Skip to comments.Camping closed at 2 Western NC campsites because of bear encounters
Posted on 10/19/2012 5:33:10 AM PDT by SJackson
Shining Rock, Graveyard Fields closed for first time in 5 years
HENDERSONVILLE, NC - Shining Rock Wilderness and Graveyard Fields were closed Wednesday to camping for the first time in at least five years after seven bear encounters with humans were reported to the U.S. Forest Service.
The latest incident occurred Monday night when a bear damaged a tent and a food bag. There were people inside the tent, but no one was injured.
Pisgah National Forest Recreation Manager Jeff Owenby has been in the area for five years and said the two areas havent been closed to camping in his tenure. According to Owenby, this has been an above-average number of encounters and that is what led to the unusual closing.
This is very rare to close for camping, Owenby added. He stressed that the closure is just for overnight camping and that the area are open for daily visits.
The Forest Service said in a news release that the agency will monitor conditions to determine when it is safe to open the areas back up to camping.
N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission Biologist Mark Carraway said an acorn shortage at higher elevations was a contributing factor to the recent emergence of the black bears. The acorn crop at the higher elevations wasnt sufficient enough to feed the bears, which pushed them down to a more plentiful crop at lower elevations.
The acorn crop at around 2,000 to 2,500 feet the Hendersonville and Asheville areas is a little better this year, Carraway said.
Thats just the nature of acorn crops, he said. It varies from year to year and place to place. Acorn crops are just unpredictable.
Carraway adds another hypothesis. Its possible youve got one bear keyed in on this food source (at camp sites) because he was rewarded, he said.
Regardless of the reason, the current bear activity is unusual. Most incidents occur off forestry land, Carraway said.
Bear hunting season opened Monday, which is another reason why the bear appearances are unusual. Bears in the area are hunted and generally move deeper into the forest to avoid the danger, he said.
Safety tips have been posted on the National Forests in North Carolina website. Park visitors are asked to not approach a bear or other wild animal. If you see a bear, move away slowly. Never run.
When cooking out, clear out the area completely, according to the site. If a bear is spotted nearby, vacate the area immediately. You should carry EPA approved bear pepper spray.
If attacked, playing dead is not appropriate. Make lots of noise and wave your arms. You should act aggressively and try to intimidate the bear, the site advises.
From the article:
“If attacked, playing dead is not appropriate. Make lots of noise and wave your arms. You should act aggressively and try to intimidate the bear, the site advises.”
Remember, you don’t have to be faster than the bear, just faster than the slowest person in your group.
It doesn't help that urban daytrippers are mostly clueless about bears. A few years ago we were cruising Skyline Drive on a balmy Saturday evening when a black bear cub wandered into the road in front of us. We stopped a good distance off and took a few pictures, but then a half-dozen cars full of NoVA types showed up. To my utter astonishment, all of them let their kids leave the cars, and they promptly rushed over and surrounded the cub. For a moment all I could think of was momma bear charging out and mauling a bunch of kids, but it didn't happen. The cub bolted up a steep hillside and vanished without his angry momma making an appearance. But only appallingly ignorant people would have allowed such a thing to occur.
So true. Don’t feed the animals, and don’t leave food out overnight. Secure in bear bags.
And your story about the people surrounding the bear cub...they must have had death wishes. I’m shocked the mother bear didn’t attack.
No, loud noises, beating on a pan or something will cause the bear to leave.
The problem is that all food must be tied into a bear bag and hoisted into the air beyond reach. Food or anything smelling of food in a tent is a serious no no.
Bears are very common where we go in the Adirondack “high peaks” region. Black bears are generally very timid, unless they smell food.
The rangers have a sense of humor. At the trail head they displayed a ripped, bitten, and shredded HDPE plastic drum with the sign: “This is NOT a bear-proof container.”
I am visiting my daughter and her young family in Windermere, Fl. She lives directly next to Disneyworld in a wooded area where Black bears are known to be. For the last several nights, the bears have been roaming the neighborhood looking for garbage. A family member poked his head out the door to find out what the commotion was, and found a black bear 10 feet away.
Black bears, like the ones in North Carolina, have a different temperament than the grizzlies.
We found this video on youtube about black bears:
I read this back in 1993 from a piece of paper (We called ‘em, “Xerox Jokes,”) on a mechanic’s tool cart at a job I had back then:
The Deer Hunt
1:00am. Alarm clock rings.
2:00am.Hunting partners arrive,drag you out of bed.
2:30am.Throw everything except the kitchen sink into pickup.
3:00am.Leave for the deep woods.
3:15am.Drive back home and pick up gun.
3:30am.Drive like hell to get to woods before daylight.
4:00am.Set up camp-forgot the damn tent.
4:30am.Head into woods.
5:30am. See 8 deer.
6:06am.Take aim and squeeze trigger.
6:08am.Load gun while watching deer go over hill.
8:00am.Head back to camp.
9:00am.Still looking for camp.
10:00am.Realize you don’t know where camp is.
NOON-Fire gun for Help-eat wild berries.
12:15pm.Ran out of bullets-8 deer came back.
12:20pm.Strange feeling in stomach.
12:30pm.Realize you ate poison berries.
12:53PM.Rushed to hospital to have stomach pumped.
3:00pm.Arrived back at camp.
3:30pm.Leave camp to KILL DEER.
4:00pm.Return to camp for bullets.
4:01pm.Load gun-leave camp again.
5:00pm.Empty gun on squirrel that’s bugging you.
6:00pm.Arrive at camp-see deer grazing in camp.
6:03pm.One dead pick up truck.
6:05pm.Hunting partner returns to camp dragging deer.
6:06pm.Repress strong desire to shoot partner.
6:07pm.Fall into fire.
6:10pm.Change clothes-throw burned into fire.
6:15pm.Take pickup,leave partner and his deer in woods.
6:25pm.Pickup boils over-hole shot in block.
6:30pm.Stumble and fall,drop gun in mud.
6:37pm.Fire gun-blown up barrel-plugged with mud.
6:38pm. Shit pants.
9:00pm.Bear departs,wrap@$*&^^@@& gun around tree.
MIDNIGHT-Home at last
Watch football game on t.v. slowly tearing license into little pieces.
Place into envelope,and mail to Game Warden,with clear instructions on where to place it.
Wednesday afternoon we got a robocall on the emergency warning system from our local police department. It stated that there had been black bear sightings in two of the neighborhoods in the township (think Jersey Shore suburbia with a little woods and open space).
We had wild turkeys in the yard year before last, too. So much for destroying nature!
I'm not exactly an outdoorsman, but I know better than to approach a bear, and that a momma bear will readily attack anything, even other bears, to protect her cubs. That there are adults out there who somehow never learned any of this easily-accessible (and in fact baldly obvious) information is unfathomable.
“You should carry EPA approved bear pepper spray.”
Bears dislike munching on a Liberal unless there is seasoning provided by the guest of honor at the Bruin Beast Feast.
“No, loud noises, beating on a pan or something will cause the bear to leave.”
Noise will not reliably work, not even the noise of gunfire.
Reliance on non-lethal bruin behavior control methods can (and has) resulted in the ill informed being ‘Treadwelled’.
“Black bears, like the ones in North Carolina, have a different temperament than the grizzlies.”
True, but misleading. Black bear kill many more people than do grizzly or polar bear.
“The problem is that all food must be tied into a bear bag and hoisted into the air beyond reach.”
That technique has been made illegal because liberals think bears are hurting themselves to get to such food placed up high. No, I am not kidding. The forest services now want people to use bear canisters for food.
I have had many camp close up encounters with eastern black bears. They will always back off when there is lots of noise. They may give you a look of amazement, but they will harumph and waddle off.
Some of the deer regularly appear in daylight in full view of a busy highway. This sort of thing, in addition to being disturbin, seems to indicate a disruption in the order of the universe. Add that to the daily news reports on all the crackpot government mandates and one starts to believe in chaos theory.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.