Your Montana Outlook

Don't act like a dude out here, Dude!

Update: Bears in Montana Coming out of Hibernation

Bears are Hungry ThisTime of Year

Bears Coming Out of Dens Now

This is the most dangerous time of year, when hiking, fishing, biking, trails and woods of Montana. A Female black bear is as dangerous, if not as daunting, as a Sow Grizzly, when emerging from their dens. There have been two Grizzlies killed in Western Montana, in the past couple of weeks. This is preventable. Make plenty of NOISE, when on those trails, especially near water sources. Importance of preparation, as outlined in my earlier article, cannot be emphasized too much. The prospect of finding yourself in the not-so-tender arms of a Mama Bear, not pleasant!

May 22, 2011 Posted by | Visitor's Tips | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When you visit Montana….Tips:

Visit  Montana, this summer. There are unending opportunities for exciting  outdoor recreation adventures. Have the time of your life! With some precautions, your trip will be relaxing, entertaining , and provide whatever you may be looking for on your travels! When planning your visit, it is critical to discuss the matter of Bears. A serious issue, for those who travel and vacation in the state, or who may decide to make The Big Sky Country, their home . It is truly wonderful, to enjoy the beauties and marvels, of NatureBefore you go there, know that, bears are dangerous territorial rivals, on trails, in Huckleberry patches, and sometimes, on your own doorstep. The worst places, to venture on hiking trails, in the state, are Yellowstone Park and especially, Glacier Park! The Grizzlies in the parks are unafraid of humans, from their constant exposure to human garbage and frankly, stupid behavior. There are female grizzlies, in Glacier Park that are roaming, with their young adult cubs, stalking humans. After all, the easiest prey in the food chain, are humans. If you are in a relatively,  remote area, elsewhere, in the state, and meet a Grizzly, it is possibly, one of the Parks’ bad bears, that has been relocated. They have been shot, at least once, with PCP, and are meaner and more dangerous than those bears,who have managed to stay out of trouble in the parks! It is not reasonable, to expect to hike, fish, camp, pack, ride trails or otherwise engage in outdoor activities, without the possibility of being confronted by Ursus Arctos horribilius , or their equally deadly cousins, the smaller, black bear. If you decide to get far away from it all, into the back country, the Bob Marshall Wilderness, for instance, you stand a good chance of meeting either, a Black Bear or Grizzly. If they have cubs, and you are between them and their young, you are in big trouble.

What you Should Never Do, when encountering bear(s). 1) Promptly Lay Down and Play Dead. Do that in Glacier, and you WILL feed the bears, which is against Park rules, anyway. 2) Outrun the Bear. Better  to hope the person with you, cannot outrun you. Run downhill, if you have NO other choice. Bears are slower, when running down the hill. A very fine point, when you consider that a male Grizzly can, from a standing start, run up to 25 mph, in 6 seconds. In those 6 seconds, the bear covers 109 yards! A Sow with cubs, will amble along, at a mere 15 mph, much faster than most sedentary people, or  World Class athletes. In all likelihood, if you are jumped by a bear, it will happen so fast, you will only, have time to react.

What you Should Do before any Nature outing: The most important priorities for me; when picking berries, wandering trails, or going out in my yard at night 1) .45 Colt semi-auto, or the Latest, Razoo bear spray blaster sold! It is imperative, that you buy one of these, if hiking, fishing, or camping, in Montana. 2) if you’re planning to camp, keep a  container, in your tent or RV, bathroom visits are discouraged at night! If in a tent, keep the container outside of the tent, too many smells. A bear can pick up odors from a long distance, however, they can’t see much of anything 3) if you see a bear, Stop, don’t move, …ease around to an area where your scent cannot be picked up by the bear, downwind. Move very slowly, to avoid their attention. Make haste from the area! 4) Many old timers swear that a solid line of lime, in a continuous circle, of your camping area, will keep bears away completely. I have not tried it, myself. But, if camping in a tent, I absolutely would do this. 5) Many people these days, take dogs on their hiking, fishing,….trips. Bears do not like dogs! One of two things could easily happen, the dog could disappear without a trace; OR the dog could bring a bear right up to you, when being chased by one! Neither of these, is an acceptable outcome. Keep your dog, carefully leashed. A dog hasn’t got a snowball’s chance in hell, of winning, or surviving, a fight with a bear!

A little knowledge and preparation, before you start your journey to enjoy the grandeur and unique culture of Montana, will reward your investment of time and research. When on trails, if there are reports of bears in the area, or not, keep your eyes and ears open. Look for fresh bear scat. Don’t be overwhelmed with alarm, if there is a cell phone in it, at least it’s not yours! What if, God forbid, you have been grabbed by a bear and they’re getting busy, mauling you to deathThat is when you go limp, like a rag doll. If you seem dead, the bear may lose interest, now, don’t jump up, and try to run away. They are probably nearby, watching. Wait long enough, before you move, for the bear to move on.  Unless you have your bear spray handy, and have seen the bear coming, you don’t want  to try to escape a bear’s grasp. I know, it’s counter-intuitive, but, if you struggle, or try to run, the bear’s adrenaline will surge. Pop, like a grape, your head should not be, in the mouth of a creature, that can get it in its jaws! Fortunately, most people have GPS cell phones, and are located, if they have been mauled by a bear. However, if  you do not use your common sense, pray and whatever else, you must to survive, they will find only your body to ID and ship home. That is, only, if you do not meet the same fate, as the poor schmuck, whose cell phone is in the bear scat!

In future posts, I will share more about Bears, Mountain Lions and about surviving in difficult situations. Survival is a matter of using common sense and preparing, before leaving, for that Nature Walk. Don’t leave home, without your most important tools. Matches, lighter, and small flashlight. Mix dryer lint with wax, in egg cartons. You will have good little tinder packets to get a fire going enough to dry out more kindling. Keep your fire going. Don’t stink up area, by frying bacon, for instance, or your bacon will be fried. Don’t leave the fire, stay put. You will be found, if the fire is burning. Otherwise, the risk of hypothermia, impaired thinking, and panic, is too great. Ladies, perfume is for city excursions. Unless you want to arouse the curiosity and appetite, of a nearby bear. A delicate subject, but important, for women: during menstrual cycle, don’t camp in bear country, or wander about, on the trail, without precautions; such as, the above mentioned, bear spray delivery system. Especially, for those camping in tents, you could become a Bear Sandwich, if you are camped on trails. You look like the easy meal, that you truly are, when bears stroll down the trail, looking for Snacks. Don’t stake your tent by creeks, rivers, or lakes, prime places for bears, at night. Remember, you are in proximity of Wild animals, who only do what their survival requires. Their food sources are being threatened, by Commercial Huckleberry Pickers, as well as human encroachment on their territories. An established territory, is vital to the survival of the species.

I admit, to treating this subject, with a little gallows-humor, please, don’t take my suggestions lightly. I am not trying to scare you away. Too many times, bear maulings, happen to those who are not familiar with bears’ habits and nature.  If you vacation, or live in Montana.  Becoming a bear mauling statistic, is not desirable.

May 13, 2011 Posted by | Visitor's Tips | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment