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  1. #1
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    Wawayanda and Bear

    SO for the past two years I have seen plenty of bear scattered throughout the park. In the last two weeks I have found a high concentration of bear off Banker Trail off of Cherry Ridge Road. 6 bears in 5 rides and all around the same area. The first two were alone and ran off when I slammed my brakes and they were a good 40 yards away.

    This weekend my wife and I were out early and came around a corner to 4 bear (mama and cubs which were BIG for cubs) Mom and one cub ran off that were in the middle of the trail...the other two were swinging from a small tree and eventually followed along after a long stare...needless to say that is probably the first time I realized how quickly I could be taken out by even the smallest bear. MAde me think I migh thave to bring bear spray just incase I get to close by accident.

    Generally everytime I run into them is early morning 6-9 or evening 6-9

    Anyone else seeing them?

  2. #2
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    Six beers in five rides...

    Sounds good to me...
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  3. #3
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    I live down in West Milford, and a few years back I used to see them several times a week, truckin through the back yard and also back in the woods behind my house where I sometimes run and ride.

    This year... only 1. Lots of scat but no close encounters like years past. I suspect that the hunt has thinned them -or- made them a little more shy in my area, but its only a suspicion of mine.

    When I did see them, it was usually in the mornings and evenings as you noted. I do carry a can of bear spray with me in my "local woods" out back but not when i am in the parks. I've run up on cubs so many times I've lost count... and I never get used to it. But I enjoy the touch of wilderness and would hate it any other way.


  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mergs
    But I enjoy the touch of wilderness and would hate it any other way.
    Yes! Thank you. Too many bikers want a clinically safe bike park for a forest. Racing, exercise, cool people, and a little danger is all a part of it, but Nature is why I got into this and is what lures me into the woods every Saturday morning.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mergs
    Lots of scat but no close encounters like years past. I suspect that the hunt has thinned them -or- made them a little more shy in my area, but its only a suspicion of mine.

    There hasn't been a hunt in over two years...

    I saw a beauty on the Appalachian Trail in Wawayanda last fall. Crossed maybe 40 or 50 feet in front of me while I was walking with my beagle up behind that long mountain climb across from the farmers market place. I was figuring if he got too interested, I would just throw him the pup, and make a run for it.

  6. #6
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    I'm in there about the same times and I've only seen a couple, though I don't get over to Banker much - don't want to broadside one in the laurels. Usually start at Hofferlin and make the right on Double Pond to the Red trail. Last year we stopped and watched one for about 20 min.

  7. #7
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    It's the cats you've got to worry about...

    Have seen plenty of bear, a few coyotes and a fox or two in various parks in NW jersey (Wawayanda, Ringwood, etc)....but while getting gas in Riverdale a few weeks ago after a ride near Wawayanda, the pump attendant, who grew up in the West Milford area and hikes/hunts/rides noticed my bike on the roof rack and asked where I'd been, then proceeded to tell me he has run into a mountain lion a few times (not attacked, but has seen them checking him out). Carries mace now as a result. Don't know about you, but I'd rather take my chances with a bear (which are generally easily spooked) than a wild cat, which is largely unpredictable. I've also read about cat sightings in the odd news blurb or two...so keep an eye out

  8. #8
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    I don't write this as a knock against this attendant in particular, but I have a hard time with eyewitness accounts. When I was younger, a camper in my family's campground one 4th of July weekend came to our house yelling that he'd just seen a mountain lion. He was quite insistant that he would know what one looked like. He even tried to get my father to take his gun with him when he investigated (he refused). Long story short, the mountain lion ended up being a neighbor's collie who ran away after getting spooked by fireworks.

    I'm not trying to say the station attendant was wrong or that sensible precautions shouldn't be taken. I've even seen some news stories about large cats in the area. I just haven't seen anything that I would call proof or even really good evidence yet. Has anyone else?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bozizle
    ...the first time I realized how quickly I could be taken out by even the smallest bear. MAde me think I migh thave to bring bear spray just incase I get to close by accident.
    This is along the same lines as what crash_in_nj had to say, not meant as a knock, but what made you think you would be "taken out" by the bear. From what you wrote they looked at you and went on their way, which is typical for black bears. I mean we are not talking about grizzly bears here, and also I am not coming from the whole nature boy view either, but lets not overreact to an encounter with nature. I am personaly thankfull everytime I get to see a bear either in the woods or my backyard. Think about how many people never get to see this. Just give them enough room and move on.

    Let not start talking about mnt lions either, that just crazy talk...

  10. #10
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    I'm not afraid,..

    I have a bell on my handlebar. When I ring it, they let me pass. Such nice bears very polite indeed.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob W
    This is along the same lines as what crash_in_nj had to say, not meant as a knock, but what made you think you would be "taken out" by the bear. From what you wrote they looked at you and went on their way, which is typical for black bears. I mean we are not talking about grizzly bears here, and also I am not coming from the whole nature boy view either, but lets not overreact to an encounter with nature. I am personaly thankfull everytime I get to see a bear either in the woods or my backyard. Think about how many people never get to see this. Just give them enough room and move on.

    Let not start talking about mnt lions either, that just crazy talk...

    I agree they have always left me alone and generally do not want to be seen by humans in general from their habbits. I live on the mountain in Hewitt and have had tons of bear the past 2 years I have lived there in my back yard... I also have watched a neighboirs car window smashed because they left apples in the back seat and the bear eat them under my deck..a neighbors screen and window to their house smashed by a bear trying to get in just a few weeks ago. I love the fact I live there and see turkey,beaver, bear ,deer etc...all the time. This was just a close encounter where they didn't hear me until I had fully stopped and they finally noticed. Just curious if others had similar experinces running into them up there and if any one did carry spray...I do have a nice bell that I ring around blind turns to make the wife happy when she is with me.

  12. #12
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    Bear are all over the place at Waway. I have run into them 2 out of the 3 past rides there. They don't hurt anything and it's kinda fun running into them. They look at you and continue on their way usually. I literally almost hit one on the pines trail. It was over grown and I almost hit this big guy. He starred at me and I slowly turned around and rode off. Nothing bad. I will say that many of the locals have seen the mountain lions near Wawayanda. There are a few reports of them being seen on the Turkey Ridge trail or that area. Also my parents live not too far from the area and they have neighbors that have reported seeing a big cat in the neighborhood with a long slender tail whipping around. That's why they keep the dog in at night. There's too much evidence to say that they are not around. I hope I get to see one of these magnificent cats at some point(from a safe distance). I saw one in Moab a few years ago as a company was doing a wildlife photo shoot and they are absolutely gorgeous. They were filming the lion, a grizzly, a grizzly cub, a wolf and some other animals. Great stuff...

  13. #13
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    If you read down to page four of this article (http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/Sto...2700121&page=1) you'll find this gem of a quote:
    When asked if she thought residents were confusing coyote, bobcats or bears for a mountain lion, Makatura responded, "I wasn't there, I don't know what they saw, but the state has conducted scientific studies including scat and paw analysis and nothing points to mountain lions."
    None of this is to say it isn't mountain lions people have seen, I'm just very skeptical of animal sightings that can't be confirmed scientifically. There are exceptions, like that woodpecker they found down south a year or so ago. People kept claiming to have seen one and kept being dismissed, but eventually it was confirmed that they are still around. I guess I'll put a hitch mount on my bike for my towed 105mm... Do you think it'll fit down singletrack?

  14. #14
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    Excellent Thread

    I have to say this is the most interesting thread we have had on here in a while....well, besides the one on chiggers and moots....(what is that about...ha!) I have seen bears at Wawayanda a bunch of times. They always run off. I had one in my backyard in Pompton Lakes. My Jack Russel ran it up a tree. The dog and I walked right up on it in my my back yard by accident. Scard the cr_p out of the bear.

    The bear actually brushed by me with my JRT hot on it's arse. The bear shimmeyed up a small tree in my yard so fast it was scary. Funny stuff. As it brushed by me it was in slow motion (like you hear in stories when people have close encounters with death or something). Wild.

    I have spend a lot of time out west and in the national parks out west....and I have seen more bears in NJ than the entire time out west combined. Funny.

    be cool....fools,


    VGT

  15. #15
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    Black bears are generally pretty harmless, except for a mother protecting cubs.

    There was a story and a photo in the paper last year of someones cat that had tree'd a bear in their yard (twice, actually) in West Milford.

    Actually, here it is:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/...n1697234.shtml

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJMX835
    Black bears are generally pretty harmless, except for a mother protecting cubs.

    A bear tried to drag a girl scout out of her tent in Pa. the other day.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by rebel1916
    A bear tried to drag a girl scout out of her tent in Pa. the other day.

    Girl escapes bear claws
    Bruin tries to snatch Scout from sleeping bag
    Thursday, June 07, 2007
    By DANIEL HAUSMANN
    The Express-Times
    A New Jersey Girl Scout got a rude awakening early Sunday morning when a bear tried to pull her out of her tent at a campground in the Poconos.

    Celeste Tietz, 11, of Franklin Township, Warren County, managed to grab a tent-support pole and slide out of her sleeping bag as the bear was tugging at it. Tietz and four other girls slept in bags on cots.

    "I was sleeping and I woke up because I fell on the floor," Tietz said. "Then something started pulling me towards the front of my tent and tried to pull me out."

    After Tietz slid out of the sleeping bag, she jumped into a fellow Scout's cot and the girls started screaming for help. Tietz's mother, Cathy, and other Scout leaders said the bear then moseyed around their camp site, approaching other tents.

    The Scout leaders were able to load the campers, about 15 of them, into a van and took them to the camp's mess hall.

    "It was a scary situation," troop leader Terri DeTore said.

    Shortly after midnight before the 11-year-old's bear encounter, DeTore said she heard a ruckus coming from a neighboring camp site.

    Because of the bear encounter, Camp Mosey Wood in White Haven, Luzerne County, has been closed to tent campers for the next two weekends, according to Ann Meredith, chief executive officer of the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania.

    "Everybody will be using cabins and there will be no outside cooking," Meredith said.

    Bears can be attracted to camp areas by food, toothpaste and as Meredith put it "pretty-smelling shampoo." Campers and Scout leaders receive education and warnings about bears when they register for camp. Bear warnings are also posted.

    "Bears are a fact of life," Meredith said. "We're living in their habitat."

    Cathy Tietz said there was no food out at her camp before the Sunday morning incident.

    Meredith said a warden with the Pennsylvania Game Commission set a bear trap at the camp. A message left for game commission officials was not returned.

    Camp officials also are reviewing emergency procedures.

    "We'll use this as an opportunity to further educate Girl Scouts about bear safety," Meredith said.
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  18. #18
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    it wasn't the bears fault. it smelled a brownie.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkr0101
    it wasn't the bears fault. it smelled a brownie.
    Im pretty pissed at myself for missing that one.

  20. #20
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    I saw a female and 2 cubs crossing skyline drive Memorial Day morning (right near some houses).

    Along with the brownie/bear incident in PA this was in the news yesterday... http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?se...cal&id=5376900

    IMO Bears aren't the problem, people are.

    NJ police shoot, kill two bears that broke into homes

    New Jersey's Department of Environmental Protection says police shot and killed two bears who broke into homes in separate incidents in the same neighborhood in Vernon on Thursday.

    Another bear was tranquilized after being caught in a trap at a third home in the Highland Lakes section of Vernon, but was later released.

    The first incident happened late Thursday morning, when police received a report that a bear was inside a home, said Darlene Yuhas, a DEP spokeswoman. She said officers chased the female bear and her three cubs, all of which ran up into a nearby tree.

    After authorities conferred with DEP officials, a township officer was given permission to shoot and kill the mother bear, Yuhas said. The cubs, which were a few months old and weigh 18 to 20 pounds each, were taken to a wildlife rehabilitation center, where they will be taken care of until they are able to return to the wild.

    A few hours later, police say they received another report of a bear inside a nearby home. Police chased the bruin, which climbed a nearby tree along with its two cubs, and it was fatally shot after officers consulted with the DEP.

    The bear, though, remained lodged in the tree after it was shot, Yuhas said, and the DEP helped lower the bruin to the ground. The two bear cubs were later taken to a wildlife rehabilitation center.

    Yuhas said state biologists have determined that in situations where bears break into homes, damage property or attack other animals such as pets, they should generally be euthanized. "Those are the most serious situations. Those are the most serious bear incidents," Yuhas said.

    After years of dwindling numbers, the black bear population has skyrocketed in New Jersey. The bruins have been spotted in every county in the state, but are concentrated in northern Jersey where bears are a common sight.

    Last year, DEP Commissioner Lisa Jackson canceled a controversial bear hunt planned for December, saying that more work needed to be done in educating people in how to prevent bears from coming into contact with humans such as keeping garbage indoors or getting rid of bird feeders.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by spankme
    I saw a female and 2 cubs crossing skyline drive Memorial Day morning (right near some houses).

    Along with the brownie/bear incident in PA this was in the news yesterday... http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?se...cal&id=5376900

    IMO Bears aren't the problem, people are.
    yes, bears should be permitted to maraud at will, because people are the problem.

  22. #22
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    My girl apparently flunked reading comprehension, she told me last night that she read in the paper that there were a couple break in's in the neighborhood and we should lock our windows at night.

    Totally neglected to mention that bears were the culprits, lol

    Oh and I heard the girl scout had a pic-a-nic basket, true story.

  23. #23
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    By the way, I feel bad for those bear cubs.

    Must suck watching your mother get murdered in front of you.

  24. #24
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    Yes it is sad about the cubs. Of course animals can't be murdered.

  25. #25
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    Pine Trail sighting

    I was at Waywayanda this past Sunday. At about 10AM - well into the Pine trail, we came up on a big bear. He was walking in the middle of the trail just looking at us. We waited for him to leave, but he refused. After about 20 minutes, we gave up and backtracked. We wound up doing rattlesnake trail instead.

    Frankly, I don't know what I could have done to get him to move.

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