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Bears in the camp!

Our scout leader was telling us the other night about a kid who got drug away with his tent by a bear. He ended up with a bunch of stitches.

My question is what are we to do with these "tame" bears?

How about a few bags of rat poison?

Guns are not an option for a scout camp.

Is there a bear-proof tent?

How do you defend yourself?


  • Keep a clean camp
    and don't worry. As long as you keep a clean camp; cook away from your sleeping area, clean fish and dispose of entrails away from camp, be careful not to drop food around camp or in the tent, never eat in your tent and properly store (hang or bear barrel) your food and other scented item you will likely not even see a bear. Black bear encounters are very rare and usually not a threat. Just have fun and don't worry.
  • bear fence
    I've seen on TV where they will use an electric fence around a camp in the acrtic to keep polar bears away - it may help to deter the bears, and also might give more warning time. Not a cheap solution though, nor lightweight as I think that that system used solar charged batteries. You could probably google for bear fence or something like that to find info.

    Scouts getting pulled out of tents or sleeping bags happens usually a couple of times a year in Colorado.
    I've always suspected that it is probably related to kids maybe having candy bars and stuff like that in thier pockets, which may add that scent to the clothes, and wiping food off the hands onto a pair of pants or shirt sleeves. So aside from keeping a clean camp,and not ever bringing any food into a tent, sleeping in a clean set of clothes and washing up before bed may help avoid smelling like a meal to a bear.
  • There are bear canisters
    but the common blue barrels are not bear proof.

    I just do not store food anywhere near my camp. The barrel gets put in the bush with a piece of flagging tape out of the way maybe 400 meters away.

    Odor proofing is your best defense as well as avoiding campsites that have been habituated by bears.

    What the previous camper has done impacts you greatly.
  • Options
    It's gotta be impossible to keep all the smells away. Are we supposed to sleep in bear barrels?

    What about sleeping up high in the trees?
  • Bears climb much better than
    you can.

    How many here have seen a bear in the wild?

    Its not impossible to avoid odors. Dehydrated food helps. Its in vacuum bags and that in itself contains odors.

    Moreover its lighter to carry for those multiweek trips.
  • smells
    Many have given good advice. My addition to emphasize is no food or smelly things in tents. I don't even take unscented Chapstick in a tent. In Griz country it is even advised to not take clothing in the tent you cooked in. I've had black bears come into camp, sniff around and leave. A clean camp thwarted them. A couple of times I had to make some noise to scare them off. One time I had rocks in hand to throw until the noise must have become unbearable and it ran. One time when I was backpacking alone in the BWCA I had a black bear sniff (more like a hog sound) around my tent. I let my hair stand on end for a bit and then make loud clapping sounds with shouts. It ran. There were no smells to make the bear want to tear its way in. Run a clean camp and either hang food the correct way aways from camp (don't use the obvious tree everyone else does as bears know those as pinatas) or "hide" it a ways from camp in a plastic barrel in bushes (not off a ways from camp on a game or other trail that bears probably use). These are needed to stop mice, raccoons, etc from destroying packs too.
    Smelly things include the obvious plus spilled food on clothing, soap, fish smelling hands, washed cook kits, etc.
    When you hear any animal in camp make noise (clap hands, holler, bang something together - two scout leaders would work , ha -, sing some disco - my wife sang once to scare a bear that wanted to go the direction we were coming from on a path (long story)) and they will run. Unless its a nosey Canadian Jay.
  • Options
    bears in camp
    definitely depends on what kind of bear you're talking about.

    I have a lot of experience with just black bears. The wild ones generally run away with clapping or yelling at it. The humanized ones just aren't scared of man.

    Campgrounds can be bad just because people can be idiots and will dump their food on the ground. Hanging a bear bag in a tree can be a fun activity and is about all you need to do apart from not sleeping with food wrappers.

    i've heard of people stacking throwing-sized rocks by their bags. and if the bear doesn't scare easily, start chuckin', which will help.
  • Options
    What about using a good slingshot to scare them away?
  • you have to carry around with you
    -- Last Updated: Jan-07-10 11:48 PM EST --

    all the time whatever deterrent you are going to use.

    It does no good if you dont have your weapon at hand.

    You must practice with it whether it be a slingshot or bear spray..you cannot afford to spray yourself or pelt a human.

    I have had several bear encounters. All were on the trail walking and in the daytime. Having your group make noise in this case does make sense.

    I may have had a sniffing bear next to my tent once. I didnt get up to check. It went away.

    Put into perspective the most dangerous thing about a camping trip is the drive. There ARE predatory bears but they are rare.

    Even the bear that my husband hit with a car and did not kill ( but it could not walk) did not attack him.(Of course he had to check what he had hit. A 350 lb rug)

  • Options
    I'm a long-distance hiker and I'm up to seeing 27 in the wild so far (just black bears). Been arms-length from a couple (obviously not by choice).

    it's extremely rare to be attacked by a black bear, so consider yourself lucky if you do get to see one.

    I've run into a handful of ones in New England that weren't scared of humans. they were mostly apathetic that I was there. don't look it in the eye, turn your back on it, or run (good luck getting kids not to freak out, though). back away somewhat slowly and you'll be just fine.

    and don't pitch your tents right below your food bag, which for some reason i've seen people do before.
  • Most bears are after food, and most
    can be deterred with noise and arm-waving.

    On rare occasions, a black bear has started to regard people as food. Reportedly, such a bear will bore right in on you, not roaring and standing like a grizzly, but with a focus indicating you may become dinner. If you don't have firearms, violent counterattack may be your best option. Get a club, smack him, scream and roar, or you may be dead.
  • Options
    Thanks for all the great info! I do not live in bear country but want to have an insiders understanding for when we go next summer.
  • Maybe...
    the scout leader was trying to impress a lesson on you.

    The first one being: NO FOOD IN TENTS.
    The second: Keep a clean campsite.

    Scout camps, and scout troops in general are notorious for violating these. Our troop was adamant about this and we never had a problem. They'd wander through and keep going. Camps in norther MN and WI.

    I've had two go through my campsite at Sawbill. They sniffed a bit and moved on.
  • Bears in Scout Camps
    Most camps will rid themselves of aggressive bears. The Adirondack camps where i have spent summers all have bears during camps season. Any tent raided by a bear had items stored that were not supposed to be in a tent. Illicit candy stashes are the #1 cause of bear damage. But candy flavored toothpaste and mouthwash are also attractive to critters. Squirrels and chipmunks have chewed thru packs and duffels to make off with mint flavored Crest.
    Food smells will be all over a patrol cooking site, so no tent is more attractive than another. Keeping a clean cooking area and table are essential and will be taught in every Scout Camp. Keeping clean tents and storing the scented items away from the tents is the troops responsibility and guidelines for this will be taught.
    Don't worry that your boys will be hauled away. I had only one tent entry in 16 years of summer camp. That boy had put a whole bag of Snickers miniatures in a sweaty sock and doused it with cologne and stuck it in his sleeping bag; a trick he said he aquired from his cousin who went to Salvation Army camp. It worked for his cousin because that camp has cabins and had not seen a bear for 50 years. Even then the bear just pulled the sleeping bag from the tent, opened it with his teeth and took the sock, candy and all. The boy made his escape out the other end of the tent when he heard the bear poke his head into the front. Cabin tents on platforms in Scout camps are open around the bottom edges of the canvas and bears can put their heads underneath and boys can slip out similarly.
    Enjoy the camp experience, follow the rules, and don't worry.
  • Options
    It would be a great idea to have a sleeping bag that opens on two ends so if a bear comes in one end a kid could crawl out the other end!
  • I go to the extreme
    of taking everything out of my kayak that has scent as well. I cant imagine waking to the noise of fiberglass shattering was a bear pouches on my kayak to get at toothpaste!Would suck really bad if your on a island somewhere!

    I use my dry bags and hang all my food as per and have only a couple run in's with bears.

    Once on Wade Island in Georgian bay. At last light we had noticed a large blackbear on a island across from us about 100m. We were following the GLSKA volunteer fire ban and were sitting around on chairs talking in the dark. By the time we noticed the bear he was about 10 feet from us. I dunno who was startled more. As soon as we stood up and yelled he took off.

    I've had issues with humanized bears who were not aggressive...but didn't give a crap I was there either. And thats dangerous. Time for me to leave at that point!
  • Electric fences?
    Yeah, right. I knew an outfitter who used those in Wyoming to corral horses. It didn't work. We ended up chasing horses. Bears have heavy hair coats. That little shock would mean nothing. Best medicine I found while guiding in bear country was a riot gun stuffed with deer slugs. Who said scouts can't be around firearms? Where is that written? Seems like respect for firearms and safe handling of weapons are things that should be taught to scouts, first and foremost. The Remington Marine Magnum 12ga is a fine choice for expedition canoeing, and you can even get one into Canada, although not easily.
  • Options
    Anyone ever hang their boat up in a tree?
  • Bears! Bears! & More BEARS!!!
    Over my 55 years plus of backpacking, mountaineering, river running and expedition canoeing I have come in contact with many bears. All of the problem bears I have encountered lived in three places, Yosemite National Park, Mt. Rainier National Park, and Yellowstone National Park. Interesting that all those places are in the National Park System where uneducated people come into contact with wildlife and forget that the wildlife is called "wild" for a reason. Black bears, by nature will beat a fast retreat when confronted by humans unless three situations arise:
    l. Continued exposure to humans in their
    2. Food Sources left out where bears can
    get to them.
    3. Sows are with cubs and humans get too close.
    Grizzlies are a different story. They are territorial, and by nature, not likely to be impressed by an aggressive human. Problems arise when people:
    1. Travel through berry thickets or areas the
    grizzlies are feeding in.
    2. Humans don't secure food and keep scents
    down that grizzlies are attracted too.
    3. Humans surprise the bear by approaching
    from downwind without making any sound.
    4. Humans sleep on trails or campsites that
    the bears regularly travel through
    5. Individuals encounter grizzlies just out of
    semi hibernation in the spring when they
    are grumpy and aggressive.
    Polar bears, like grizzlies, do not fear humans and in some cases will at times stalk people as food. In the High Arctic no one goes out on the ice without a large caliber rifle or shotgun.
    At an established scout camp the best defense against a black bear problem is limiting smells and sources of food the bears will be interested in. Scouts should be trained to put all candy, goodies, etc in Bear Proof Barrels and the barrels stored away from sleeping areas. Clothing that scouts wear while cooking should be changed out of before bedtime and stored away from sleeping areas. If a "people" bear begins frequenting a camp the Forest Service Ranger for your area should be contacted and it then becomes their problem.
    Some communities have resorted to shooting "people" bears with bean bag rounds which don't hurt the bear, but definitely give it the message it isn't wanted in the area.
    I am sure if you contacted the Rangers at Yosemite, Glacier, Yellowstone, Mt Rainier or any other of the western national parks they could provide you with a list of things to do to limit your bear problems.
    The number of incidents in Yosemite have dropped dramatically since they instituted their bearproofing program about 18 years back.
    Take Care!
  • Options
    Thanks Murph1
    I think you've said it well. Just needed some education on this before I get into such an area.

    Tonight at scouts we dug quinzees in some snow piles. Some of those scouts handle a shovel like a woman but none were afraid to get into the snow and work hard at it. Learned that you need two kinds of shovels, a long one and a very small one to widen out the tunnel into a small room.

    Overall scouts is very educational for both kids and leaders and I am sort of living a childhood that I never had since I wasn't in scouts but did want to be.
  • Options
    snow shoveling
    ...now thats going to win a lot of points from the women shoveling out from this snowstorm....

    and then the bear came along and took that shovel and....
  • Well the OP
    was trollish so I expected that remark.

    Where can I find a good snowshovelling bear?

    They all refuse to get out of bed.

    I guess I will go take my womanish shovelling technique outside and start on the deck and steps and driveway. We have about 16 inches here overnight.

    Who needs a man?
  • Options
    Bears in Camp
    I've struggled with the whole "Don't leave food where bears can get to it" thing when I am kayaking in Georgian Bay. It's all rock there with very few trees. Typically there is no place to hang food. I have always double packed food in dry bags and left it in my kayak. I have also put straps on the covers to keep out the raccoons. I always keep the boats away from the tent.

    I guess I've been lucky - no intrusions. I have often wondered what would happen if a bear wanted the food. I think my Explorer would be shards of fiberglass.

    So what would you do in this situation?
  • georgian bay
    has been the place I had the most encounters with bears.5 days we had 3 in our camp from point aux barrel down to the mink/mcoy's and ending at franklin. We had plenty of trees to hang where we were however. And man can those blackbears swim!
  • they can climb too
    And some of them can get out on ropes.

    Hanging properly is sometimes tough to pull off.

  • it sure is.
    seen some pretty nice set ups in a few camps that people had left there.
  • Who Needs a Man!
    It is a proved fact that men produce more body heat than women because of larger muscle density. On a cold night we just might come in handy!
    Sound advice from an "Old Irishman" Ho!

    On the topic of storing food away from bears. Out here in California and the Pacific Northwest almost all kayakers, backpackers, climbers, and river runners carry their food in Garcia Bearproof Barrels if they are in problem bear country. No one hangs food unless it is from established wires installed by the Park or Forest Service. A Bearproof barrel costs around $60.and weighs around a pound and a half. So far no bear I know of has figured out how to insert a coin or knife blade into the two locks on the end of the barrels in order to open them.
    I do know, and have seen bears chew through cords used to double hang food out from the trunk of trees. I know of one instance where a sow taught her two cubs to jump onto packs hung from wires between trees. Bears are very sharp and where food is concerned will go to great lenghts to get to it.
    Watched a bear at Tanaya Lake Parking area in Yosemite rip a door off of a sedan which had a water cooler sitting in the back seat visible to the bear through the windows.
    I am also probably the only backpacker to ever hike eighteen miles into the backcountry to feed the bears my week supply of food. It took one bear about ten minutes to chew through my nylon hanging cord, grab my stuff sack full of food, and take off running with me throwing rocks at him as he disappeared into the darkness. Must be why I don't backpack in Yosemite any more.
    Sorry you all had to "bear" another Murph bear story!!! Take Care!
    Happy Paddling
  • Well
    My wife firmly believes that just looking at a snow shovel on my part will induce a heart attack.

    So who am I to destroy that belief? :)
  • Options
    throwing rocks
    I have used rocks to repel raccoons, and squirrels with good results. I have attempted to use rocks to repel a dog and a badger. That doesn't work so well. I was able to get away from the badger. The dog, not so much. I would suspect that against an aggressive bear, throwing rocks would be more likely to provoke it to attack than repel it. Something to think about anyway.
    Bear spray is probably better than rocks.
  • Sticks & Stones!
    The effectiveness of throwing rocks at bears depends on three things:
    l. Kind of Bear
    2. Bears Mind Set
    3. Size of the Rock
    A rock thrown at a Black Bear who is not people oriented may get it to leave. A rock thrown at a Grizzly is probably going to piss the bear off substantially and you are going to have a big problem. As for Polar Bears it taint very likely you are going to have any rocks to throw in the first place.
    I have never thrown rocks at a bear, but have thrown Ponderosa Pine Cones at one. It was a black bear and it did flee the scene.
    Bear Spray is, in my opinion, more of a moral builder than a deterent to a bear. Grizzlies are known to go after skunks when hungry and despite taking direct hits they still kill the skunks. Bear spray is obviously stronger, but I wouldn't count on it stopping an initial attack from a Grizzly.
    Short of carrying a 300 Magnum Rifle, 12 Gage Shotgun with single ball ammo, or a 44 Mag or 50 Cal handgun your best bet is try to avoid bad bear situations, and if attacked protect your head and neck and play dead.
    Considering the number of bears out there in our wildernesses and the huge number of people visiting those habitats the number of bear attacks is low each year. There are lots of other dangers in the outdoors far more likely to give outdoorspersons a problem.
    Topping the list are hypothermia, drowning, heat stroke, and lightning strikes. Bear attacks, cougar attacks, and poisonous snake bites are way down the list of human problems.
    Enjoy the outdoors and get over the fear of bears. Be sensible while in bear country and you shouldn't have to worry!!!!
  • Options
    Bears and mountain lions make fearful headlines. Myself being from Iowa where there are no bears am in want of info about all this so I don't look stupid next summer up north.
  • watch your neighbors, too
    A few years back I was paddling a section of the NFCT with 2 other paddlers. We had a long day of paddling, set up camp, ate dinner, cleaned up, bear proofed the site (bear barrels in the woods away from camp) put in our earplugs (heavy snorer along)and went to bed. Meanwhile, 50 yards away at the next campsite, a large party decided that it would be a good idea to "hide" their food in the deck hatch of a $2000 kayak. A short time later a bear came along, smelled the food, and reduced the value of the kayak by about $1995. These guys freaked out and chased the bear toward our site by banging pots together and throwing things at it. The bear carried a cooler into our site, made himself comfortable about 6 inches from my head and proceded to chew on the cooler.
    The next morning, Mr. Kayak came over to our site and was incredulous that we didn't wake up. All I could say was, "thank God you DIDN'T wake me up!" If I had unzipped the tent and seen the bear 6 inches from my head I would have had a heart attack. These guys were traveling in the same direction as us and we saw them at a few portages over the next few days. Believe it or not, they were calling US "the bear guys"! Anyway, even if you do everything right, remember that bears don't have a copy of "the rules" and may wind up chewing on a cooler right next to your head.
  • Options
    Bear in the tent
    I was in the neighboring campsite when the bear went into the Scouts tent. The Scout had several packs of twinkies in the tent. After eating the twinkies the bear apparently had trouble finding the exit and did a panic run. The Scout in his sleeping was in the way as the bear was running. The bear finally got out of the tent, which received a lot of damage. The did not attack the Scout. That is what is called collateral damage. The next year that Scout worked on the camp staff.
  • black bears
    I'm assuming you are talking about black bears here, not grizzlys---as long as you keep a clean camp(no food loose or near or in the tents) you shouldn't have a problem--black bears are generally not very aggressive and somwhat shy---I've had three encounters with them in Maine--in two cases the bears ran off after they saw me---in the third case I retreated--I came across a sow with cubs--always avoid a mamma bear with kiddies--

    my advice to you is to stop worrying about it. The only incident of a black bear attacking a person that I've heard about in Maine involved a hunter who wounded the bear and had to track it in thick brush. He came across it unexpectedly and it attacked him. It inflicted minor injuries before he was able to shoot it.
  • my wife
    -- Last Updated: Feb-10-10 7:47 AM EST --

    has been handling a snow shovel very well for the past four days--even though she's not a scout master--but hey, if you need some practice come to my place and I'll let you shovel all the snow that you need to

  • Campground Bears
    Black bears who get habituated to humans and our food can be a problem.
    I've encountered wild bears who disappeared as soon as they realized I was there. I've also encountered campground bears who were not afraid of a large group of us and really didn't want to leave without our food. They didn't get it but I was not at all confident of the outcome.
  • Options
    Also don't sleep in the same clothes
    you cooked dinner in.
  • Options
    If you're truly concerned
    then have one person always on watch in camp. Make each adult or older boy take a 2 hour shift. Give them a couple pots to bang together if a bear approaches camp. That would do it.

    When I was a sea scout we were in the habit of always having someone on watch when we were sleeping in the boat at anchor or a mooring. Anchors can drag, the wind can change direction, etc., and someone needs to be on watch to handle that.
  • Options
    "Overall scouts is very educational for both kids and leaders and I am sort of living a childhood that I never had since I wasn't in scouts but did want to be."

    Same here for me. When I was a teen, I didn't really have any interest in camping and hiking, I was all about sailing, so I did sea scouts, not boy scouts. Then when I started dating my now wife and her then 5 year old son, I thought it would be fun to take them camping (car camping). Learned quite a lot from our mistakes in those first few campouts. Then my stepson and I did cubscouts together (with me as den leader) as a way for us to bond, and now we're into boyscouts, so we're not just doing car camping anymore. We're backpacking in Hill Country State Natural Area this coming weekend. I have come to love backpacking, car camping is so boring by comparison. It's something I probably would have never gotten into if it had not been for doing boy scouts with my stepson. I've really enjoyed learning the skills alongside him, it really makes me feel like I am making up for not having done boyscouts as a kid.
  • bears
    Read some of the bear websites on the internet that will help you understand the animal for starters.

    Poisoning a bear because it is doing a bear trait would be like shooting a human for doing something human.
    Best to avoid the situation as best you can by eliminating "the reasons" why the bear was there.
    They are all unpredicable....just like you would have 100 different possilbe reactions for a human etc.
    Bears are looking for FOOD or protecting their young.
    Black bears are the most common food scavengers...if you are in an area where there has always been food such as camps where people leave/drop food around or create a messy smelly camp...well then you will most likely have bears....just like you would also have Ravens, mice, ants, and raccoons too. They are all in it for the food. i.e SURVIVAL.
    So have a clean camp and dont camp where a bunch of inconsiderate other people have camped and left food/smells etc. Properly store your food away, clean dishes, cook AWAY from tents/campers etc if possible, Dont cook in the same cloths your going to wear to bed etc etc.
    In my area its one of the largest grizzley concentrations in the country...so we have to take precautions for them as well as black bears. There is NOT a big problems and for the most part we generally dont "worry" about it BUT do take the proper precaustions each time as stated above. We also HANG our food if we are backpacking or paddling in Grizz country. We hang EVERYTHING that is ASSOCIATED WITH FOOD AND SMELLS....such as toothpaste and tooth brush, spaltulas, and cooking pots/utnesils, pot holders, cooking oils, spices, deoderant, sun screen, chap stick/balm, scented diapers/and poweders etc (if you have kids) even the cook stove! WHEN DISCARDING ANY FOOD TYPE OR SMELL THINGS>>>> YOU ALSO WANT TO dump IN THE FIRE PIT if you have one. CHARCOAL IS A SMELL ELIMINATOR!!!! SO.....DONT SPIT OUT YOUR TOOTH PASTE OR DRAIN YOUR PASTA NOODLES OR COFFEE Grounds ON THE GROUND WHERE THE NEXT family will be putting their tents the following week after YOU left. BE CONSIDERATE OF other people and STOP TRAINING the bears as to where the food is by doing this. If you dont have a fire, try to bury above mentioned items instead of just on the ground etc. Just imagine for a moment if you NEVER SWEPT OR MOPPED YOUR KITCHEN FLOOR FOR ONE YEAR...Imagine this! How much food scraps, crumbs, smells, will accumulate on the floor? I bet it would be a lot!! Its the same with your camp location. Some of those campgrounds have people everynight for the whole summer.

    Another precaution is encountering bears with cubs. A no-no! The mothers are protective of their young. SO DONT SUPRISE THEM either....talk and make noise when traveling through the woods as not to startle them etc. In my area we also carry bear-spray (mace) which WORKS!!!!! There has never been anyone in my area that was killed that had the spray and were attacked, and i think thats true for the rest of those who have used it. The number of bear attacks/maulings/deaths etc is much lower than getting hit by lighting, drownings, bee sting deaths etc.
  • Options
    Bears Can Learn From The Campers
    That proceded you. A bear can trash a tent because it has learned that tents might have food in them. Even clean tents can be at risk. The problem with scouts is that they travel in large groups. That limits them. Kids frequenting any area will have an impact. That's because they're kids. Promoting large get-togethers is bad environmental stewardship. Scout camps are better off if they are developed sites without the food storage and human waste problems. Many forests are limiting the number of heartbeats per camp. That means your dogs and horses count as people. The problem scouts have is that the organizational structure makes it almost impossible to practice sound environmental practices out in nature. In other words don't blame the bears blame the scouts.
  • yeah that too
    exactly....condition response. Same with Wildlife biologist who are always sticking their hands inside the bears mouth that are tranquilized have the taste of human inside the mouth..... Bear: ""'hmmm food?!"
  • NO Don't blame the scouts
    Blame the leaders for not training them well or not being trained themselves (or just plain stupid). Our troop never had a problem with bears in the 20 years I was associated with them. I recall numerous instances where neighboring troop sites got ravaged. One in particular had a food tent central to the site, with fresh fish no less! A bear hit it the second nite and came back every day for the week. Tore the place apart.

    We strictly enforced no food in tents and a clean camp site.
  • Options
    Personal Responsibility
    Keeping a clean camping area, by keeping food out of reach & other things w/a fragrance, is done by hanging the items in covered cannisters or using bear cannisters. That may help you, but if previous campers kept food out and attracted bears, the bears will have already developed the habit/sense that food is available there.

    In WA state one year, they simply closed a camping area due to bears showing up, due to CAMPERS!!! You can't kill all the bears or relocate them all due to PEOPLE misusing the campgrounds.

    The forest is where the bears live. You can't take them out of their home or kill them so people can camp. Campers need to take personal responsibility.

    Raccoons are an issue here too. They WILL make a hole in your tent to get at food left inside, which should not be there.


  • Options
    I have many questions here:

    -First, why are guns not an option in a scout camp? Someone needs to reverse the direction this country's thinking is going. Guns are a fact of civilization, and they're not going away. Why would the scouts not be teaching all scouts..girls and boys, basic gun safety. And that guns are not to be handled unless with an adult? I grew up where guns were in the home, just about every closet had a rifle or shotgun leaning in the corner. They probably were loaded too, but I'm not sure. I was that they were dangerous and to be left alone unless I was with dad. Guns and the outdoors go hand in hand. Scouts, outdoors, and guns should be meshed together. A gun is a safety item, not an items kids should fear or taught to pretend doesn't exist. The more people hide from guns, and try to extinguish them from their thinking, the more firearms accidents happen in this country. Thats a provable fact.

    -What to do with bears that no longer act as bears? Teach them thats camping scouts do have guns. teach them (again) that people are dangerous to be around. teach them to be afraid. The more these granola do-gooders venture into the outdoors, and allow bears to push them around or drive them to camp the worse off EVERYONE is and will be. You and the scouts are not at fault here, so please dont take my words that way. You're a victim of others who have taught bears that we fear them, that we're a food source, that they can push us around with no negative impact. This "modern bear" attitude has also grown and spread as people hide from guns rather that be armed. When I was a kid, we had plenty of bears around without issue. If a bear ever came into camp, my dad or an other adult would have killed it without even thinking twice. So, a lot needs to change but there does need to be a gun in camp, and people need to kill these bears who have learned the wrong lessons. Let me also be clear that the bear isn't at fault. It's a tragedy that they will need to die simply for being smart, and adapting. Sadly, the same do-gooder granolas that wont hurt a fly are the ones directly responsible for bears who need to be killed because nature boy and nature girl has food hanging in a bag but wont defend it. Again, around here...bears that get bossy with people get shot. Bears that get seen crossing a road get a pack of hounds dropped onto them. Most bears stay away from camps, human scent, and vehicles. That's when they're truly beautiful and wild.
  • Ummmm
    -- Last Updated: Apr-18-10 12:21 AM EST --

    Scout camps have a gun/shooting program. You just can't have them in your camp site, just like the military keeps all the guns in an armory rather than in the barracks. Saves on a lot of unnecessary trips to the emergency room.

    When possible the DNR will capture a problem bear and move it. If all else fails they will kill it. This happened at the scout camp we go to a few times.

    When you're out on your own, feel free to carry all the fire power you need.

  • funny no one has mentioned
    bear bangers.

    I wouldn't think they are against Scout policy.

  • Sorry
    You guessed wrong - fireworks...
  • Options
    I think the issue is
    more about lessening human impact than self-defense. If people practice clean camping, minimize impact, and take all necessary precautions, there should be no need for "defense" via firearms or other overt deterrent measures. Especially with black bears and in the lower-48. AK is a slightly different story, but bear spray DOES work.

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