What do you do to "bear proof" your food in the backcountry?

Bowhuntr64

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What do you do to bear proof your food in the backcountry? I hunt in an area that has black bears, but not tons of them. Do you hang it? Where I go, it is hard to find trees with branches that sprawl out enough to hang a bag over. Do you cover it with logs and sticks? Bury it?

If it is all in air tight packaging (cliff bars, Mountain House meals, etc) and then in a waterproof sack, can it just be tucked under some cover for the night, or during the day while I am out hunting.

Please advise!
 

Yellowknife

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Mine stays in the vestibule of the tent as I also rarely have a tree to hang it on. Hopefully the human stink keeps the bears off. Worked so far, although I don't count on it. Usually carry at least a days worth of food with me when day hunting away camp. That gives me some options if I kill something late/far from camp or my stash gets stolen. Worst case, I figure black bear can feed me for a few day. :)

At night it stays in my tent so I can keep the squirrels/mice out of it.

No perfect solution, but that's what I go with. Educated bears near popular hiking areas, etc might require a different approach.

Yk
 

CrzyTrekker

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I hang mine in a sil-nylon bag using 2mm spectra cord.

It's a habit from backpacking around well-used campsites, but I agree there probably isn't an issue in the backcountry.
 

hunthard

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Belgrade, Montana
I realize that the original poster was asking for black bear country but, what about griz country? I have always hung mine although I will admit it's not always as high or as far away from the trunk of tree as probably should be. what does every body do in grizzly country?
 

luke moffat

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Like Yellowknife I put my food in my tent. Granted its mostly non-smelly food like freeze dry but I am sure it does smell some what. But never had a problem (knock on wood) with food in my tent as of yet. Maybe I've just been careless and lucky but I really don't think about bears that much when I am out hunting, unless I am hunting them of course ;)
 

Yellowknife

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I realize that the original poster was asking for black bear country but, what about griz country? I have always hung mine although I will admit it's not always as high or as far away from the trunk of tree as probably should be. what does every body do in grizzly country?

Shoot them of course! Isn't that what everybody does?

IMG_2732.jpg


This one lost an argument with me over a moose kill this year. One of two grizzly we had on that one.

Seriously though, I've had far more troubles with black bears than grizzlies. Certainly grizz can and will wreck a camp, but the black bears seem to have a much higher curiosity level and will bite and chew things just for fun. Thus far I have had no troubles on back packing trips, but have dealt with both black and grizzly bears trying to steal meat and raid cabins and base camps. I've helped skin four bears in the last three years for those transgressions, and chased off some others. Still keep my food in my tent though. Not enough trees to hang it in most places I go.

Yk
 
R

rebecca francis

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You are right Yellowknife. Black bears seem to be more curious. I just returned late last night from being out deer/elk hunting for over a week. We had left a basecamp in where we hunt and when we returned last week, a bear had ripped our tent wall open, bit into almost everything in the tent, and made a serious mess of the camp. What's funny is….there was not a drop of food in the tent. We had hung it all in a tree the week before. While we are in camp we leave our food on the ground and have rarely had a problem. We do try to always carry a bear tag though and thru-hunter is correct, that is great insurance ;). I really wish I had thought to take some pics of the bear raid this week but when we arrived it was late and had to get horses settled, fix the tent, and re setup camp. We were hoping the bear would come back and try it again with us there, but he did not.
 

broncoformudv

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The only people that I have known that had camps or gear messed with by bears was while they were away for days and they didn't have food in camp or in their vehicle. Seems like the bear come along when nobody is home and decides to play with everything just like a lot of kids do.
 

Yellowknife

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That is "usually" the case with black bears. But of course not always. Last year my hunting partner killed a 6 ft blackie that was raiding our cache tent at an occupied camp. Got him before we lost any food or meat, but never did find the caribou antlers he stole. I killed a black bear two years ago that was on my cabin porch and wouldn't go leave the area. Also know of two incidents in the last two year of bears coming through the wall of occupied tents at a camp I frequent. Pretty hairy for the guys sleeping in the tents.

But yeah... you leave the camp for a week, and that's when the trouble REALLY starts. Food or no food. For some reason they LOVE fuel jugs, fuel lines, oil bottles, ATV seats....

Yk
 

dpetersen

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Apr 22, 2012
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Wyoming
I realize that the original poster was asking for black bear country but, what about griz country? I have always hung mine although I will admit it's not always as high or as far away from the trunk of tree as probably should be. what does every body do in grizzly country?

1.bear proof panniers, If you have the option to use horses
2.put up a meat pole between two trees, take a pulley makes it much better
3.Build a cache, and a ladder, Alot of work
 

broncoformudv

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Saw this posted on another forum and thought it applied to this thread. :)

There is a great little song out there by Brent Holmes called 'The Back Pack Tree". It is the favorite tree for all bears.

A backpack tree, a backpack tree
I love it when I run into a backpack tree
When I'm bouncing down the trail
My favorite thing to see
Are backpacks hanging in a backpack tree

Backpacks are my favorite food
They put me in a wonderful mood
It's never very hard to get 'em down
I climb up the tree and I drop 'em to the ground

A backpack tree, a backpack tree
I love it when I run into a backpack tree
When I'm bouncing down the trail
My favorite thing to see
Are backpacks hanging in a backpack tree

When I see a tree full of backpack fruit
I climb straight up the trunk
And carefully knock all the backpacks down
And watch 'em land with a thunk
And then I shimmy back down the tree
And eat all the backpack fruit
Then I cover those backpacks up with dirt
And hope that they take root

A backpack tree, a backpack tree
I love it when I run into a backpack tree
When I'm bouncing down the trail
My favorite thing to see
Are backpacks hanging in a backpack tree
 

unm1136

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Aug 30, 2012
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Albuquerque NM
I can't remember where I read it, but someone camping in wyoming I think takes cans of aerosol cooking spray and fills the lids with peanut butter. Set around camp the "pop" frightens off snack inclined bears. I have never tried this, but I wonder...

pat
 

RosinBag

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Roseville, CA.
I have hunted tons of Black Bear country and I have never done anything but lay it on the ground in my camp. It is always in a waterproof bag, but I don't take any precaution. I have yet to lose any food to a Black Bear. I would think if you were gone for several days you might, but during the day I don't worry about it.
 
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