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  1. #1
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    Black bears on CT Trails Anything to worry about

    Curious if anyone has had a run-in with black bears? I have been riding for many years and never seen one but it seems reports are getting more frequent. Anything to worry about?

  2. #2
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    I've had a few run in's....once almost colliding with a big momma who was running diagonally to my trail up in Goshen. Guess their eye site isn't that good. But man she turned and followed me abit. Another time one was behind us walking at us as we talked resting. She didn't scare easy either. My other buddy had the best run in yet....we come down this big FAST downhill....thing is sitting there half asleep at the bottom where the corner was....he skids almost right into it. Man did that thing jump a mile....all of us almost crapped the forest....and it went off at rocket speed.

    Several of us run bear bells on the bikes....also helps warn hikers you are coming.

    Another buddy also ran across the "not in CT" mountain lion....over in Cornwall...that still unnerves him as he said it leaped about 15ft uphill with ease....getting wild out there. Avoid parts of Nassy if you don't like bears...its pretty common over there to see them.

  3. #3
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    Wow, close encounters for sure. I am wondering standard pepper spray is good to carry. I see there is specific pepper spray for bear but those cans seem too bulky, I guess until you need them

  4. #4
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    There was a bike specific slim system that was available (or is). Competitive Cyclist had it. Not sure they still do.

    I run into bears from time to time DH-ing in Whistler and Mountain Creek. Backing away the way you came seems to work well.

    Knowledge is half the battle: Bear Encounters | www.bearsmart.com

    As far as Mt. Lions, if you see 'em you have a chance.

    Stay Safe in Mountain Lion Country

  5. #5
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    >>is specific pepper spray for bear<<

    I do have a small bottle that's not really for bears...but its a gel type(good for not blowing back into YOUR face) and shoots pretty far so if I had to do something I could try that. But most times they want to avoid us and will if given the chance. And why I use the bell under my seat.

    Oh....I forgot....I bought those bear whistles...WOW....ear pearcing without hardly blowing into it! To really crank on it I had to block both my ears. I have that clipped to my Camelbak with one of those recoiling line deals(forget the name) so I can grab it fast.

    The big kitties (thanks for the link Friar!) also will avoid us esp if they have a good supply of food around. My buddy's coworker has film of one (it might be on Utube) taking a deer down not far from Nassy, so they should have plenty to eat and leave bikers alone.

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    Thanks for the tip on the bear bells. I personally am not too worried about bears (they are here, just not a lot of them). I am far more worried about trigger happy hunters. Orange and jingling feels safer than just orange. I was thinking about some kind of bell but expected googling "bike bell" would get me nothing but the princess bell my daughter has on her bike.

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    Yea I don't worry to much about bears...they are more worried about us. But twice we ran up onto them which scared the hell out of them...and some of us. That does worry me abit. I HATE using a bell too....I went to Tractor Supply and bought the ones they use for big dogs so is not so high pitched. Funny the hikers I've come up behind liked I was using it too though I'm sure a few hated hearing it ruin their nature walks.

    For sure hunters worry me having been one for many a moons. I've seen some very reckless guys. Like I told one....I shouldn't need to wear anything if you aim right and identify what you are shooting at! As far as I know no deer have two wheels sticking onto their body! So I dress in orange and use the bell. Then again like I told one guy who couldn't hit crap....I should wear antlers and a puffy white ball on my arse and I'd be perfectly safe if everyone shot like he did....LOL.

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  9. #9
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    I just attach a bear bell like linked below to saddle rails and wear orange. Bell stays on for everything including decent drops.

    Counter Assault Bear Bell at REI.com

    Yes, rowdy hunters scare me more than kittys or bears.

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    We see them all the time up here in Burlington! Only been chased once!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodcore View Post
    We see them all the time up here in Burlington! Only been chased once!
    There could be other reasons it was chasing you...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodcore View Post
    We see them all the time up here in Burlington! Only been chased once!
    How did you escape or what was the situation?

  13. #13
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    I was riding late afternoon up at Kingdom Trails, I came around a tight corner and there was a good sized black bear right in the trail. He was as startled as I was and ran about 10' up a tree next to the trail. I took out my camera to take a picture (probably not the smartest move) and for some reason the shutter sound was turned on, when the bear heard the noise, he freaked out and dropped to the ground. For some reason I felt ok when he was up in the tree, but when he got on the ground it got a lot scarier.

    I said out loud "I felt a lot better when you were up in that tree".

    As soon as I started talking he took off through the woods. Its amazing how fast they can move, even through what appears to be pretty dense forest.

    Bottom line, black bears want nothing to do with people. While I never have encountered a mother and cubs, I understand that changes the equation quite a bit.
    Big Strings, Big Wheels, The Jisch Blog

  14. #14
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    Aaaaand on Saturday at Mt. Creek I had a mama black bear start to charge.

    Dropped in to the top of Indy Cross (the 4x track). Stopped to wait for wife then looked left and about 8 feet away is Mama bear sunning herself, she looked over, growled, started to get up and move at me. I started shouting bear to alert everyone else, took off like a shot, which ended up treeing 3 cubs (eek).

    Got about 100 yds away and made sure wife was back there and ok. She was.

    Funny how this stuff works.

    And rest of morning the bear family was hanging on that part of Mt. Made coming up and over some of the 10-20' tables nervous because no line of sight to back side or back top of table.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by thefriar View Post
    Aaaaand on Saturday at Mt. Creek I had a mama black bear start to charge.

    Dropped in to the top of Indy Cross (the 4x track). Stopped to wait for wife then looked left and about 8 feet away is Mama bear sunning herself, she looked over, growled, started to get up and move at me. I started shouting bear to alert everyone else, took off like a shot, which ended up treeing 3 cubs (eek).

    Got about 100 yds away and made sure wife was back there and ok. She was.

    Funny how this stuff works.

    And rest of morning the bear family was hanging on that part of Mt. Made coming up and over some of the 10-20' tables nervous because no line of sight to back side or back top of table.
    Yikes, I may have to reconsider riding solo, which I have been doing for years, and find a riding group.

  16. #16
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    I don't think you need to do that.

    Just be more mindful of reports in the news and by riders where you're riding. Get the REI bear bell, cheap, easy, works for bears and hunters.

    Also, know what to do before you go out.

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