Author Topic: The bears in Rock Creek  (Read 14352 times)

Scout

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The bears in Rock Creek
« on: July 27, 2015, 02:29:15 PM »
There is some discussion on the "Club 2015 Bear" thread, but I thought this topic needed it's own heading.
My family and I just spent 5 days in East Fork. There is a Mom bear with two cubs wandering around now, everybody thought she was the only one....wrong. We saw bears every day, lots mid-day, pretty much unafraid of humans. We heard reports of cars being broken into, as well as anything the campers were lax enough to leave laying around. One of them broke into a container my niece left out, it didn't even have food in it.
Mid week the DFW Wardens started coming by, looking things over. I had the chance to talk with the one warden I know, got a lot of good information. There are now 6 (yes, six) bears in the immediate area, and it seems they are all problem bears. Two sows, one with one cub, and the one we saw with two cubs, the rest seem to be males.
The warden told me that their hands are tied right now, they really can't do anything until one, or more, of the bears becomes aggressive toward humans, even then they can only do so much. His biggest hope was that they could be harvested when the bear season opens. A sad situation, but something has to be done.
The camp hosts are doing a good job of talking to all the campers, telling them what they should be doing....but, we all know about tourists....you can lead a horse to water......
So, if you come up, be prepared, follow the rules, you should be all right.
I will say that it was a little eerie laying in a tent on the ground, imagining that the bears were cruising all around me all night, I felt kind of like a sandwich.
And, the cubs are unbelievably cute, bring your cameras.

DoubleDingo

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Re: The bears in Rock Creek
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2015, 04:35:04 PM »
Thanks for the heads up Scout.

Only thing I can add to those that may be traveling up and not bear-savvy, vacuum out your vehicle from under the dash to the tail gate or hatch.  Make sure to get every square inch so that rogue french fry that's hiding next the seat mount by the center hump doesn't lure them in.  Remove all scented items from the inside of you car too.  Place all scented items you bring with you in the bear box, such as deodorant, soap, toothpaste, anything with a scent even if you can't smell it, because the bears can smell it.  They say to leave the clothes you wore while preparing food outside too, so those could go in the bear box too for added protection. 
Better is a dry morsel with quietness, Than a house full of feasting with strife. Pro. 17:1

Corey Baer

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Re: The bears in Rock Creek
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2015, 06:53:48 AM »
They are going to need bigger bear boxes  :camping: :camping:

We had the mama bear and the 2 cubs in our site a couple of weeks ago and unlike cinnamon( who could care less how much noise you are making ) the second we started clapping and yelling she and her cubs ran.

We have always left stuff in the back of our truck covered up( coolers that just would not fit in the box ) we have never had a problem. Sometimes there just isn't enough room in the box.
Headed to Bishop Creek/Four Jeffery in a couple of weeks where they have reports of Mountain lions YIKES !  :hiking2:
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Todd Johnson

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Re: The bears in Rock Creek
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2015, 08:07:01 AM »
Thanks for all the info on the Bear's,  Been seeing bears in the canyon for years... but not that many.  Looking forward to being up there in little less than two weeks!!!!!  :pie2: :tent: :fishing3: :camping:
"The Creek is Waiting" - Hardrock - May he forever live on this board.

playingmenace

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Re: The bears in Rock Creek
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2015, 08:24:38 AM »
Everyone is at least somewhat fascinated by these beast. They are very remarkable to watch. The last thing one should do is feed them. This only creates bad habits that will lead to the demise of these bears. The bears should not look to campsites as a free meal cafeteria.

We had no problem running off curious bears by merely yelling at them, including cinnamon.

LHR and myself enjoyed watching one of the bears early in the morning, as it just strolled through the campground. At one point it got up on a neighbors picnic table and started sniffing a container (that likely had no food), I yelled at it and he couldn't get out of there fast enough. And recently at the Club event, we had bears in camp either every morning and/or evening, at Eastfork campground.
 
Yelling at them is usually very effective, I would toss pine cones towards one if yelling didn't work.

I wouldn't be intimidated of the bears, but very much respect their ability to do damage if provoked.

The best thing we can do is run them off so we don't help them develop bad habits that will end up getting them destroyed. I seriously doubt that the Forestry Dept has money to relocate bears, it's easier and more cost effective to destroy them. That is sad.
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Little Hardrock

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Re: The bears in Rock Creek
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2015, 09:59:57 AM »
I for one had 'the bear scan' at club.... could hear the snif snif snort snort... and then the sound of someone brushing against the tent... that unmistakable sound...

luckily I passed...  :)    (or maybe according to the bear, I failed?)

we have a strict no food rule in our vehicles..  we have bear come thru here at home, and then are constantly running up to Tahoe... so spend way too much time in bear country to risk it.   but you should see the folks faces when I tell them 'no food allowed in the truck..not even coffee'!!    you would think I had taken away their binkie!!!!     come on folks, you are not going to die if you go without food for a couple of hours!,,,    and I do allow water:)

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Re: The bears in Rock Creek
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2015, 01:25:42 PM »
There is some discussion on the "Club 2015 Bear" thread, but I thought this topic needed it's own heading.
My family and I just spent 5 days in East Fork. There is a Mom bear with two cubs wandering around now, everybody thought she was the only one....wrong. We saw bears every day, lots mid-day, pretty much unafraid of humans. We heard reports of cars being broken into, as well as anything the campers were lax enough to leave laying around. One of them broke into a container my niece left out, it didn't even have food in it.
Mid week the DFW Wardens started coming by, looking things over. I had the chance to talk with the one warden I know, got a lot of good information. There are now 6 (yes, six) bears in the immediate area, and it seems they are all problem bears. Two sows, one with one cub, and the one we saw with two cubs, the rest seem to be males.
The warden told me that their hands are tied right now, they really can't do anything until one, or more, of the bears becomes aggressive toward humans, even then they can only do so much. His biggest hope was that they could be harvested when the bear season opens. A sad situation, but something has to be done.
The camp hosts are doing a good job of talking to all the campers, telling them what they should be doing....but, we all know about tourists....you can lead a horse to water......
So, if you come up, be prepared, follow the rules, you should be all right.
I will say that it was a little eerie laying in a tent on the ground, imagining that the bears were cruising all around me all night, I felt kind of like a sandwich.
And, the cubs are unbelievably cute, bring your cameras.

https://youtu.be/ZdqIpYhM6PE

Trev Dog

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Re: The bears in Rock Creek
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2015, 12:46:02 PM »
Are the bear issues just in the East Fork area or are they in other campgrounds such as Big Meadow and Upper Pine Grove. Will be in one of these two areas in the middle of August. Although we always take precautions will be bringing up our 1yr old Black Lab for her first taste of the mountains. Will be taking her on a lot of little hikes along the creek between Upper Pine Grove and East Fork also around the Big Meadow area. To be honest would love to see on of those creatures in their natural environment just don't want to upset mama bear around her cubs.

Thanks

RockNCreekGirl

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Re: The bears in Rock Creek
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2015, 09:07:34 PM »
The mama bear with one cub came by the cabin yesterday mid-day.  As soon as my Mom made some noise they headed down the road towards Palisade.  Our neighbor has some damage to his cabin where a bear tried to get under his cabin...don't know which bear it was.  Hope they don't become too much of a nuisance.  We have seen many bears since living in their forest and they have usually leave us alone.  Think we see more bears than average as we are off the beated track.
The creek is waiting...

Gary C.

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Re: The bears in Rock Creek
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2015, 05:59:20 PM »
My two cents on the bears. Yes, bears in campgrounds are cute and fun to watch. Bears that become habituated enough not to run at the site of humans need to either be removed or shot. It sounds harsh but bears are neither endangered or threatened. Their numbers are actually on the increase. Wild animals are just that, wild animals. The first time an adult or even worse a young child steps out of their tent and meets a bear face to face startling them both and screams something tragic could happen. Even worse yet step between a mother and cub and scream or even unknowingly run towards the cub. Like the game warden said the best thing that can happen at this point is that at least some hunter will get to put his tag on them and take them home for his family to eat. To say that hunting them near a campground is un-sportsman like may be true to an extent but season will be open in another thirty days no matter what. They might as well do a service and help clean up a dangerous situation created by the campers.

KO

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Re: The bears in Rock Creek
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2015, 05:54:55 PM »
30+ years vacationing in the Sierras and yet to see a bear for whatever reason, although bear savvy, and headed up there next week with a lab, whom I am hoping will keep any bear at a distance from the campsite anyway.  Wouldn't the bears figure out they're not wanted if they get shot with bear spray a couple of times ... In the years past I have never encountered or seen a bear in the East Fork/Rock Creek canyon, are folks carrying bear spray?  We've always done the bear box/clean camp thing in the past ... what about stuff that gets left in the trailer?  Cooking in the trailer? 

Thanks for the feedback.

Todd Johnson

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Re: The bears in Rock Creek
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2015, 06:41:05 AM »
There was reports that a bear made a successful entry into a van at the lake on Tuesday....  Was looking for food and found it. 
"The Creek is Waiting" - Hardrock - May he forever live on this board.

KO

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Re: The bears in Rock Creek
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2015, 11:47:23 AM »
Ouch.  Thanks Todd.

Gary C.

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Re: The bears in Rock Creek
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2015, 01:02:33 PM »
30+ years vacationing in the Sierras and yet to see a bear for whatever reason, although bear savvy, and headed up there next week with a lab, whom I am hoping will keep any bear at a distance from the campsite anyway.  Wouldn't the bears figure out they're not wanted if they get shot with bear spray a couple of times ... In the years past I have never encountered or seen a bear in the East Fork/Rock Creek canyon, are folks carrying bear spray?  We've always done the bear box/clean camp thing in the past ... what about stuff that gets left in the trailer?  Cooking in the trailer? 

Thanks for the feedback.

KO, I have said for years that every employee of the FS including the camp host should carry bear spray 24/7. Paintball guns filled with pepper juice might even be better. Then every time a bear is seen anyplace even close to a campground or trash can it should be peppered. Even booby trapped camp box's and ice chests with signs to warn people that they could be sprayed. Soon every bear on the mountain would know to stay clear of the smell of pepper spray. Just a touch on the bottom of your ice chest and no bear would come within a hundred yards.

fishpole

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Re: The bears in Rock Creek
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2015, 05:38:46 PM »
You have  an unproven theory. I think if it is a simple fix as you believe (training all bears) it certainly would have been done many decades ago.  :clap: :clap: :clap:

Trev Dog

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Re: The bears in Rock Creek
« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2015, 08:01:44 PM »
Gary, thanks for your input. Got the bear spray today, also went with a different tote that will fit above my monster igloo chest in the bear box. No more food in the truck. Will put a .little pepper spray around the tent and cooking area when we are not there also at night.still hope to see one from a safe distance of course as they are part of the habitant that calls the mountains their home. Cant wait to hear the water and smell the pines as we head up the mountain for our time their with our one year old Black Lab. Georgia May has no clue about the adventure she is going on but next year she will know when she sees the preparation for our trip were she is going. Also for anyone taking a young dog on an extended drive our vet recommended 2 capsales of Bennadrill an hour before you leave to relax the dog during the drive. No side affects.
Thanks again!  :clap:

saudust

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Re: The bears in Rock Creek
« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2015, 05:41:13 AM »
Gary C, I agree.  Good point.
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KO

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Re: The bears in Rock Creek
« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2015, 03:21:00 PM »

Gary you have our vote for State Bear Commissioner! 

I've heard of people laying down a perimeter of dried chili peppers for bear and deer, but it would seem like one would need  a ton of chili's .... the bear repellent says the "perimeter spray technique" is worthless.

I also bought a bear repellent can yesterday, with belt tote, to which my wife replied, "if you had told me about bears last time we talked about vacation, I would've said I can put up with the heat down in Baja" .... I think the repellent can needs to be out accessible somewhere depending on the activities at hand, sitting on the food table, next to my wife relaxing with a book;  in the bear box doesn't give a lot of time to get it in the event something real is happening, especially if you and the bear are both going for the bear box, you for the repellent and the bear for the cooler, lol.  The bear can has only got 5 seconds of spray, basically one life saving event, and as I told my wife, someone is also probably going to be down wind of the spray, whether that's the person that's still alive or otherwise, so it's not like you say, "hey, there's a bear over there, give him a little shot".  I think that's what the rock throw is for.

I asked the trailer lady if I needed to buy "bear insurance" today and she laughed.  Said if you keep your camp clean and everything out of site and locked away you're not going to have a problem.

Are we allowed to bbq in East Fork campground these days?  I was hoping to smoke a few trout ....

Thanks in advance, as always.

Scout

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Re: The bears in Rock Creek
« Reply #18 on: August 10, 2015, 03:38:17 PM »
The first Game Warden I talked to recommended putting moth balls (no jokes please) in a nylon mesh bag, then hanging the bag(s) strategically around your campsite. I didn't try it, but the warden said it would work, might be worth a try.

fishpole

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Re: The bears in Rock Creek
« Reply #19 on: August 10, 2015, 06:50:24 PM »
I think it kind of verifies my earlier post. Sounds like another un proven an dangerous theory to rely on for your own safety. Be aware and be careful out there.  :lol2:

RockNCreekGirl

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Re: The bears in Rock Creek
« Reply #20 on: August 10, 2015, 08:08:55 PM »
Mama and cub were at our cabin again early Saturday morning...ate a citronella candle...guess I will need to take those in at night now.  She and her cub were easily scared off.  We have a can of bear spray at the cabin as our neighbor had one come thru the window about 10 years ago while he slept...he woke up to the bear standing in his bedroom...not a good thing.  By the way it is illegal to hunt in a camping area for obvious safety reasons.
The creek is waiting...

retired96

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Re: The bears in Rock Creek
« Reply #21 on: August 11, 2015, 07:18:57 AM »
Calif. bear attacks since 1980,,, only two in Mono County..
https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/News/Bear/Bear-Incidents

fishpole

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Re: The bears in Rock Creek
« Reply #22 on: August 11, 2015, 10:02:40 AM »
Refreshing. Facts.  :bowdown:

RockNCreekGirl

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Re: The bears in Rock Creek
« Reply #23 on: August 12, 2015, 06:42:45 PM »
Dear Lord, lost ANOTHER candle today...this time in broad daylight! So much for putting them away at night...they just eat them during the day.  My Sister is up there right now and the bear has come by just about every other day.
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wendelmar

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Re: The bears in Rock Creek
« Reply #24 on: August 13, 2015, 09:32:31 AM »
Translation....that is my sisters way of calling me stupid. Lol. Bear cub left a cute little claw mark in the candle.  We left it outside while we went to the lake from 11-3 yesterday so it happened during broad daylight. Sorry Stacey....I guess I owe you 2 candles now.