bit me though one shot from my noise maker (454 Casull) ended the attack and no I did not shoot the dog though I really wanted to. However, if any kind of Canine Pack (dogs, coyotes, wolves) ever came in on me I will Not hesitate to shoot one or more of them!! I will not hold back from shooting for a single second as I now understand how it works, they will not give up!

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ID:	1655915 300 grain slug flinger, I've Zero interest in dropping any animal but if it comes to one of us surviving then it will be me! Also, the country I'm usually out in has a large bear population and a lot of them are Very Large black bears, 400 lbs and up...........................63bkpkr
    Last edited by 63bkpkr; Nov 28, 2018 at 03:20 PM.
    Out searching w/GMT & friend under my arm

  2. #17

    Mar 2016
    2160 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    A 1911 loaded with 45 ACP isnít exactly optimal for large dangerous animals.
    Iíd definitely use one if thatís all I had, but there is a huge difference between a scared bear and an angry bear.

    I never ever want to be in the cross hairs of an angry bear.
    All treasures found with permission on private property or on active mining claims.

  3. #18
    Jan 2016
    South of Gunnison, Gold Basin
    1844 times
    I've only had to fire off a noise maker once and all I had was my 40 caliber.
    We feed our dogs mostly road kill and livestock that die when we can so we always have a few corpses around in the winter buried in the snow.
    A rotting dead corpse is also a wolverines favorite food so eventually it happened. He was about to rearrange my dogs face when I fired two shots and they went seperate directions.
    I've never heard a full grown wolf cry like a little girl but that night wasn't normal hehe.
    I dont think it's legal to kill a wolverine here and I'm glad it was easy to get them apart.
    I've never seen an animal move that fast and that decisive and it was something to see
    Everytime my dog would lunge forward even as a bluff to scare it away, the wolverine would meet his lunge and latch onto his face, obviously not scared one bit. It was like clockwork and that critter had my big bad wolf dog figured out and timed perfectly. It never hesitated and made my dogs face the target every single time.
    My dog knew he was outclassed there and was glad to hear the shots I think. Poor fella needed a week to heal and his confidence may never be the same again hehe.

    Bears generally avoid humans and every bear I've seen in Colorado has been from the backside. The town bears can be dangerous (because of humans) but in the wild they are scared.
    Moose dont care about good smells or the food in your camp. They are purely sex machines and only see you as an invader or competition that will take his women. They aren't curious about humans or hungry for your food, they just want you gone.
    I see bear scat almost everywhere I prospect and those bears dont worry me too much.
    Yet nothing makes my hair stand up like seeing moose in an area I'm prospecting and knowing that ill be camping there.
    Moose dont have reliable schedules like deer and elk and can be nocturnal which unnerves me and they will circle your camp at night. What makes me most nervous isn't that they want my food, it's that they want me dead hehe.
    I have my wife with me on day trips when I'm prospecting but only at night at the claim. I'd rather just have a dog or two with me prospecting and if they get tore up a little during the night, well better them than her. They like to stay up and watch things and I cant expect her to do that either hehe.
    I usually just roll out my sack under the stars and enjoy the fresh air but even a tent wouldn't be much protection anyway.
    Biggest thing is I probably need a prospecting buddy (besides my dog). Y'all know how that goes and never works out and I end up alone anyway hehe. Until then I'll dodge the moose and bears alone with my dogs, the best friends a man could ask for! At least they are willing to pull guard duty all night every night.

  4. #19
    Jan 2016
    South of Gunnison, Gold Basin
    1844 times
    Last edited by Johnnybravo300; Nov 28, 2018 at 06:52 PM.

  5. #20
    May 2009
    Sailor Flat, Ca.
    SDC2300, Gold Bug 2 Burlap, fish oil, ACME handbook for TRUE prospectors (unread)
    11360 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)
    keeping in mind that people hunt blackies with a bow... I realize the lethal action is slightly different...BUT.

    my .45 is my daily carry. so its what I have. in the field its on my belt opposit my digging pick.

    i'm not in the position to carry a .44 mag I used to carry a single action army in .45 colt. I fired it and a loaner at thousands of targets in SSA competitions.

    Very accurate with it but I switched to a 1911 becasue its easier to carry concealed.

    I would prefer to carry a shotgun or carbine for bears but I need my hands when I'm prospecting.

    My bear is an urban interface bear and so is the mountain lion they aren't afraid of people and have been seen during the day.

    Our claims happen to be the wildland in between rural homes. connected to water routes to the river.

    I plan on getting a dog now that my youngest is two and my other dog is getting older I'm getting closer to trying to pick one.

    I've been bluffed by a brown in Denali nerve racking but, we stood our ground. Lots of bear run ins in Tahoe and June lake.

    Yelling throwing sticks and rocks does chase them off. but if they had a target in mind they tend to back off and circle around once they have been dealing with people.

    When we first bought our house it had been empty for more than two years. The week we moved in the dog food was knocked over. few nights later a storage tub was moved.

    Finally a very big black bear showed its self at the side door. BIG

    banged on glass it ran off an hour later back again more yelling..calling him bad bear etc.

    I had a high end airsoft M$ select fire with .3 gram aluminum pellets. One night the bear stood up from behind our patio table. Head right into my sight picture at 25 yards. Lit him up..hes all pawing at his face like it was mad bee's lol.. dropped down and ran off.

    Finally a week or so later my wife hollers out " bears back"

    Grabbed my browning autoloader .22 dropped a couple bird loads into the tube.. worked the bolt walk towards the door. the bear casually turned to walk away...like "great he's gonna call me names again"

    He was about ten feet away maybe four yards. I opened the one French door stepping out and taking aim at the middle of his fluffy rump.

    Pop!! you could see the shot smack him in the but he tried to tuck his tiny little tail and lit off like that was the worse thing he had ever experienced in his life.

    never came back. and from all the piles everywhere you could tell our property had been one of his major hangouts. This all took place over our first month in the house.

    Bears feel pain. Hunt with a 1911 nope. Carry one just in case yep. Not ideal but I know I can get shots on target and that's good enough for me.
    Last edited by Goldwasher; Nov 29, 2018 at 05:38 PM.

  6. #21

    Mar 2016
    2160 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Worked/played in the woods all my life.
    Never had a bad experience with a black bear.
    They have always been scared.
    I have seen videos of angry bears.
    They are a powerful killing machine if they are inclined to act that way.
    Fight or flight..they usually pick flight.

    Usually they are more concerned with rolling the next rock over or breaking the next log in half.

    I occasionally carry a .45 ACP and it does make me feel better.
    The lack of penetration is a problem. I feel better with a .357 mag. even that is under powered.

    Once walked up on two very small cubs. They looked like puppys.
    Immediately retreated as fast as possible. Never saw momma bear but I know she was close.
    All treasures found with permission on private property or on active mining claims.

  7. #22

    Apr 2003
    Various Minelabs(5000, 2100, X-Terra 705), Falcon MD20, Tesoro Sand Shark, Gold Bug Pro, Makro Gold Racer.
    5120 times
    Spend all of my time in the mountains prospecting and nugget-shooting. See bears often, very often and some are exceptionally beautiful, some are timid and shy, some are lost in the ecstasy of mountain splendour, some are cranky and hostile, some are angry and protective, most are very much like people--you never know what you're going to get. But just like with the majority of people, there are some general rules that work most of the time.

    I have met bad black bears, and the advice given on when one locks on to you with a predatory stare and approach is fight for your life with anything and everything you've got as black bears that aren't afraid of people are bad, bad news. Bear spray, bear spray, bear spray . . . Too many people wound bears and have a far bigger issue. (I packed heat for many, many years, and sometimes, it is necessary, but now my go-to is bear spray as the research shows [watch some videos] it's a very effective deterrent, so you don't have to worry about an angry, wounded bear that now feels it's fighting for its life . . .) I too have a super-powerful handgun that's rated for large game, and I too have a defender shotgun with buck for the first round, followed by rifled slugs to finish the job, but I now pack spray for most outings. (There are definitely exceptions, depending on the area as I'm not incautious enough not to be prepared!)

    Having said what I've said, and having experienced enough bear encounters to know how they act and react, and having had encounters with bad bears and lots of scared running-away bears, as well as curious, mellow bears, I'd like to say something else: bears come around for a reason (find the reason if you can, and eliminate the reason if you're part of the problem); all bears are attracted to a location for a reason, sometimes its curiosity (had two BIG grizzlies wander over to see what we were doing one day while we were mining, and we were making a lot of noise, but once they had a look-see, and that look-see was only from about 20 to 30 feet of distance when they stood up (if you think a grizzly is big on the ground, wait until they (X2!) stand up!!), but they turned and ambled (that's right, ambled=they were in no hurry whatsoever as they knew they were the top of the food chain in their environment) easily away to their next sight-seeing opportunity.

    I've always been taught that if a black attacks fight back with everything you've got! It sees you as food or you've come between it and a cub, or you've surprised it in dense brush; regardless, if it's a black, fight back. Grizzlies, you're supposed to roll-up and protect your vitals as it asserts its dominance, but if that dominance begins to be life-threatening (if they don't snort their defiance as they assert their dominance by having subdued you to then leave you), you have to fight back.

    Here's the stickler in all of this: if you can't get your bear spray or your firearm out or swing it around (in dense brush) in time to get a squirt or a shot off, you're in serious trouble, and sad to say, people have been found exactly like that. (Two years ago in my area a prospector was mugged [dead] in the brush by a black and his spray was still in his holster; prior to that, a hunter was found with firearm unfired, death by angry bear (in dense timber). So, this may be the crux of part of this matter: avoid heavy timber/brush/bush as it swallows up any warning sounds you may be trying to make, and not even I like to be surprised. Can you imagine how an animal 3-5X your weight might react? I guess with what I've related, there's no need . . .

    So, I'd find out why it's coming around, and others have offered excellent suggestions to facilitate that, as well as excellent suggestions about not being alone, etc.

    However, sometimes it doesn't matter how careful you are, you'll have an encounter if you're in a bear area, and that's when your decision, your ultimate response, will make all the difference, or it won't . . .

    Bear poop is non-lethal, the poop-producer may or may not be, depending . . .

    All the best,

    Nothin' quite as fun as chasin' sassy nugget gold! http://www.treasurenet.com/forums/me...mysteries.html

  8. #23

    Mar 2016
    2160 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Lanny - sounds like experienced advice.
    We are lucky in California so far to only have black bears.

    I will bet the enviro-whack-jobs will transplant the grizzlies here just like they did the grey timber wolf. Never mind the forest and food chain is drastically different than when the California Grizzly roamed.
    All treasures found with permission on private property or on active mining claims.

  9. #24
    May 2014
    Sweep Jig, Whippet Dry Washer, Lobo ST, 1/2 width 2 tray Gold Cube, numerous pans, rocker box, and /home made fluid bed and stream sluices.
    2763 times
    You guys are giving me the heebie jeebies. My usual area even has a jaguar, not to mention the black bears and mountain lions, that has been sighted on game cameras put out by the Feds. One thing more...don't forget about rabid animals! Two hikers were attacked by a rabid bobcat a few years back in my area.
    Last edited by arizau; Nov 29, 2018 at 02:55 PM.
    If it can't be grown, it must be mined!

  10. #25
    Charter Member

    Nov 2017
    Smith Mt. Lake Va.
    Teknetics Liberator Falcon MD-20 *********** Blue Bowl Angus MacKirk sluice Miller Table
    8698 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    I would recommend A couple of Big handguns....Better to be stepping on Bear poop....Than to BE THE POOP
    Kray Gelder likes this.

  11. #26
    Charter Member

    Sep 2014
    Midwest, North of 36į60'
    4391 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    You are in Kali? Just shoo him away with a copy of your state's gun laws.
    Liberty is the Freedom to do the next Right thing.

    In God We Trust

  12. #27
    Charter Member

    May 2012
    16175 times
    Bear poop?
    Step around.
    Requires seeing it first.

    Keep a clean camp , with food and smelly's kept away (a distance) from your bedroll.

    Good prospecting to you!

  13. #28

    Mar 2016
    2160 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Clean bear attack video.

    Lanny in AB and Kray Gelder like this.
    All treasures found with permission on private property or on active mining claims.

  14. #29

    Mar 2016
    2160 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Another clean one...for you guys thinking a dog will be enough or a warning shot will work.
    Duckshot and Kray Gelder like this.
    All treasures found with permission on private property or on active mining claims.

  15. #30
    Jan 2016
    South of Gunnison, Gold Basin
    1844 times
    I cant watch the video but most times dogs and warning shots are enough, there are exceptions of course. Same as with anything.
    Dogs and warning shots wont ALWAYS keep you safe, no. They are only tools that can help and there aren't any guarantees that it will work everytime, situations can vary same with anything.
    Still it's better to be prepared and use any resources at your disposal to avoid the situation and give yourself a chance.
    Lanny in AB and Kray Gelder like this.


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