Bears at Carvins Cove- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Bears at Carvins Cove

    My favorite place to bike and lately I've spotted lots of bear poop on the trails and fire roads.

    I'm always biking alone on the trails and now feel the urge to carry bear spray on my bike frame. Good idea or am I being a WUSS?

  2. #2
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    if it makes you feel more comfortable...

    in terms of preventing bear encounters, a bell or some other noisemaker would be a lot more effective than bear spray. Black bears are... as harmless as something that size can be. They don't want anything to do with you, just make some noise to let them know you're there and they'll steer clear.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joules View Post
    if it makes you feel more comfortable...

    in terms of preventing bear encounters, a bell or some other noisemaker would be a lot more effective than bear spray. Black bears are... as harmless as something that size can be. They don't want anything to do with you, just make some noise to let them know you're there and they'll steer clear.
    Very true, bears just want to be left alone but I have read that bells don't really work and it some cases just make the animLs more curious. The main concern is when rounding a blind corner/ pine grove and finding a bear in the middle of the trail. That is my concern!

  4. #4
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    When we ride areas we know are likely to (or possibly) have bear, we're move vocal than normal. Voices and drop-in hoots will typically send black bears to a sheltered spot where they can wait you out. Once you're gone, they come back out. Some people find folks that are vocal when riding annoying but most of them will give it a pass for bear.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cotharyus View Post
    When we ride areas we know are likely to (or possibly) have bear, we're move vocal than normal. Voices and drop-in hoots will typically send black bears to a sheltered spot where they can wait you out. Once you're gone, they come back out. Some people find folks that are vocal when riding annoying but most of them will give it a pass for bear.
    Point well taken! I have read that bears don't like human voices, even more than whistles or other loud noises. There are a few areas of the trails that I ride that have no visiblity around turns due to small thick pine trees and to prevent running into an opposing rider, I usually yell ou "coming through" so perhaps this is all the protection I need!

  6. #6
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    Not sure about black bears on east coast, but when I spent a summer in Alaska I was told that the brown bears will attack over territory and the black bears will attack to eat you, but females of both will attack to protect cubs. We carried bear pepper everywhere, but never had to use it.

    Is there hunting pressure on black bears in the area? If so, your scent and voice should be enough to keep them away.

  7. #7
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    I have seen three at the Cove this year, and one more running on the AT near Daleville. It seems only one noticed me and ran off. About three weeks ago there was one in a tree down the road from Bennett Springs lot.

  8. #8
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    So far, I've seen deer all the time at CC, many and everyday that I am there but have never spotted a Bear and that's fine with me.

    It's not like we're biking in Grizzly territory like in Canada or out west somewhere. Those area would really be concerning to me.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrc2006 View Post
    Not sure about black bears on east coast, but when I spent a summer in Alaska I was told that the brown bears will attack over territory and the black bears will attack to eat you, but females of both will attack to protect cubs. .
    we don't have brown bears, black bears are almost never aggressive (at least on the east coast). Even the mama bear aggressively protecting cubs is somewhat of a myth. Most bear incidents in the south east involve people not properly storing food or trash while camping.

    I came within 5-6' of ramming into a bear at mountain creek. It reacted by giving me a dirty look for a few seconds and walking away. Not running, walking.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joules View Post
    we don't have brown bears, black bears are almost never aggressive (at least on the east coast). Even the mama bear aggressively protecting cubs is somewhat of a myth. Most bear incidents in the south east involve people not properly storing food or trash while camping.

    I came within 5-6' of ramming into a bear at mountain creek. It reacted by giving me a dirty look for a few seconds and walking away. Not running, walking.
    It must really give your heart a jolt when rounding a turn on a trail and seeing a big old bear in the middle of the trail! A sight I could do without.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickcin View Post
    It must really give your heart a jolt when rounding a turn on a trail and seeing a big old bear in the middle of the trail! A sight I could do without.
    I had that happen to me in the Frederick Watershed; I came around a sharp corner to find a live tree down across the trail; found it a bit odd as the weather had been calm. As I came to stop about 10 feet from the tree, a bear stood up from behind it, (apparently, it was a sassafras tree with berries on top that bears love to eat). The bear looked at me and I actually saw it's eyes get bigger as if it were surprised. It got back down on all fours and went a few yards into the woods and stopped. As I was not particularly hungry for sassafras berries myself, I turned around and slowly rode back up the trail. It was a very cool experience!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by EABiker View Post
    I had that happen to me in the Frederick Watershed; I came around a sharp corner to find a live tree down across the trail; found it a bit odd as the weather had been calm. As I came to stop about 10 feet from the tree, a bear stood up from behind it, (apparently, it was a sassafras tree with berries on top that bears love to eat). The bear looked at me and I actually saw it's eyes get bigger as if it were surprised. It got back down on all fours and went a few yards into the woods and stopped. As I was not particularly hungry for sassafras berries myself, I turned around and slowly rode back up the trail. It was a very cool experience!
    Certainly an interesting experience and I guess the takeaway is as long as you don't mess with a bears food, you're fine.They want food and to be left alone.

  13. #13
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    I've had about 8 face to face encounters with bears at the Cove. The closest was about 10 feet away. I always try to go the other way or wait for them to pass through. As long as you keep your distance and keep calm they seem to be pretty docile. I think some of them might be used to riders.

    The only concern I have is catching one by surprise or rounding a blink corner. I doubt you could get to the bear spray in time in that scenario.

    BTW, I would do a bell or spray if riding in Douthat since there have been a couple significant incidents there.

  14. #14
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    The only concern I have is catching one by surprise or rounding a blink corner. I doubt you could get to the bear spray in time in that scenario.

    BTW, I would do a bell or spray if riding in Douthat since there have been a couple significant incidents there.[/QUOTE]

    Some say a bell can attract a bears curiosity? Most trails have good visibility with few exceptions being a short climb on Songbird, Enchanted Forest and a small section of Schoolhouse.

    Blind corners are always a concern but yelling always helps and alerts oncoming bikers as well.

    Could you explain your typo, Douthat?

  15. #15
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    Not a typo. I'm aware of at least two bear attacks on hikers at Douthat State Park, which isn't far from Roanoke.

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    Douthat is not a typo. It's Douthat State park. I think Douthat is the oldest state park in Va. Basically due north of Roanoke near Clifton Forge. Really cool old (CCC vintage) trail system. There have been 2 bear attacks there in the last few years. I believe that in both instances, it was a hiker with a dog.
    Last edited by notso; 11-20-2017 at 10:14 AM. Reason: Added park location

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by notso View Post
    Douthat is not a typo. It's Douthat State park. I think Douthat is the oldest state park in Va. Really cool old (CCC vintage) trail system. There have been 2 bear attacks there in the last few years. I believe that in both instances, it was a hiker with a dog.
    Sorry about the typo accusation!! Just read the news reports on the bear attacks, I guess it is rare but it does and can happen for various reasons. I just keep my eyes scouring the area ahead when riding. Thanks for the clarification!

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