Food in Grizz Country

chasewild

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Mar 22, 2016
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290
Quite a few hunters on here more familiar with griz country than I. If you are hunting 8 days from a pack in griz country, what are you packing and how do you manage it? Other than the obvious stuff, here are some preliminary questions:

1. Are you using cold food or do you bring a stove with freeze dried meals?
2. Are you using zip-lock bags inside of a dry bag?
3. Do you keep your pack outside of your tent, unzipped, with pockets emptied?

What else???
 

fire652

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Dec 13, 2013
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Ohio
Been wondering this myself as I’m moving to Montana soon


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mntnguide

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Apr 27, 2012
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Central ID/Western WY
I use a stove and freeze dried meals plenty.. here's the thing, food or not, if you are in serious grizzly country, the chance of your camp being "investigated" by one is very high during that length of time. Do not keep anything of scent close to your sleeping areas. Don't spit toothpaste right outside your tent..etc. i hang my food and toothpaste etc as far from camp as i feel necessary depending on what type of terrain im camped in. Clean camp is the best thing you can do.. cause the thing is, if a grizzly decides to get into your camp, there is little you can do to prevent them

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chasewild

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What about things that may have food odor -- e.g. back pack? Do you haul that away from your tent every night?
 

ramont

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Nov 19, 2017
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Montana
If it smells like food (and quite a few things that aren't even edible) then move it away from your sleeping area. Grizzly bears even like things that you sweat in, they like the salt. Some people will even keep their boots and socks outside of their tent and wear crocks or something like that around camp.
 

mntnguide

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Apr 27, 2012
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Central ID/Western WY
If you are planning on being packed into the mountains for 8 days in an area known with Grizzlies...i think you'd be pretty foolish to not invest in a backcountry grizzly fence system. UDAP makes a backpacker friendly sub 4lb fence that will surround your tent and at least give you a little peace of mind, especially when away from your tent hunting all day as well. I have one, and when i use to guide in the teton wilderness of Wyoming and we had a much more extensive fence surrounding our entire camp, i would wake up to Grizzlies hitting the fence.. growling then going and hitting it in a different spot.. but we never had one come through the camp fence. If you have horses, you can be much more prepared, but if on your back, that lightweight system from udap is seriously worth considering

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Mosby

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Jan 1, 2015
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When my son and I go to Montana in grizzly country, we have a few rules which includes:

- no food, soap, toothpaste etc in tent
- we use Ursack bags to keep our food in most of the time
- we keep the menu pretty simple. No high scent foods, even in basecamp.
- we eat and store food around 100 yds from tent where possible
- we carry bear spray on the trail but keep pistols only in the tent
- we use really bright headlamps
- if my son has to get up and go the bath room in the middle of the night, I will get up with him and stand watch if he is going into the woods. I am not allowed to come home with out him.
- if we are at basecamp, we don't sleep in the clothes we eat in and we leave our packs in the truck.

We don't pack in for 8 days. We normally have a basecamp to come back to after 3-5 days to restock. 8 days is a lot of food to carry. All my coolers I use at basecamp or for truck camping are Grizzly certified and locked. I keep them in my truck or trailer during the night or in the bear boxes, if we are in a campsite.

We really do most of the same, when hunting where black bears are common. I don't carry bear spray and don't bother with a pistol if I am carrying a rifle but black bears can destroy a camp pretty quickly while you are out hunting.

If I camped in Grizzly country frequently, I would consider getting a bear fence. I really prefer to hunt where they aren't. One less thing to worry about on the trail.
 

swampthing

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Mar 9, 2019
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prince george british columbia
I live and hunt in grizz country. I guess growing up with it we dont really think too much about it. I have gone to bed with grizz in sight of my tent. If that happens I put my food downwind a bit of the tent and piss all around it. A crap just downwind of that is good measure as well! Try to hang it in a bush as mice will eat into it on the ground. I have thought about placing a bell with my food so I can chase off a bear if I hear it but I always forget to bring one! I have always put my pack in the tent vestible and I have coffee ready to go in my vestible in the morning. For my night time pee I make a bit of noise as I am getting up. I keep my rifle loaded, round in chamber, safety on in my tent. Every bear I have ever seen[ 30-40ish] in the wild has run away from me as fast as he can when he sees me. I think the most dangerous thing I do hunting is drive on the highway to get to my spot! I relax when I get into grizz country where I am safe! Dont over think it and let it ruin your hunt. Use your common sense and enjoy yourself.
 

wiiawiwb

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Nov 12, 2016
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In the mountains
Whenever I'm out, I eat/cook in one location, and sleep in another. I also use a perimeter alarm system at night using fishing line and either a window alarm or keychain alarm.



At some point, I'm going to look into a laser-trip or motion-detection alarm system.

I always carry a small glass container (prescription-size) filled with ammonia or bleach. When I go to sleep, it gets uncapped and put outside the tent.

Every little technique is helpful.
 

a_noob_hunter

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Jan 3, 2019
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So do you guys put your food in a certain direction 100 yds away? ie always downwind, or upwind, or a certain direction?

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Kevin Dill

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Aug 26, 2014
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Alaska:

I keep 100% of my food and food-related trash in my tent (tipi). I don't leave anything outside for a bear to find or try to investigate. I cook every day and I eat all my food inside the tent. I believe in the power of pee, and I use it all around the perimeter of camp. I don't use a fence unless I have a bear persistently hanging around the area. Now keep in mind.....

There are grizzlies and there are really wild grizzlies which basically don't have any familiarity with humans. A truly wild bear doesn't have a natural attraction to human odors or our food. They need to be conditioned to seek it, and that happens through exposure to trash or food items left where they can get into it. I work extremely hard to keep the bears in my valley from ever getting a taste of trash or actual food. No scraps tossed. Nothing edible outside. No crumbs. I mean fanatically nothing.

The best example I can give of non-conditioning is the dogs I've owned. They completely ignore frying bacon and other extremely odorous foods as long as they've never tasted them. But let them eat one crumb of something tasty and they'll be right there wanting more the next time they smell it.
 

S.Clancy

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Jan 28, 2015
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Montana
As others have said, clean camp. A couple important things...
1. I think a really important thing is making sure bears know what is around, so I piss everywhere around camp.
2. The only time I've ever done a bear fence is working in YNP, wouldnt carry one in anywhere.
3. Learn what areas are high travel areas for bears, like creek bottoms, etc and dont camp in these areas.
4. The likelihood of one smoking you in camp if you follow good protocols is basically nil. I sleep with earplugs in at night, if it happens, it happens.
 

Mosby

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Jan 1, 2015
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So do you guys put your food in a certain direction 100 yds away? ie always downwind, or upwind, or a certain direction?

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I don't. I just look around and find a decent sized tree to tie our Ursack bags on that is easy to find in the morning.
 
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chasewild

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Mar 22, 2016
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Great replies. The fence is a good idea, but I think it's a bit much for this trip. I'll be out of a wall tent for 3 nights and then I'll be out of a 1 man for another 4-5.

I like the pissing everywhere. Of course, probably depends on the type of bear (KD's comment above).

THanks for all of the help.
 

Looney

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Oct 23, 2016
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I’m realizing that y’all are much more bear aware than I. Maybe I should be slightly more vigilant...
 

mntnguide

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Apr 27, 2012
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Central ID/Western WY
We tried every imaginable thing you can come up with to keep bears away from camp.. the only thing that actually worked is an electric fence. This bear literally studied our fence for days that surrounded the meat cabin, and eventually figured out if he ripped into once he could get through even with getting shocked. Like ive said, if they want to get in, they will. Clean camps are your best defense


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