Coming north? Lock your vehicle.

Truck interior was torn up, but the owner has a great attitude.

doubt that would deter them
We came back to the trail head parking lot after a backpacking trip in the Canadian Rockies some years ago and the car parked beside our van had been locked but the owners had evidently left a package of powdered donuts on the back seat. A large bear (judging by the spacing of the parallel claw marks scarring the rear quarter panel) had pried, ripped and twisted the rear door off and the shredded package and donut crumbs were all over the destroyed seat upholstery.

Yeah, happens to locked cars up here
People who live in the Adirondacks when bears are moving around a lot, or are coming out of winter hungry, occasionally wish they had not trusted food to a locked car.

It isn’t a daily event, but happens often enough to know that a hungry bear will usually beat car locks or sun roofs.

And here I thought
our bears were smarter than the average bear because they could open doors. Which in itself is kind of spooky since houses have doors too.

Bears are smarter than the average…
uh, oops.

Big Bend NP rangers told me that bears had gotten so familiar with illicit booty that they were known to prefer a certain type of FritoLay product over other foods! And yes, they recognize the bag and will trash vehicles to acquire it.

To them, a car is just a giant glassy can.

Bears, wolves, and now Bigfoot?

Lots of very vivid imaginations up here.

Funny memory, totally off-topic
Okay, I just remembered something and had to chuckle.

Any Arlo Guthrie fans remember a live recording of him singing a song about huge, predatory clams (“in four-part harmony”)? I heard it once, on the radio, and it was way back in the early 70s but I remember him making a funny comment about doors. Anyone who’s curious might want to see if they can find it on Youtube or something.

I wonder
if that particular preference was caused by bears consuming a certain something often transported across the border.

Yeah. bears do come inside buildings
Though they seem to be able to recognize where they smell larger quantities of food. It has happened more than once that an Adirondack store owner, probably woods of Maine too, has had to leave their store while a hungry bear trashed it. Or came to open up the next morning to find that the door was already open, with destroyed shelving and open food bags inside. They may not be as purposely cunning as some of the other wild animals, but when they want something you are not going to stop them short of killing them.

Passing along another story
I heard a talk by Cliff Jacobson, wherein he mentioned that in some popular canoeing park (I can’t recall which one - I don’t think it was the BWCA), a certain bear had learned to open the most popular brand of bear canister (for those who don’t know, that’s something you put your food in, which supposedly, creatures without human hands and human intelligence would never be able to open). While going on about various other topics, he passed a sample canister around the room, and people attempted to get it open. Nobody could figure out how to open it (admittedly, it was somewhat dark in the room, but not too dark for those that were taking notes or reading their presentation programs, so you’d think someone would have figured it out). Apparently there were one or two tiny, recessed tabs that had to be manipulated in just the right way, and it was too complex for a person to figure out in a minute or so. Yet this particular bear was seeking out these containers and opening them quite handily. I seem to remember that it was a female bear with cubs, and she taught the trick to her cubs too. The maker of the canister quickly came up with a new model which supposedly would truly be bear-proof.

Anyway, Cliff Jacobson said that black bears are particularly intelligent animals, and we should be careful not to underestimate what they can learn to do if given half a chance. It seems to me that the door handles of a modern car would be pretty straightforward for a bear deal with (I bet the style from the 60s and early 70s, with the thumb-actuated push button would have been quite a bit tougher for a bear to learn to operate).

actually not
Those big old style “suitcase” type handles on car doors give the bears more leverage than the little hinged tabs that pass for handles in newer cars.

I was thinking of it this way:

– Last Updated: Oct-06-16 11:35 PM EST –

On a locked door, I'd agree with you, since I've broken off two modern door handles myself simply because the door gasket was sticky with frost (I now have a special tool for opening a frozen car door). But one thing I was thinking of is that on those older cars, the doors and latches were much stronger than those of today, so releasing the latch (made to be done with an opposable thumb!) would be even more necessary for getting the door open than is the case today. However, even though latches are designed not to fail in a crash, they were stronger back then, so the brute-force idea doesn't sit well with me. There was probably enough steel in just ONE door hinge of my 1971 IHC Travelall to make all eight hinges of a modern car (the door hinges on that car were more than twice as big as the hinges of today, and several times as thick), and the same would apply to any comparison of the ruggedness of the latch pins and clasps. Further, the stiffer sheet metal that the latch parts were anchored to in those days would be less prone to bending, though that's probably not much of an issue because those connections are already designed to interlock in a way that prevents them from slipping apart in some way even when the base metal has been deformed (that crash-safety thing again).

Yellow Yellow
And in the Eastern High Peaks.of the Adirondacks ( not a canoe area particularly ) canisters are required

Yellow Yellow could open Bear Vaults. She taught her cubs too

Bear Vaults are not recommended in that area but not prohibited

Bear Vault states so on their website much to their credit

Bear Vault continues to work with the Department of Environmental Conservation to make their units better

YY was shot by a hunter a couple of years ago

Now it’s a bull elk that’s roaming
in mid-Michigan - over 100 miles from its home range up here. If he’s looking for a date, he’s going in the wrong direction.

There’s a huge elk herd free ranging in the Pigeon River State Forest. They’ve caused some serious accidents on I-75 so now there are warning signs along sections of the interstate.

no find rubber snakes

Cars at campgrounds
A lot of campgrounds where I’ve stayed in bear country actually tell you to keep your food in the car. I’ve wondered about that advice because I’ve heard of bears ripping off the doors of cars to get at food.

been there a long time

– Last Updated: Nov-02-16 8:49 AM EST –

Years ago we went on a tor of a new golf course over by Gaylord. We arrived at one of the greens just in time to see the elk that had absolutely destroyed it, loping off into the woods.

Pretty neat to have such a large herd in the state.

Did you see this video from Mlive, shot a few days ago?

spiders ?

mounted a Hella horn with Hella flashing relay/diodes from the Omega alarm with power on 10 Ga wire direct from battery. On the roof.


– Last Updated: Nov-02-16 10:26 AM EST –

When I camp in places like that I just keep a very clean campsite. I figure there would be sites more attractive to bears than mine.

But a few weeks ago I was the only one at a campground with posted bear warnings. And while it felt a bit like paradise (no one else there, lakeside site, plenty of firewood), being the only one at a campground like that was also a creepy feeling.

They should be moving to bear lockers
becoming more common.

I have never stored food in my car except at a campground with those insane rules

When you canoe trip in Provincial Parks and leave your car rangers come check your car for food and leave you a reminder why that is unwise or a note thanking you for leaving no food unattended.