Bears in Salt Creek Canyon, Canyonlands

Jackson

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Bears, moose and bison! C'mon, you can do better than that. What about the scariest animal in the backcountry today? That's right, The Scatman! Slow afoot, permanent scowl, electric hair, mumbles to himself, irresistible white legs, and a bit ripe if you approach too close to him. He is every backpackers worst nightmare.

If you see him facedown next to the trail, be sure and give him a wide berth. If not, he will reach out and grab you by the ankle, throw you to the ground and make off with your food bag (and any appealing water bottles). :devil:

He tends to be hungry, really hungry and angry too. Hangry as they say! You know the kind of angry, like @Bob rolling him through a patch of prickly pear cacti in one of the canyons of the Wind Rivers. :D

Not impressed you say. Well, imagine the scat rolling into your campsite and stomping out your campfire while wearing his fireproof kilt! Or perhaps, at sloth speed, shimmying up the bear pole to make off with all your goodies (He's not smart enough to untie the knots of your chords). Don't try and hide in your tent either. He'll just saunter on over to it, and with his weak left knee, lean over then collapse on top of you. With his portly body, you'll never get him off. A slow and agonizing death to be sure. You'd be wishing you'd pitched that tent/tarp next to a widowmaker instead.

I know what you're thinking, "I've got my bear spray, let's see how he handle this." Well let me tell you right now, he's sprayed himself in the face before, and taken a windblown puff from someone else practicing on an expired can. Bear spray, Phffft! That's no deterrent. He's got bear spray antibodies flowing throw his system at this very moment. You'll have to do better than that to escape with your life.

If you are on your toes though, you might point and tell him the pit toilet is that way. This will buy you a few minutes for sure, but he will just be angrier when he returns realizing he he forgot his toilet paper. At this point, he would probably force the group into a session of Scatman yoga. Believe me you, nobody wants to see or participate in that.

Not even the rye wit of the elusive @Rockskipper will save you. Oh sure, she might have something interesting to say, a joke to tell, some sarcasm to float his way, but the Scatman will have a retort in a couple of days or weeks. :thumbsup: This will just prolong your agony I'm afraid.

And @Outdoor_Fool, why isn't the Scatman on your chart? :)He is clearly above your drowning category. And that is in Yellowstone alone. Geeze, do I have to supply you with the numbers? I thought they were common knowledge. :D

So everyone, just ask yourselves, do you know anyone who has seen the Scatman in the wild and lived to tell the story? I didn't think so. (@Jackson may pipe in here, but that is only because he hikes faster than the Scatman.) :mad: :)

And I do believe that those are @TractorDoc's bones you can see at the bottom of Rustic Geyser, all because he didn't have enough circus peanuts! ;)

So, are you thinking of changing your upcoming backcountry plans for this spring, summer and fall to avoid the perils of the kilted one?

I'd be interested to hear how you all would handle such a nasty adversary.

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Truth be told, I'm enjoying reading this thread.
I think the only approach is to habituate him to humans and hope he becomes less threatening. Legend has it no one has been able to achieve that yet.

Also, I'm expecting a full Scatman yoga routine on our next trip.
 

Bob

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I think the only approach is to habituate him to humans and hope he becomes less threatening. Legend has it no one has been able to achieve that yet.

Also, I'm expecting a full Scatman yoga routine on our next trip.
Give him a pint..... He will be your friend forever.....
 

scatman

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@scatman Time to cancel my Yellowstone plans for the summer. I had no idea.

If you leave no witnesses, it is difficult getting the casualty numbers out. But don't worry, you are still on my "chart".

I'd handle this adversary the same way I handle all of them. I invite them backpacking for a week. I never hear from them after that. :thinking:

Need to plan your trip for Sept. 12th through the 17th so you can hook up with our group. :thumbsup::thumbsup:
 

scatman

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I think the only approach is to habituate him to humans and hope he becomes less threatening. Legend has it no one has been able to achieve that yet.

Also, I'm expecting a full Scatman yoga routine on our next trip.

That should take about 10 minutes. 1 minute for me to get into the downward dog pose, and 9 minutes for you guys to get me out of it. :)
 

Rockskipper

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scatman.jpg
 
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Rockskipper

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That's a VERY scary book - makes Bigfoot look like a poser - it'll give you and your kids nightmares - just sayin'...

(And Scatster, as for rye humor, I've never even tasted the stuff.)
 
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Outdoor_Fool

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Need to plan your trip for Sept. 12th through the 17th so you can hook up with our group.

As long as Covid doesn't blow the plans up, I'll be in the area from Sept 10 - 25. First in the Winds then in YNP for a N-S- traverse of the Central, Solfatara and Blacktail Deer Plateaus. Not sure if the schedule will allow us to meet up but I'll let you know.

Where are you going to be?
 
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I'm not too afraid of moose. We had one yesterday at work, a female just eating tree branches, I got within 40 feet of it due to my job, kept an eye on it the entire time, but was easy to see she was not agitated at all. I feel like you can read moose very easily. Also, I grew up in the mountains and I was walking home from a friends house one late night on a 1 lane road. Suddenly I heard loud clanging moving towards me real fast. I stopped then suddenly in the darkness I realized a giant female moose just trotted right past me, a mere 4 or 5 feet away!

Now black bears, they deserve respect, I would never stand within 40 feet of one, ever! I get annoyed when I read people giving advice like they are nothing to really worry about. I had that idea in my head over twenty years ago before being charged out of nowhere in the Wind Rivers by one and then having it come back later that night and harass a group of 5 males, 3 of which were adults. He did it all night as well. I can't imagine if I was just by myself. One pulled a kid out of his tent and immediately killed him not far from where I grew up.

For the OP, about 5 or 6 years ago we were in a campground at Moab and a black bear was real aggressive for multiple nights we were there, he was getting food that people were leaving out. A year or two later down stream a little ways a black bear bit a kid in his tent. Like another person said, black bears kill slightly more people than grizzlies. Obviously we are around black bears more than grizzly, but I think so many people think they are not a real threat.

I would take my bear spray in any area with an active bear warning, especially after this post COVID explosion of people going outdoors. Bears have so many encounters with foolish humans that more and more equate humans with food. It's probably a bad idea for someone that is now paranoid like me, but I try and follow black bear encounters and incidents as much as possible for areas I travel and I am always surprised at how many there are.
 

scatman

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As long as Covid doesn't blow the plans up, I'll be in the area from Sept 10 - 25. First in the Winds then in YNP for a N-S- traverse of the Central, Solfatara and Blacktail Deer Plateaus. Not sure if the schedule will allow us to meet up but I'll let you know.

Where are you going to be?

Heading into the Bechler area (Sept 12th - 16th) from the Old Faithful side of things to look for the old North Pitchstone Trail and check out the headwaters of Ouzel Creek. When I first thought about this, I didn't realize that all the sites along the route are one night stay only. So instead of setting up a basecamp and go from there, we will have to move to a new site each day before heading off on our day hikes. I've been to the Bechler area three times before, but was just passing through so I met the one night stay limitation without knowing it.

After our backpacking leg of the trip, we will be doing a loop through Hayden Valley on the 17th, starting and ending at Trout Creek.
 

Rockskipper

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Campfire Stories! No doubt a backpacker's best friend.

How did you happen to get your hands on the one and only copy? :)
Review copy sent by the publisher. Most of it takes place in Yellowstone, and the park asked them not to publish it as they're afraid it will shut everything down if people find out what's really out there. Marauding kilters is the least of it.
 

TractorDoc

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I do believe that those are @TractorDoc's bones you can see at the bottom of Rustic Geyser, all because he didn't have enough circus peanuts! ;)

Hmmm. I had heard rumors of the Scatman roaming wild and free in and around Yellowstone. While I knew it may put my very existence in peril I still chose to take a journey there last fall to see if I could observe him in his natural surroundings.

As fate would have it we did indeed cross paths, and while I knew it was unwise to feed the wildlife I befriended him for a short time by tossing him the occasional Circus Peanut (only the orange ones though, I hear the pink, yellow, or white ones don't play well with his digestive system).

Don't let the knee brace fool you -- I witnessed him scamper up switchbacks like a mountain goat and leap over small creeks like a gazelle. I was never sure of his intentions, but he always seemed to want to lure me into the backcountry thru areas of heavy downfall or up drainages of unknown origin.

Before long my supply of peanuts was running low, so I tossed the rest of what I had his way and ran behind the geyser as it erupted. Obviously its eruption was enough of a distraction to allow me to escape with my life.

No Yoga took place that I am aware of during our encounter.

For the record I did have my bear spray with me, but was fortunate in that I had no call to use it in any sort of confrontation -- bear or otherwise.

For those of you that are skeptical of my story I'll attach a picture I dared take of the Scatman as I observed him from a safe distance. I believe he is grazing. :lol:

5J5A5479A.JPG
 

Bob

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Mar 3, 2013
Messages
2,544
Heading into the Bechler area (Sept 12th - 16th) from the Old Faithful side of things to look for the old North Pitchstone Trail and check out the headwaters of Ouzel Creek. When I first thought about this, I didn't realize that all the sites along the route are one night stay only. So instead of setting up a basecamp and go from there, we will have to move to a new site each day before heading off on our day hikes. I've been to the Bechler area three times before, but was just passing through so I met the one night stay limitation without knowing it.

After our backpacking leg of the trip, we will be doing a loop through Hayden Valley on the 17th, starting and ending at Trout Creek.
Hey, Ill keep those dates....might like to tag... unless youre full
 
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