Mathews Inc.
Hanging food in the backcountry?
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
brunse 27-Aug-22
Bowboy 27-Aug-22
JL 27-Aug-22
SBH 27-Aug-22
Cheesehead Mike 27-Aug-22
KSflatlander 27-Aug-22
JL 27-Aug-22
Cheesehead Mike 27-Aug-22
brunse 27-Aug-22
GDx 28-Aug-22
GDx 28-Aug-22
Rut Nut 28-Aug-22
KSflatlander 28-Aug-22
fisherick 28-Aug-22
[email protected] 28-Aug-22
Mule Power 28-Aug-22
Sivart 29-Aug-22
PECO2 29-Aug-22
fdp 18-Sep-22
From: brunse
27-Aug-22
Do you know any solo and bivy hunters that do NOT hang food in county that have black bears?

How about eating in your tent?

Anyone willing to admit that they just keep their food under their vestibule?

Does any situation (one night, multiple people, got in late at night, etc) change your decision?

Thank you.

27-Aug-22
Last year, we stored food in our tent, cooked in our tent and ate and slept in our large canvass wall tent. (Black Bear only country) The only thing we didn’t do is poop in the tent. Though there were a few nights I swore my buddy might have.

From: Bowboy
27-Aug-22
I don't cook in my tent when packed in but I do store my food in my vestibule. My garbage is in a one gallon zip lock to keep the scent down as much as possible. I brush my teeth quite a ways from my tent since it seems to attract bears. This is mainly in black bear country. In grizzly country my food and garbage is stored in a water proof bag pulled up in a tree. Haven't had any issues so far.

From: JL
27-Aug-22

JL's Link
Take this FWIW......I was out there not too far from this place when it happened. It was very big news.

Montana: grizzly bear killed woman in ‘predatory attack’, officials say This article is more than 1 month old

Bear dragged Leah Davis Lokan, 65, out of her tent and killed her near Ovando last summer

A 417lb grizzly bear dragged a California woman out of her tent and killed her near Ovando, Montana, last summer in a “predatory attack”, wildlife authorities reported.

Officials who shot the bear several days later determined that food in and around the victim’s tent probably contributed to the attack.

Leah Davis Lokan, 65, and her sister were on a bicycle trip with a friend when they arrived in Ovando on 5 July 2021. Lokan decided to camp behind a museum, next to two people they met during the multi-day ride, identified as Kim and Joe Cole.

At about 3.08am local time on 6 July 2021, according to the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee report, a bear was exploring the area. Lokan realized what was happening and cried: “Bear, bear”, waking the Coles. The two left their tent and made noise.

Joe Cole carried bear spray but did not use it. Lokan – who told her companions: “The bear huffed at my head” – moved food out of her tent and into a nearby building.

The Coles asked Lokan if she wanted to stay in a hotel but she said she wanted to stay in her tent. Lokan took a can of bear spray and all returned to bed.

Around 4.05am, Joe Cole woke again when he realized a bear was attacking Lokan. Cole shouted: “Bear, bear” and yelled a “roaring-like voice”, using bear spray as he came out of his tent. Kim Cole started blowing a whistle. The bear was on the other side of Lokan’s setup, “pounding up and down” on her and the tent.

“The bear made eye contact with Joe, then averted its head as they approached closer, turned, and left,” the report said. “The back of the tent was still standing but as they approached, they could see that Ms Lokan and tent had been dragged by the bear approximately 8ft to 10ft and Ms Lokan was half out of the tent and sleeping bag” and appeared to be dead.

First responders tried to resuscitate Lokan but found “no obvious signs of life”.

Lokan suffered “severe lacerations to her head, neck, shoulders and back”, the report said. However, “the bear had not fed upon the victim”.

The bear broke into a nearby chicken coop. Authorities then tracked the bear for several days, during which he attacked another coop, to which he returned around 12am on 9 July.

Wildlife agents fatally shot a “large male grizzly bear as it was actively destroying” the coop. The agents tucked the bear’s paws and head in pillowcases, wrapped the body in a “large tarp” and took it for examination, including DNA analysis to see if the animal was responsible for Lokan’s death.

The bear was then taken to Custom Bird Works Taxidermy in Missoula, Montana, “where the hide and skull were salvaged”, the report said, adding: “The carcass was taken to a … composting facility later the same day.”

The report concluded: “This unfortunate incident appears to have been a predatory attack by a habituated or food-conditioned bear.”

The National Parks Service describes food-conditioned bears as “those that have sought and obtained non-natural foods, destroyed property or displayed aggressive non-defensive behavior towards humans”.

The report stated that “predatory attacks are rare, and we do not know exactly how, why, or when the predatory instinct occurred”.

Officials said “food and toiletries inside and near the tent as well as food scent left behind from 4 July picnic celebrations prior to the attack were likely contributing factors” to the attack on Lokan.

From: SBH
27-Aug-22
In black bear country we will keep food out of the tent but we don't go to great lengths to hang it. Just put it in bag and hang it off the ground so mice stay away. I figure if something comes for it at night that will buy me time to get a light and gun out of the tent to address. If it's grizzly country we hang it away from camp. I don't sleep as good there and don't solo alone in known grizzly country. I do think more people is a safer situation and it comes into play in my mind wether that's right or wrong I don't know.

27-Aug-22
I hang all my food and toiletries away from my tent. If I'm in an area known for bear problems I'll do a better job and hang it higher otherwise I usually just put it as high as I can reach away from my tent. I live in black bear country and have little fear of them but no sense inviting them into my tent. A few years back near my home a black bear dragged a boy scout out of his tent and they figured it was because he had Snickers bars in the tent with him. I've also had friends tents get ripped up by a bear and it ate all their food.

From: KSflatlander
27-Aug-22

KSflatlander's embedded Photo
KSflatlander's embedded Photo
I use to hang food but switched to a bear vault. Is a lot less work than hanging food. I did put reflective tape on it to make it easy to find in the dark. Also don’t put it next to a stream or near a cliff lol.

From: JL
27-Aug-22
I suppose if I was in predator country camping out.....I'd put attractants out to the side of me based on the wind direction. I'm thinking I would not put food up wind of my camp nor downwind for that matter.

27-Aug-22

Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
Cheesehead Mike's embedded Photo
I have the largest size bear vault they make but it only holds about 4-5 days worth of food so it's not really practical for longer trips and it's cumbersome to put in your backpack. I did use it one time when I got packed in on horses but I haven't used it since.

From: brunse
27-Aug-22
Do you know any solo and bivy hunters that do NOT hang food in county that have black bears?

How about eating in your tent?

Anyone willing to admit that they just keep their food under their vestibule?

Does any situation (one night, multiple people, got in late at night, etc) change your decision?

Thank you.

From: GDx
28-Aug-22

GDx's embedded Photo
tent set up in garage after i got home
GDx's embedded Photo
tent set up in garage after i got home
last year i hunted solo hung my food, no food in tent had to cook under vestibule/tarp once due to rain bear stomped my tent down, broke a pole, minor sleeping bag damage. i had urinated around my tent for a week prior to this event. i dunno if the bear saw the tent as a beach ball or food. it didn't chew anything up i would continue to hang my food but that doesn't prevent a bear from getting your tent.

From: GDx
28-Aug-22

GDx's embedded Photo
tent set up in garage after i got home
GDx's embedded Photo
tent set up in garage after i got home
last year i hunted solo hung my food, no food in tent had to cook under vestibule/tarp once due to rain bear stomped my tent down, broke a pole, minor sleeping bag damage. i had urinated around my tent for a week prior to this event. i dunno if the bear saw the tent as a beach ball or food. it didn't chew anything up i would continue to hang my food but that doesn't prevent a bear from getting your tent.

From: Rut Nut
28-Aug-22
We have a lot of black bears in Pa- especially where I live in the Poconos. I always hang my food-usually about 50’ from my campsite. It’s not hard- just a dry bag with a built-in D-loop and a length of paracord.

We have had more than a few bear attacks in our area over the years and all involved food in a tent. Had a boy pulled out of his tent by the sleeping bag and a young girl mauled, buried and left for dead by a bear.

I’ll always take a few minutes to hang food wherever I camp in the backcountry.

From: KSflatlander
28-Aug-22
I have the medium size bear vault and I can fit about 3 days worth of meals. It fits in my KUIU 3800 and 7000 backpack bags. I agree it does take up more space than a dry bag. I just like not having to hang it up in a tree. It’s not the best system for a 10 day pack in.

From: fisherick
28-Aug-22

fisherick's embedded Photo
fisherick's embedded Photo
Yes, I take the time to hang a bag. Two small carabiners or chain links and para cord.

28-Aug-22
Yes, I hang my food in a food bag after placing it in a 3 mil thick trash bag and then hoist it up in a near by tree (100 ft away). The trash bag helps keep any food scent from reaching out. Last season here in Colorado, I had a large black bear sow and two cubs come by at 30 yards as I was setting outside of my tent in the early am.

From: Mule Power
28-Aug-22
Hmm. I never worried about black bears. I cook and eat Mountain House meals in my tent. Never hang food although I do keep it in a large metal army ammo box. There are definitely blackies where I camp solo but I’ve never had one bother with camp. Trying to cache anything over the winter is a different story. They find it every time and trash and steal things. Last year a cot…. Gone!

From: Sivart
29-Aug-22
How many more people have to die before they add a Grizz season?

Loss for words

From: PECO2
29-Aug-22
I hang my food. A friend of mine has a bear vault. That thing weighs a ton, and gets nasty by the end of even a few days out. Maybe new ones are lighter?

From: fdp
18-Sep-22

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