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Old 04-02-2011, 08:32 AM   #1021
snobear
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I have spent a lot of time in the woods with Black Bears over the last 20 yrs, used to have an outfitting business so got to watch lots of them in their natural habitat doing what comes naturally so here is my two cents worth. Bears are very curious animals, especially younger ones about 2 yrs old. They are the cubs that mom have kicked off in there second spring about May so they have not learned to be scared yet. On numerous occasions I have had them walk up within 15' of me but just wave your arms and holler and they will move back, maybe not run off but keep their distance. Sows and cubs are dangerous, the mothers are very protective and we did have a sow with four cubs charge a quad with two riders on it. She turned at the last minute kicking dirt up on the riders and then sat back in the woods watching them as she grunted till they backed away. If you are in close vicinity of a bear they will on occasion bluff charge, come running and then stop and stomp their feet but that is all that comes of it, they backoff once you wave your arms or throw something at them. When a bear starts popping its jaws and grunting (woofing) it is posturing so be a little more careful. As far as bear spray, we tried it on one of these younger bears when he bluff charged and he shook his head and stood watching us so that is the last time i ever bothered carrying it.
I only know of one occasion that one of the people up here was attacked and it was a fellow cleaning up some oats he had used while deer hunting, he turned around and a large male was breathing down his neck and went after him, he always carried a knife so was able to draw it and stabbed the bear in the head area a couple of times till it let go of his arm and ran off. He ended up with some stitches but that was all. A gun would have done him no good as he had no time to use it. I always carry a large knife with me in the back country as it is the one thing I know will work and you always have it when you need it. Of all the time I have spent in the woods in very close proximity with bears I have never seen anything that would worry me in regards to camping, like lots of other folks said care for your food (I will dig a hole for my coolers and cover them up rather than up in the tree) and holer and make yourself big if you want to chase one off. And as a final note take the time to enjoy bear watching as they are an extremly interesting and entertaining animal, they will remind you very much of people if you spend enough time with them.
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Old 04-02-2011, 12:24 PM   #1022
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that is some excellent first hand insight
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Old 04-02-2011, 08:45 PM   #1023
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First spring ride

The first spring ride, it will still be awhile to get on the Sask TCAT trails in the northern parts of the province but the south should be opened up by the beginning of May on the back roads.
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Old 04-02-2011, 09:15 PM   #1024
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Nice pic, Snobear. Looks pretty white up there still. Late springs suck.

I was down at Waterton Park playing golf a few years back and the marshal came by. He said something about a bear being spotted on the course the day before. I laughed and asked if it was a grizz or a black bear. He said it was a grizz. Spent the rest of the round looking over my shoulder.

He also said that having a grizz around was actually a good thing. The black bears are much more of a nusiance in the park (getting into garbage, etc), and he mentioned that when there's a grizz around the black bears all depart for different areas. They won't stay in the same region as a grizz.

I still wasn't sure it was a good thing...

That said, I still wouldn't worry too much about bears on the route.

Snobear, I can't wait to get out and take a look at some of this TCAT stuff. It'll be almost as much fun making the trail as it will be for people to ride it! OK, it might even be more fun...
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:24 PM   #1025
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I rented one of those last trip (MEC has them) but no matter what I did I could not figure out how to mount it..../...
I'm thinking of using a small mesh
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Old 04-03-2011, 06:23 PM   #1026
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A one of a kind bridge

This is the old Nipawin bridge that will be crossed as part of the route in northern Sask. It crosses the Saskatchewan River and in the background is the Codette/Nipawin Hydro station and Dam.





It is a two tier bridge where the train runs over top and one lane of vehicles travel underneath. This one is not used much anymore as there is a newer bridge further upstream.



April 3rd today and the River is started to breakup here but still 3' of ice above the dam
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Old 04-03-2011, 07:52 PM   #1027
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A one of a kind bridge

It is a two tier bridge where the train runs over top and one lane of vehicles travel underneath. This one is not used much anymore as there is a newer bridge further upstream.










April 3rd today and the River is started to breakup here but still 3' of ice above the dam
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Old 04-03-2011, 08:44 PM   #1028
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One of the questions that I'm not sure there is a good answer is 'what to do with your food' when camping on a bike..?'

While much of Canada is well forested, many parts of this route are in areas where the trees are about as high as your head. Stunted gnarly things that have worked pretty hard just to get to that height. Or big parts of the prairies, hang it from some wheat

The standard 'normal' camping thing is you need to hang your food 15' off the ground (that's just out of arms reach for a bear), 6' away from the side of a tree and 6' down from a branch. That's not the easiest thing to find in a regular forest.. but taiga or prairie??

We just left food in our panniers and hoped for the best on our last few trips. Maybe smelly motorcycle boots keep them away?

Bears that mess with campers seem to be attracted mostly by food smells. The best advice I've got is to eat, then wrap all food in sealed containers, (zip-lock bags will do) and pack it away, wash up; then ride several miles before you set up camp for the night, leaving the food well wrapped. I defo do this in grizzly country. In black bear country, I wouldn't worry about bears unless I was in an area where others have camped, or if I were staying for more than one night. My preference is to camp where no-one else has camped for a long time, (i.e. - where there's no garbage around).

(Apologies for the high-jack)
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Old 04-03-2011, 09:14 PM   #1029
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One more try old Nipawin

Hope this one stays, It is a two tier bridge where the train runs over top and one lane of vehicles travel underneath. This one is not used much anymore as there is a newer bridge further upstream.
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Old 04-03-2011, 09:34 PM   #1030
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Originally Posted by justanotherider View Post
Bears that mess with campers seem to be attracted mostly by food smells. The best advice I've got is to eat, then wrap all food in sealed containers, (zip-lock bags will do) and pack it away, wash up; then ride several miles before you set up camp for the night, leaving the food well wrapped. I defo do this in grizzly country. In black bear country, I wouldn't worry about bears unless I was in an area where others have camped, or if I were staying for more than one night. My preference is to camp where no-one else has camped for a long time, (i.e. - where there's no garbage around).

(Apologies for the high-jack)
we hijack it all the time
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Old 04-05-2011, 01:06 PM   #1031
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bump for Dave Noel
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Old 04-06-2011, 08:48 AM   #1032
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Originally Posted by justanotherider View Post
Bears that mess with campers seem to be attracted mostly by food smells. The best advice I've got is to eat, then wrap all food in sealed containers, (zip-lock bags will do) and pack it away, wash up; then ride several miles before you set up camp for the night, leaving the food well wrapped. I defo do this in grizzly country. In black bear country, I wouldn't worry about bears unless I was in an area where others have camped, or if I were staying for more than one night. My preference is to camp where no-one else has camped for a long time, (i.e. - where there's no garbage around).

(Apologies for the high-jack)
I would not call this bit of good advice a high jack as it contributes positively to the thread... It would be useful info in the guide book if it has a section on bear/critter avoidance...
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Old 04-06-2011, 09:03 AM   #1033
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I would not call this bit of good advice a high jack as it contributes positively to the thread... It would be useful info in the guide book if it has a section on bear/critter avoidance...
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Old 04-06-2011, 09:26 AM   #1034
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this book promises to be an adventure in itself
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Old 04-07-2011, 10:52 AM   #1035
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Man, the snow is melting outside and I am totally pumped about this project. Can't wait to get out there and explore.

My bikes both need a fair bit of prep, though. Chain and sprockets are shot on the KLR, and the wiring harness I made up last fall for the XR needs to be installed and hooked to everything. Plus the XR won't stay running for more than a few seconds, so I need new gas and to clean out the carb (drained it last fall but I guess that wasn't enough).

I'll keep you all posted as the adventure of creating the adventure trail continues on the prairies...
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