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Discussion Starter #1
I've had lots of close encounters with bears at our camp since 1975, but this one put racing stripes in my shorts.

About a week ago my wife and I were sitting on our porch one night having drinks. We usually sit on the adjoining deck, but it was raining and a bit foggy. The porch is only 18" off the ground where we were sitting, and my back was right next to the outside edge of porch.

About 9:30 we heard a loud crash in the woods and my wife said "what was that?" I said it was either a bear or a large branch fell from a tree. A few seconds later this large bear came charging out of the fog parallel to the deck and porch and was at me in the blink of an eye. The can run more than 25 feet per second, and he was going full bore. I thought I was a goner.......but he blew right past me and kept going. He passed within a foot of me. My wife dumped her drink all over herself and ran in the cabin.

Turned out that bear tangled with the king of the hill and couldn't get away fast enough. I fired a dispersal shot over the winner (he is enormous) and a shot over the loser, which made my wife feel a little better. Just a little, as she was really rattled by this encounter. As was I. I've been trying to convince her this was a freak incident, which it was.
 

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July 5th ... I had a 400 pounder run straight into camp toward my campfire which was occupied by me and brother-in -law taking in a few beers... Got us out of our chairs in a hurry. Needless to say it was time for another beer after turning him back in the woods!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
This whole trip was a little weird. 2 days before we left, we filled our water tank at Kettle Creek State Park, at the water fountain at the north end of the park across from Hoover Hollow. I believe this is the most unused water fountain. They have a combination drinking fountain and a hose bibb. So I connected my plastic tube to the hose bibb and started to fill the tank. This particular fountain leaks after a while, and when it started leaking, guess what came flying out of the bottom? 3 bats, who found a home in a crevice at the bottom. Just weird.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I thought of these "what if" scenarios:

What if I stepped off the porch at exactly the wrong moment facing the bear? Would I have been the recipient of a pancake block?

What if I stepped off the porch at exactly the wrong moment facing away from the bear? Would he be charged with an illegal block to the back or a clip? What would be his penalty?

On a more serious note, the past 2 trips were the first time we took our dog. He was an abused rescued dog. A Bichon Frise (or as I call him a [censored] Frizz). I knew he had an acute sense of smell, but I didn't find out how acute until he was at our cabin. He smelled a bear over 100 yards away in a dead calm air. And when he sees the bear, he goes ballistic. Unfortunately that night we had him in the cabin because the porch was wet. Now he safeguards my wife when she is on the deck.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
RonM, no she isn't done with the cabin. She's a trooper and really pulls her weight there helping me with projects and chores. She's a little skittish now, but we'll be back in a week or two and she is looking forward to it.

burk313, the air was as dead as I could possibly sense. I was thinking at that moment "how the heck does he do this?".
I certainly can detect subtle breezes, but it was so dead calm. Sometimes it is so amazing how still the air can be at times there. Typically the air is flowing up the mountain or down the mountain, depending on the time of day or weather conditions.
 

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Where are you in Clinton, when I was on Beech Creek Mountain we had bear visitors often, got up one morning and a bear was eating our corn on the cob at 21 ft from the trailer door and he weighed approx. 4-500 lbs, bbig bruiser......
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Our cabin is located close to Kettle Creek State Park. Cross the Leidy iron bridge and go up the mountain 2 miles near the top. The most I ever saw in one afternoon was last year when we had 6 different bears. One of the camp owners videoed 13 different bears crossing his land in one day this summer. He is a taxidermist who does a lot of bear mounts and he can detect the subtle differences between bears and their size.

He and I also agree on one thing: There is a monster of a bear who shows himself once in a while. I asked him to estimate the weight of that bear and his answer was the same as mine: 800 lbs. And he is an old bear with gray cuffs above his paws. We call him white paws. I never in all the years I've been there saw anything like him. His belly literally drags on the ground, and although his head is large, it looks disproportionally small compared to his body.

When I tell people how may bears we see, they can't believe it.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
One more thing:

Mange is rampant with bears in the Kettle Creek valley. I posed a theory to the northcentral game commission manager and he concurred that my theory is probably correct.

Mange is a parasite similar to Scabes in humans. It is transferred host to host. And when a number of bears congregate in numbers (like when people feed bears), it spreads. The game commission had to destroy several bears in our area that had mange in it's latter stages. The parasite gets under their skin and they scratch to alleviate the discomfort. Then they lose their hair and if they lose greater than 50-60% of their hair, they will more than likely die because they lost their insulation for hibernation.

And they become lethargic and lose their normal feeding patterns. We have a real problem with a particular female bear whose body and head is bare. She's on her last legs. Last year she tried to get in our front door 3 times one night. Quite unnerving. Please don't feed them.
 

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the outsider said:
When I tell people how may bears we see, they can't believe it.
I believe it. Clinton got bears, bears, and more bears this year. Was at camp wednesday to sunday and saw 8 more making my total 32 for the year.
 

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2 stories guys,
about 15 years ago before we had the Cabin, we all had Campers we stayed in, looked like a Small trailer park. but anyway.. one night there was a guy who worked at a bar as a cook and came up very late and decided to sleep in the back of his truck that had a Cap. he was awoken by a tugging on his pant leg, he thought it was one of the Boys messing with him. after he got his eyes to focus it was a small bear tugging on his leg, he shooowed it away and shut his tailgate. about 10 mins goes by and now MR bear is trying to climb over the tailgate. he Kicks the bear and shuts the cap door. the bear is determined to get inside that truck and eat whatever smells good. figured out why he was so stuck on getting inside that truck, the Guy worked at a bar and Rubbed his pants with the Grease and Such from the Fryer... we always get a laugh at this one..
So daylight comes and another member watches that same bear climb through a Window of a members truck, get in the Guys cooler, grab his Hoagie he bought on the way up, sit in the front seat and Eat it.... we nicknamed the bear Yoggie.
 

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2nd story
Friend of mine worked on Kodiak island as an electrician, they were trained by the locals on how to Handle the bear's.
when a bear came near the Plant they would sound an alarm so guy could watch there Backs. one day he was outside the fence replacing a Light Fixture and he hears the alarm. he looks at the 6' ladder and looks at the gate that was 100' away. next thing you know he hears the guys yelling watch out Nick, the bear got Spooked and ran around the Corner at him, hit the Ladder he was clinging onto for dear life, he said the bear went one way he went the other.. when I say other he went to the Shower room to change his pants....
 

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The bear ran, nonstop right by you as you sat on the porch. So in other words it was never really "at you" at all. It probably had no idea you were there until it ran by you to get away from the other bear. You're fortunate enough to have a camp in the PA woods, expect to see bears nearby. Admittedly, I'd have probably spilled my drink to as the bear abruptly sprinted past.
 

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You sure cant judge what the bear's target was.definately a little scary sounding to me, might've had cubs in the area also...
 

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Discussion Starter #20
RyanR:

No, the bear wasn't running at me, although it appeared that way. But to have him almost brush me while he was trying to get out of Dodge running full tilt? A heart stopper.
 
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