Yellowstone Bears Attacking Humans For Food?

Nick

-
.
Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
12,934
A great article from Outside online.

http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/natural-intelligence/the-grizzly-truth.html

June2012_NatIntel_04302012.jpg


An excerpt:

WHEN THEY DROVE through the entrance to Yellowstone National Park on July 5, 2011, Brian and Marylyn Matayoshi, of Torrance, California, were handed a newspaper—just like the other 3.4 million people who entered the park last year. The paper included, among other things, advice about what to do in the event of an encounter with a grizzly bear.

The following day, when the couple decided to hike a portion of the popular 16-mile Wapiti Lake Trail in the park’s Hayden Valley, they would have walked right by two wooden signboards. One, in large, bold letters, read WARNING: BEAR FREQUENTING AREA. The other read DANGER: YOU ARE ENTERING BEAR COUNTRY and displayed information about how visitors should react if they come upon a bear. The recommendations included “If a bear charges, stand still, do not run” and “Bear pepper spray is a good last defense.” The Matayoshis were making their fifth visit to Yellowstone; they’d never seen a grizzly in the park.

Despite the recommendation, neither Brian, 58, a retired pharmacist, nor Marylyn, also 58, carried pepper spray when they started hiking the Wapiti Lake Trail around 10 a.m. on that bright 70-degree morning. About a mile into their walk, a hiker coming toward them pointed out what looked to Marylyn like brown boulders about a quarter-mile in the distance. These were, it turned out, a grizzly sow and its two cubs. The Matayoshis stopped to watch the bears for a few minutes. Marylyn even took some photos: three brown dots on a vast green landscape.

The couple continued up the trail, hiking onto higher benches through scattered lodgepole forest. But another half-mile in, Yellowstone’s brawny mosquito population descended with virulence, and the couple decided to turn back. Unbeknownst to them, while they were hiking, the grizzlies they had seen earlier had moved closer to the trail and were heading right toward them.

When Brian spotted the bears again, only about 100 yards and a thin band of trees separated them. The Matayoshis did an about-face and started back up the trail, away from the grizzlies, glancing back over their shoulders. Marylyn saw “the bear’s head pop up” and alerted Brian.

The sow “started coming toward us,” Marylyn later told National Park Service investigators, “and Brian said, ‘Run!’ We were running down the trail.”

Keep reading on Outside Online
 

IntrepidXJ

ADVENTR
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
3,390
I'm guessing that not running from a bear that is charging at you is much easier said than done...

It's easy to recite this line and know it...but in the heat of the moment I'm not really sure how I would react. Hope I never have to find out...
 

barl0w

I slay white dragons, adventure, and take photos
Joined
Jan 20, 2012
Messages
163
Tragic stories, which brings to light the importance of safety, education, and preparation. The black bear attack at the Timpanooke Campground also comes to mind. We went to Yellowstone last year, and the Ranger was (in my opinion) then, so paranoid about having people get too close to a feeding grizzly bear. Now I understand why they (Ranger) were this way quite a bit better.


A Grizzly's Lunchtime by Scott Barlow, on Flickr

This helps me remember that when out with the family, I need to be better at enforcing some rules, while at the same time making sure everyone is having fun. When we passed by the moose last Friday at Aspen Grove, the kids were probably 25-30 years in front of us, and if it had been a black bear, or had triggered the moose to run at them, we could have been possibly devastated.

Thanks for sharing!!
 
Joined
Jan 23, 2012
Messages
601
The most dangerous bears are the mother protecting her cubs and a bear defending it's food. In this case it was a mother grizzly. They always say PLAY DEAD and there's a reason for that. When you run, the predatory instincts are triggered for the bear to chase it's prey. I have encountered bears on the trail in the distance and it's a little nerve racking then. Always carry bear spray on your belt or a chest strap, make noise and keep your head up while hiking. If they recommend larger groups on certain trails and your group isn't large make more noise.
 

Yvonne

I lava it!!!
Joined
Jan 19, 2012
Messages
3,664
Yellowstone is definitely one of the places I would always carry pepper spray and definitely figure out before a hike HOW to use it.
There are so many incidents with hikers and bears that could have been avoidable if those hikers were more prepared and read the guidelines.
This is wilderness, we're going into bear country, so we have to learn the rules.
I had my black bear encounter last year in Salt Creek Canyon in the middle of the night. I did everything right, but it still happened. Common sense is important and especially in places like Yellowstone we should use our senses properly.
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
150
I'm guessing that not running from a bear that is charging at you is much easier said than done...

It's easy to recite this line and know it...but in the heat of the moment I'm not really sure how I would react. Hope I never have to find out...

I figure cover your neck, fall, and crap yourself - those are the instructions I keep in my head. I'm fairly confident I can deliver on at least one of the three.
 

Nick

-
.
Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
12,934
Another interesting article on this subject:

http://www.adventure-journal.com/2012/05/yellowstones-grizzlies-are-more-dangerous-than-glaciers/

Yellowstone’s Grizzlies are More Dangerous Than Glacier’s

Yellowstone has seen a nearly 50 percent increase in conflict between bears and humans in the past five years: A new report by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service comparing Yellowstone with Glacier shows that in 2011 there were 17 people charged by grizzlies in Glacier, while in Yellowstone 62 were charged — nearly four times more. This despite the fact that Glacier’s bear population is far greater, 1,000 bears vs. Yellowstone’s 600.

But even with all those interactions there were just two deaths by grizzly last year in Yellowstone, and throughout the national parks 81 percent of all bear charges resulted in zero injury. Still, the study, along with another one by the USGS, yields a lot of valuable information about why Yellowstone’s bears are more dangerous, and it comes back to a changing animal habitat that’s forcing bears to interact more with people.

For one thing, pine trees in Yellowstone are more endangered than the bears, with white bark pines falling prey to blister rust. That takes away an important part of the bears’ usual diet, pine nuts. And cutthroat trout have also disappeared because of the introduction of predatory lake trout — which can’t be caught by bears because they spawn in waters too deep for bears to fish. What’s left to eat is game…and human garbage.

Which accounts for why the bulk of a grizzly’s diet in Yellowstone is meat, while in Glacier it’s nearly 97 percent vegetarian.

Beyond the dietary constraints on bears in Yellowstone, the conditions of bear-on-people interactions are different as well. In Yellowstone, bears are more habituated to people, which isn’t a good thing, and the USFWS study, going back to 1990, shows that in 38 percent of bear charges human food was present, suggesting that people are too often careless with both their food and their trash.

Further, in the bulk of charges people weren’t carrying pepper spray. And unfortunately in too many instances of fatal attacks the victims ran away from the bears rather than standing their ground, making noise, etc., to scare the bears. Lastly, the most likely victims of charges were lone hikers or lone hunters, suggesting that there really is safety in numbers.

Environmental coverage made possible in part by support from Patagonia. For information on Patagonia and its environmental efforts, visit www.patagonia.com. Grizzly photo by Shutterstock
 

HomerJ

Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2012
Messages
1,199
Very interesting. Now I feel safer going to Glacier (someday)!
 

Nurrgle

Feet on the ground, head in the clouds
Joined
Apr 11, 2012
Messages
227
Bear bells work great, so great in fact that when I have one on my pack I don't see any wildlife. I usually only use mine when I am snowshoeing because of the cougars (the cat not the hot older lady). This last winter I came up on a still steaming deer kill that a mountain lion had made. Blood was still flowing and the body was still steaming, it looked like I had scared the beast off it's dinner when I came crunching down the trail. Needless to say I could feel that sucker staring at me from the tree line and I beat feet it out of there.

I did come across a grizz in Yellowstone during a kayaking trip on the backside of Lake Yellowstone. Looked like a big male but I am no expert. I can tell you that when he was staring at me from the shoreline I wanted to turn and run right there and if he had charged I probably would have. The bear bell is the best bet, they hear you from a mile away so you won't suprise them and usually they get out of the area.
 
Joined
Feb 11, 2012
Messages
125
I've found that bringing along noisy kids strapped with bells and whistles works quite well, so long as they do not run up ahead.
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
TractorDoc Yellowstone's Shoshone Lake, Ouzel Creek, and Three Rivers Junction -- September 13-16 2021 Backpacking 42
scatman Gneiss Creek Part 2 - Yellowstone National Park - September 18, 2021 Hiking & Camping 0
napatony13 FIRST-TIMER'S YELLOWSTONE TRIP Hiking & Camping 13
scatman Hayden Valley Loop - Yellowstone National Park - September 17, 2021 Hiking & Camping 27
scatman North Pitchstone Trail, Headwaters of Ouzel Creek, Bechler River and Mr. Bubbles(?) - Yellowstone National Park - September 13, 2021 Backpacking 26
TractorDoc Off Trail to Yellowstone's Aster Lake and Upper Witch Creek -- September 13, 2021 Hiking & Camping 12
scatman Gneiss Creek - Yellowstone National Park - September 8, 2021 Backpacking 17
napatony13 YELLOWSTONE-Should I Go? Trip Planning 18
swmalone Yellowstone August 2021 Hiking & Camping 11
scatman Snake River Lollipop Loop - Yellowstone National Park - August 8, 2021 Backpacking 45
chebba87 Invite Looking for partner - Yellowstone late August Meet Up (Members Only) 1
Christo Water availability:Thorofare Yellowstone Trip Planning 4
travel2walk Lamar River, Pelican Valley, & Speciman Ridge loop - Yellowstone, Jun 29 to Jul 3, 2021 Backpacking 15
Bob Yellowstone traffic General Discussion 21
futurafree Yellowstone partners in July Meet Up (Members Only) 0
LarryBoy A Greater Yellowstone Loop - 2020 Trip Reports 18
TheMountainRabbit Invite Greater Yellowstone Area, July 9th-11th Meet Up (Members Only) 0
Bob Yellowstone - Electric Peak visit Backpacking 2
Bob Yellowstone today ...... 4/21/2020 General Discussion 0
forest dweller Grizzly Bear Kills Backcountry Guide Near Yellowstone, Investigators shot and killed the bear after it charged. General Discussion 13
Yvonne Sky Rim Trail, Yellowstone, August 6, 2020 Hiking & Camping 15
BackpackingtheSierras Republic Pass Trail North Absaroka into Yellowstone Cache Creek and Lamar River Trip Planning 1
TheMountainRabbit Southeast Yellowstone Loop (Yellowstone NP) - mid-September 2019 Backpacking 5
forest dweller Invite update / edit - have off second and third week in August - wanting to backpack in Glacier, Olympic or Yellowstone, hinges on finding companions. Meet Up (Members Only) 37
beaver-one Yellowstone advice: Lamar River - Pelican Valley - Mirror Plateau loop this summer Trip Planning 6
IlVagabondo Yellowstone Camping Question General Discussion 13
TheMountainRabbit Lamar River, Mirror Plateau, and Pelican Valley (Yellowstone NP) - mid-September 2020 Backpacking 28
wsp_scott Yellowstone family trip planning General Discussion 27
TractorDoc Yellowstone's Heart Lake -- September 14-17 2020 Backpacking 32
scatman Cache Creek, Yellowstone National Park - September 10, 2020 Backpacking 8
swmalone Yellowstone Camping Trip - August 18-20, 2020 Hiking & Camping 21
scatman Pebble Creek, Yellowstone National Park - August 14, 2020 Backpacking 42
norwegianxplorer Greater Yellowstone part 2, from the Headwaters of Yellowstone River, through the Thorofare, Overlook Mountain, Rampart Creek Backpacking 9
norwegianxplorer Greater Yellowstone, to the headwaters of the Yellowstone River with My Own Frontier. Backpacking 11
TheMountainRabbit Yellowstone NP: Mid-September Options Trip Planning 6
R Invite Yellowstone Backpacking Trip 7/29-8/3 Meet Up (Members Only) 2
U Favorite Yellowstone Gallatin Mtn Area Campsite? Looking at WD5, WE7 and that area Trip Planning 5
W Absaroka Beartooth near Yellowstone Trip Planning 3
Bob Rappelling into the Yellowstone river canyon General Discussion 1
McKee80 Yellowstone backpacking advice Trip Planning 15
Yvonne Sepulcher Mountain Hike, Yellowstone NP, September 2018 Hiking & Camping 2
Yvonne Yellowstone 2020 backcountry hike questions Trip Planning 21
P Question about fording rivers in Yellowstone Trip Planning 10
Yvonne Day Hike to Cache Lake, Yellowstone NP, August 2019 Hiking & Camping 6
WasatchWill Family's First Visit to Yellowstone Hiking & Camping 12
Yvonne Garnet Hill Loop, Yellowstone, August 2019 Hiking & Camping 4
Yvonne Sentinel and Imperial Meadows, Yellowstone, August 2019 Hiking & Camping 2
Yvonne Hiking Avalanche Peak, Yellowstone Hiking & Camping 4
P Washburn Meadows, Yellowstone Backpacking 4
P 9 Mile Trail, Yellowstone Backpacking 3

Similar threads

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Top