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Teejate

An unusual experience on the 2

Had a pretty unusual experience over the weekend that I thought might be of interest.

Heading up the 2 for a Mt. Waterman day hike I came across a group of five young and obviously inexperienced kids huddled together by the trailhead leading to Cooper Canyon Trail Camp. I say inexperienced because their gear was out and included coolers, shopping bags and the like. Yeah...that hike down to the trail camp was bound to be interesting.

They were pointing and looked a little freaked out so I looked up the road and on the side was the back end of what looked like a really hairy dog. A closer look told me it wasn't a dog. It was a bear cub with his nose buried in a container of Cup o' Noodles. Woah.

I pulled over and immediately asked the kids how long the cub had been there. They said about five minutes. The only location Momma could be in that area was downhill and a quick scan showed she wasn't around. Seemed pretty clear to me that the little guy was on his own and famished.

I got out of my car and walked towards the cub, ostensibly to get him out of the road, and started shouting to drive him back in to the forest. Not only did he not respond and show zero fear but he moved past me and actually jumped in my car! I have to admit, that's the first time I've had a bear in my car.

No cell phone service so the best I could do was keep him out of the road until a ranger drove by. But as we know, that doesn't happen too frequently these days. He moved from my car over to the kids gear and started getting his nose in everything with food. We spent the next five minutes locked in to a battle. Him going for food, me moving bags, sometimes with him attached to them and the kids just standing there.

Getting tired of that game he moved back up the road a bit and I followed. For maybe the next fifteen or twenty minutes he would move from climbing a tree to coming back to me, literally inches away like he wanted me to pick him up. He was like a dog...with claws that could rip my face apart of course. Eventually he slowly moved back downhill, got about thirty feet away, and then took off in a run back in to the forest.

It was a mind blowing experience but heartbreaking as well because I was well aware that his chance for survival was remote. I know that bears aren't animals that will reject their young so my only guess is that momma might have been killed. If that's the case, and it came at the hand of a hunter, I'd like to give a big F-You to Fish and Game for allowing bear hunting in the San Gabriels. Deer hunting is bad enough, especially as it's not necessary to cull an already diminished herd, but bears? Pointless.

I was lucky to have the experience, and feel I at least might have helped him from getting hit by a car, but sad that such a magnificent animal is, no doubt, going to be facing an uphill battle.
Breabonnie

Re: An unusual experience on the 2

Teejate wrote:
Had a pretty unusual experience over the weekend that I thought might be of interest.



Yes, I'll say.  I enjoyed reading your post.  

I thought it was so funny to read the bear got into your car.  Guess he was ready to adopt you.  I hope for the best for the little guy's future... it was nice of you to take the time out to help the bear and those scared kids and glad to hear no one got hurt.
blueshammer

Very interesting and enlightening story. It's a bad sign when a bear is so comfortable around humans.

All the same, how was the hike to Mt. Waterman?
Teejate

blueshammer wrote:
Very interesting and enlightening story. It's a bad sign when a bear is so comfortable around humans.

All the same, how was the hike to Mt. Waterman?


It was a terrific hike Blues. Always enjoy that one. Fog rolled in and it was thick. Felt great. Just a handful of people on a Sunday. More coyotes than people actually. Wasn't sure if any snow would have stuck from the last storm and it didn't.

And yeah...I was torn with that bear cub. On one hand it was great to have the experience of hanging out with him but I wish he would have just run away immediately. Wasn't much I could do. Just have to hope for the best for him. But I'll never forget the image of a bear cub in my car. Something tells me that won't happen again.  Smile
Taco

I'm not sure, but I don't think bear hunting is legal in the ANF/SGM.
RichardK

Bear hunting

Taco wrote:
I'm not sure, but I don't think bear hunting is legal in the ANF/SGM.


According to DFG's 2011 report http://www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/hu.../bear/docs/2011BearTakeReport.pdf (see last page), 5 bears were taken in LA county. If not from ANF/SGW, then where else were these bears?
cougarmagic

It's legal.  Bow hunting of bears starts in August.  It switches to rifle hunting sometime after that, and goes through January (-ish?).
HikeUp

cougarmagic wrote:
It's legal.  Bow hunting of bears starts in August.  It switches to rifle hunting sometime after that, and goes through January (-ish?).

Yarp. Here's info about the 2011 hunting season that is probably still applicable this year (except that the dates are probably a day or two off)...

http://sangabrielmnts.myfreeforum.org/about4161.html
Taco

I did not know that. I didn't think we had enough bears to allow hunting.
PackerGreg

I'll never forget the time a bear cub urinated on me from his post in a pine tree at Chantry Flat.
Teejate

Taco wrote:
I did not know that. I didn't think we had enough bears to allow hunting.


I didn't think we had enough bears for hunting either Taco. Personally, I don't think we have enough deer to justify a season either.

I asked a Ranger about it the first weekend of hunting season and he was totally opposed to bear hunting. Thought we should hold off on deer hunting for a while too. A cool Ranger.

I was heading down to Jackson Lake off the PCT today and heard some shots. We still have to play heads up I guess. Glad I went with the orange fleece.
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