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How big are the bears near Wausau, WI?

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How big are the bears near Wausau, WI?

Old 07-25-19, 02:59 PM
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boomhauer
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How big are the bears near Wausau, WI?

i hate bear encounters.
tonight I知 debating weather to sleep on the rail to trails. It has mostly been paying campgrounds so far.
I have no food with me and a tiny pepper spray (for dogs).
I知 not too afraid of small 100 lbs bears. I thing they will scare off.
I won稚 be able to sleep if I know there is a 400 lbs bear sniffing around.
It only took one encounter for me to be permanently concerned. Before that I had no problem sleeping in much worse places.

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Old 07-26-19, 05:05 PM
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Don't worry about those ole bears, they won't bother you. 🤔😉 I'm telling you guys, an old portable radio is perfect, for letting critters know you're there. Otherwise, just don't surprise him, by walking into him or something. 😁
I scored an old GE Superadio not long ago, that takes up one whole pannier, but it's just so cool, it's worth the extra weight. 😎
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Old 07-26-19, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by boomhauer View Post
i hate bear encounters.
tonight I知 debating weather to sleep on the rail to trails. It has mostly been paying campgrounds so far.
I have no food with me and a tiny pepper spray (for dogs).
I知 not too afraid of small 100 lbs bears. I thing they will scare off.
I won稚 be able to sleep if I know there is a 400 lbs bear sniffing around.
It only took one encounter for be to be permanently concerned. Before that I had no problem sleeping in much worse places.
Every bear I have ever seen in Oregon has high tailed it and ran as soon as it saw me - even the big ones. I almost had a moose encounter in Idaho once...

I couldn't imagine what an bear encounter would do to the psyche! I'd almost feel safer sleeping without a tent so it'd be easier if I saw one to scare it away.

Just found this doing a quick Google search: https://www.wsaw.com/content/news/Wh...431445483.html
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Old 07-26-19, 05:15 PM
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They Can be pretty big around there, but it's not common. I think a 400lb-er would be quite the bear in that area. They get bigger the further north you go. You're just below the "real" WI bear country. Personally, I think you'll be fine. I've lived in WI for decades and done a fair bit of camping and biking. I'd feel comfortable where you are. If you go further north, take a gun or some bear spray, and maybe try to stick to places less prone to bears since you've had a negative encounter. Feeling uncomfortable will just make you not enjoy your trip as much...
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Old 07-26-19, 08:06 PM
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If you had any food, I would suggest you do not keep that in your tent. But other small mammals would be more likely a problem than any bears. But lacking any food, you should not have any worries.

I have chased away bears a couple times while camping on the Minnesota Canadian border in the boundary waters canoe area, and we had food with us so they had a reason to be there. But with no food in your site, they will not have any reason to be there.
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Old 07-26-19, 08:19 PM
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Most predatory black bear attacks on humans are carried out by bears under 200 lbs.. At that size they are young and haven’t learned the appropriate target species. It may be their first year on their own. They are often hungry or even starving because larger bears are out competing them. By the time a bear is large he pretty much knows his way around humans and generally has no malicious intent. Of course, he may well be attracted by an easy meal if you have food smells around and, if so, he will defend his meal once he claims it.

But carrying bear spray is basic common sense.
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Old 07-26-19, 08:20 PM
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The 100 lbs bear is a cub and likely will have a Mom around and that’s a far worse scenario than a 400 lbs bear alone. All bears in the continental US outside of the northern Rockies are going to be black bears in any event.

More of a problem is critters like raccoons, porcupines, etc..... Hikers on the Appalachian Trail in Vermont were plagued for years by porcupines that would steal leather hiking boots left on the floor of a shelter. They liked the salt in the boot. What fun waking up and finding a boot missing !.

I just watched a YouTube of a truck camping couple up in British Columbia had a porcupine eat the wiring on the bottom of the truck, caused a Check Engine light and failure while about 70 miles from the nearest paved road. They had tools to fix, but what a PITA.
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Old 07-27-19, 12:59 AM
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https://ftw.usatoday.com/2019/07/bea...prompts-action

It's not only what the OP does or doesn't do, but the previous campers. Anything from mice to a bears become conditioned to free handouts or careless campers. While I agree Wausau is a tad south for bigger bears, the be prepared motto always applies. Not only for yourself, but because of those that came before you.

Are you speaking of the Mountain Bay State Trail by any chance ?? If so, I didn't know camping was allowed. It's gonna be a scorcher weekend by the way. And that means muggy as you know what.

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Old 07-27-19, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by boomhauer View Post
i hate bear encounters.
tonight I知 debating weather to sleep on the rail to trails. It has mostly been paying campgrounds so far.
I have no food with me and a tiny pepper spray (for dogs).
I知 not too afraid of small 100 lbs bears. I thing they will scare off.
I won稚 be able to sleep if I know there is a 400 lbs bear sniffing around.
It only took one encounter for be to be permanently concerned. Before that I had no problem sleeping in much worse places.
It'z been 2 days and 2 nights. You didn't get et by a bear, did ya? 🤔
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Old 07-27-19, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by stardognine View Post
It'z been 2 days and 2 nights. You didn't get et by a bear, did ya? 🤔
No. I知 fine. I think I slept a couple hours.

I found a good spot 1/3 mile from the Casino dumpsters. Figured the bears were over there.

Im going back south.... less insects.

I need to get over my bear phobia.
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Old 07-27-19, 02:33 PM
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I've spent decades camping, grouse, and deer hunting in prime WI bear country (Price Cty) and can count on 1 hand how many times I've actually encountered a bear when I wasn't driving. I've actually encountered more wolves than bear.
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Old 07-27-19, 06:50 PM
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Yeah, bears don't seem to be seen in WI nearly as much as other places, as far as my experience and what I've heard. I've heard and even seen plenty of smaller predator animals like coyotes, and foxes, but no bears. I have a friend who used to live a lot farther north and he never saw a bear either, and he's a regular hunter. We've both seen them elsewhere in the country when traveling.
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Old 07-27-19, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by 3speed View Post
Yeah, bears don't seem to be seen in WI nearly as much as other places, as far as my experience and what I've heard. I've heard and even seen plenty of smaller predator animals like coyotes, and foxes, but no bears. I have a friend who used to live a lot farther north and he never saw a bear either, and he's a regular hunter. We've both seen them elsewhere in the country when traveling.
Same here. I live in tornado central but have never seen one. Sirens go off and everyone ignores them. Except for the visitors.
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Old 07-28-19, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by boomhauer View Post

I need to get over my bear phobia.
I have seen four in the last two years while touring. One was at least 500 lbs. and staring at me from about 25'. I let him walk away without a scratch. Last month I went scouting for one in NW Montana, in black and grizzly country. Almost gave up but decided to wait a little longer and got lucky a few minutes later. Only wish my camera had a powerful zoom.




A week before I left for my trip there was one running around Philadelphia. It was our second one in three years. After about 3-4 days of dumpster diving the game commission tranquilized him and took him north. No residents were injured.
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Old 07-28-19, 08:03 AM
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Photo is from 2012, I was leaving Waterton Provincial Park (in Canada, North of Glacier National Park in US) and I noticed the cars in front of me had stopped about 100 yards ahead of me, so I stopped not knowing what they were stopped for. Then I saw the reason. I decided that I was close enough, did not need a better photo than this one. So I stayed at a distance until the bear was gone before I started rolling again. This camera had a powerful zoom, I was a lot farther away than the photo makes it appear.

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Old 07-28-19, 09:43 AM
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Earlier this summer in Manning Park.
I don't really worry about black bears. Every encounter I have had results in them booking it when they become aware of my presence.
My only concern is surprising a Grizzly while riding single track.

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Old 07-28-19, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Last month I went scouting for one in NW Montana, in black and grizzly country. Almost gave up but decided to wait a little longer and got lucky a few minutes later.
Haha. We seem to have different hobbies, and very different ideas of luck. Bears and big cats in the wild are two of a very short list of things that would scare me. I love all animals and think bears and big cats are really cool, but I don't need to see a wild one up close. You have more guts than I do. Hopefully you have a big gun, too. I did find that a .357 made me feel more comfortable in an area with known heavy bear activity(though I know that won't just drop every bear, and certainly won't just drop a grizzly).
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Old 07-29-19, 05:11 AM
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Originally Posted by 3speed View Post
Haha. We seem to have different hobbies, and very different ideas of luck. Bears and big cats in the wild are two of a very short list of things that would scare me. I love all animals and think bears and big cats are really cool, but I don't need to see a wild one up close. You have more guts than I do. Hopefully you have a big gun, too. I did find that a .357 made me feel more comfortable in an area with known heavy bear activity(though I know that won't just drop every bear, and certainly won't just drop a grizzly).
That same morning the campground host took a drive with his girlfriend into the same general forest area. A mountain lion jumped down off some rocks and ran in front of their truck for a while. He said it was the third one he had seen this year.

Here is the scene where I encountered the 500 pounder. He had raided the dumpsters earlier and had left a pile of scat maybe 30' from my tent. (The dark matter on the left in the photo is another pile of scat with a paw print in it.) Of course, I didn't whip out the camera and photograph him. That would have been stupid. Took the photo a from a point a few feet closer to the dumpsters than I was when he walked out from between them.




Two days later, while riding the Pine Creek Trail, I spooked this little guy. He jumped into the creak and swam across. Got the camera out just before he disappeared into the brush.




The most unnerving encounter was last June. A cub, obviously born that year, walked right across my path in NJ while I was riding back to my site from the bathhouse. I fully expected mom to follow. She didn't, which made me wonder where she was. On top of that, next on the to-do list was cook dinner, which was to include sauteed garlic and shallots. I kept my head on a swivel and was glad the park had bear lockers.
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Old 07-29-19, 05:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
My only concern is surprising a Grizzly while riding single track.
Legitimate concern. Are you aware of the death of the Forest Service cop outside of Glacier N.P. in 2016? He did exactly that and was mauled. From what they would tell, he was bombing a descent on his MTB, came around a corner and hit the bear. Estimate was that he had between 1 and 3 seconds to react after seeing the creature. His brother-in-law was behind him and came upon the scene, but there was nothing he could do.
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Old 07-30-19, 04:14 AM
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I couldn't even imagine coming up on a scene like that...
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Old 07-30-19, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Legitimate concern. Are you aware of the death of the Forest Service cop outside of Glacier N.P. in 2016? He did exactly that and was mauled. From what they would tell, he was bombing a descent on his MTB, came around a corner and hit the bear. Estimate was that he had between 1 and 3 seconds to react after seeing the creature. His brother-in-law was behind him and came upon the scene, but there was nothing he could do.
Yep. There are also a few youtube videos of mtb'rs having close calls.
It's the only conflict I have with off road endurance races like the GDMTBR or more local BC Epic 1000. I really like the idea of bikepack racing but find traveling fast through single track grizzly country to violate one of the cardinal rules of bear awareness. I imagine, from the bears perspective, a fast moving mtb and rider silently barreling down on them looks just like the blitz attack we fear as well. It's instant fight or flight.

In my neighborhood we have a healthy population of black bears but they seem to react differently. If you spook a black bear it will almost always bolt - even straight up a hill - as it's default reaction but a grizzly is more prone to attack defensively. When I ride single track or mtb I usually carry bear spray for the rare case of closing on a female black bear with cubs but even then they tend to avoid confrontation if they can. And for cougars which are more of a threat on the west coast.
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Old 07-30-19, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
If you spook a black bear it will almost always bolt - even straight up a hill - as it's default reaction but a grizzly is more prone to attack defensively.
When I spent a week backpacking in the backcountry of Glacier National Park I made the guide, who had a can of bear spray hanging from his belt, take the lead when we were down low on trail sections with lots of foliage and bad sight lines.
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Old 07-30-19, 12:09 PM
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Our town has had a rampage of car invasions this summer by bears and now a home invasion requiring a young bear to be killed by the game warden.. Possibly one of these guys photographed last summer in a neighbor's field? ...


Last edited by BobG; 07-30-19 at 04:28 PM. Reason: re-worded as requested by indy
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Old 07-30-19, 12:28 PM
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Call it what it is, but don't call it euthanasia.

The same word was used to describe the killing of the grizzly that killed, partially consumed and cached the ex-husband of a former student and good friend of mine a few years ago in Yellowstone. There was no evidence whatsoever that the mother bear, who had two cubs, was in pain or suffering.
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