Thursday, August 30, 2007

Welcome to Bear Country

The planning of today's ride began in the early morning when Jon alerted us to this Nevada Appeal article about three bears that were captured in Carson City. We figured that these must be the three bears we've been hearing about that have been spotted on the Ash Creek trail, a mother and her two cubs.

Here's a video of the bear capture in Carson City:



So we figured the coast was clear, and time to hit the Creek Trail today. Which we did...with no megafauna encounters. I didn't see any animal tracks along the way, and I whistled periodically to alert the canyon dwellers of our arrival. (Later, Scott and I would discuss the merits of bear whistling. Does this summon the bear or send them running?)

This is where the story gets interesting. I got a call from Brent on my cell phone. Since I work in a basement, I had to go outside to take the call. Our conversation was garbled, and I ended up calling him back. When we had a clear connection, Brent asked me how to get to the Ash Creek trail head. It's somewhat secret, and the location is only given to those who are worthy. Brent had a good idea of where I was telling him to go and hung up.

About 40 minutes later I received another garbled cell phone transmission from Brent, "static static static BEARS! static static static". I ran for the door to the outside again to take this call. It sounded somewhat urgent. I figured if Brent was being mauled by a bear, he probably wouldn't be calling me to tell me about it. Still I was a bit concerned.

When I had a clear connection, Brent told me that he and Chili Dog had just dropped into the canyon and scared a momma bear and her two cubs. The two cubs went running, and momma was looking for them. In the end, Brent decided to back track instead of agitating the bears further. So while he didn't get to ride the creek trail, at least he got to see some wild nature pretty close up.

It is said that the bears were released in the Carson Range, so it's possible these are same bears that were captured just the day before. Who knows?

I'm sure Brent will add some details to this account...

11 comments:

Chris said...

Those cubs are kind of cute. Hopefully they will steer clear of people for a while.

Smudgemo said...

Just remember, you don't have be fast enough to outrun a bear,...just fast enough to outrun your friends.

Xd said...

probably shouldn't be riding in bear country with a chili dog. i'm sure they can pick up the aroma from quite a ways away.

Tim said...

Up here in Alaska, I never whistle in bear country. Human whistles sound just like marmot whistles, and bears like to eat marmots.

Glad nobody got hurt. If there'ss one way to make a sow dangerously aggressive, it's to get the cubs involved. If she feels they're threatened ... well, let's just say it can ruin your whole day!

Marcus said...

Every time I have encountered bears in the woods, they have either non-chalantly walked away from me. On the 2 occasions when we surprised each other- Closest encounter was about 40 feet away, I just stared at them, trembling in my boots. On both occasions I started singing out loud either Rage against the Machine or Ac DC. One time the bear ran away. It was a good thing. My theory is if I act so crazy that I dont fit anything they have ever encountered before, they just want to get away. This does attest to my singing voice too, which is also horrific. Een my country, we do not fear da bear, but za woolvarine, zat ees a deefrent story...

4day said...

While hiking in Glacier we had'bear bells' on our packs. They're sold in all the outdoor stores in the area. After a few close encounters, then a 'local' hiker told us they refer to the bells as 'dinner bells' we opted to leave the 'bells and whistles' behind when in bear country.

oldmanandhisbike said...

Maybe try that new Ozzy song on them next time; that should scare anything away! :^)
We don't have close encounters like that here. Well, maybe a turkey and the occasional badger (badgers?). Most dangerous thing in the woods are tree roots and sand.
Have a safe weekend!

Brent said...

I will try to sit down some time this weekend and recount the story for those who are interested. Maybe Sunday night...

Michelle said...

We carry a titanium 44 revolver, maybe a 45? Capt'n Balance carries the gun. I carry bear spray and we all have bear bells. Other than that, make lots of noise and be aware. Living here in Alaska, I grew up not being able to go outside to play because of the black bears in the front yard. Momma bears and cubs are definitely something to stay away from.

What do you do to keep away mountain lions???

Jeff said...

I haven't heard much about mountain lions this year. They scare me more than bears, but I've never seen one. I guess Smudgemo's rule would still apply though... Don't be the slowest member of the herd...

Smudgemo said...

What do you do to keep away mountain lions???

Support suburban sprawl.