* User Info

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

* Who's Online

Dot Guests: 182 | Dot Users
Dot Hidden: 0

* Board Stats

  • stats Total Members: 13049
  • stats Total Posts: 131594
  • stats Total Topics: 18398
  • stats Total Categories: 5
  • stats Total Boards: 48
  • stats Most Online: 814

* Advertisers

Mining Claims
Gear Pan
The lil Gold Spinner
The lil Gold Spinner
The Pocket Sluice

Author Topic: Is panning in Grizzly country safe??  (Read 94758 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline pjstarchild

  • PPT Invited
  • *****
  • Posts: 314
  • Province/State: Sparwood, BC
  • Kudos: 1
Is panning in Grizzly country safe??
« on: March 22, 2010, 09:36:29 PM »
OK, I am getting geared up with some of the best equipment for this season....detector, classifiers, sluice, and blue bowl, now my biggest problem......the area I am interested in is known for a high population of bears, mainly Grizzly. And bears happen to scare me a bit. <~ShOcK~>

What is the best way to keep them away??? I dont have a dog, nor plan on getting one, I have no guns, bear spray in my opinion is a last resort for a way to close encounter. Do air horns, bells and whistles, beeping your horn, and making noise REALLY work effectively??? <-party-> And, if they do, how about as they are waking up all hungary and coming out of there dens?? What is the best way that you have seen work effectively? (this doesnt include telling me to see a psychiatrist [^Crazy!#])

Offline finch68

  • PPT Invited
  • *****
  • Posts: 502
  • Province/State: Chilliwack, BC
  • Kudos: 23
  • 50 years mining experience
Re: Is panning in Grizzly country safe??
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2010, 10:13:51 PM »
There are only 3 things you need to keep in mind when dealing with bears.  They have only 3 things on their mind.  The relative importance of these things can change with the particular season in the bear's mind.

1.  Food.  A hungry bear is out to find some food.  Mostly they will be looking for some nice grubs or fresh veggies, but they are not above becoming carnivore if the opportunity presents itself.  Bears just coming out of hibernation are hungry.  If you are in their range, you could be food. 

2. Sex.  Spring is not the normal time for sex to be on their minds, so even if you smell really inviting, they will probably pass you up as a sex partner.  However, in the fall do not get between a big testosterone enhanced male and a willing female.  The consequences are too fierce to contemplate.

3.  Do not get hurt.  This probably trumps the other two, but I'm not sure about sex.  A bear (even a grizzly) will generally take the path that is least likely to get him hurt.  They will avoid contact with humans given any chance at all since most bears understand humans are lethal.

So, your best defense is to make the bear aware that you are a threat to any of the 3 things driving him this particular day.  Make a lot of noise.  Don't smell like a sex partner.  Make a lot of noise.  Keep your food completely out of his smell/taste/hearing range.  Make a lot of noise.

Good luck.


Offline juu907

  • PPT Invited
  • *****
  • Posts: 2138
  • Kudos: 16
Re: Is panning in Grizzly country safe??
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2010, 10:24:26 PM »
evenin pjstarchild. haveing spent a fair amount of time in bear country i can tell you both bear spray and noise makers can act as deterants and attractants. a dog is probably your best bet. but you dont want one. my best suggestion would be to think very seriously about what you are trying to do and possibly find another area to prospect. google timithy treadwell and do a little research.  just my 2 cents worth.   jerry

Offline Cory70

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 3
  • Kudos: 0
Re: Is panning in Grizzly country safe??
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2010, 10:51:20 PM »
 Well since you do not have guns, or dogs, I would suggest making all of us at this forum your beneficiaries. Okay after that, take some bear spray with you, Mr. Griz sometimes likes his food spicy and rare.
 On a serious note, borrow a junkyard dog or two, make you a couple of pot and pans windchims and hang them around your camp and where you are dredging, hang some rancid food in a bear barrel about 3-4 miles away with a trailcam setup nearby (they take great photos and video to keep you company in the winter when it is too cold to prospect), then hang your food way away from you and the bear bait. Keep it sealed if possible. Now for the part you will not care for, get a decent gun, I recommend a .30-06, a cheap one, it will kill everything on this planet, and it may just save your life some day. If none of this sounds feasible, PM me and I may have an organic solution that you may like, it has worked on bears for me before, but I will not post it. Its non-lethal.

Offline GPEX admin

  • Administrator
  • **********
  • Posts: 2070
  • Province/State: Hope, BC Canada
  • Country: ca
  • Kudos: 52
  • Larry
    • GPEX Gold And Platinum Explorations
Re: Is panning in Grizzly country safe??
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2010, 02:05:35 AM »
BEARS.......... eeeek !   Don't care much about them either.  If seeing one immediately after leaving the den, no need to worry, for they eat grasses for a week or two before leaning toward eating fleshy things.  Their stomachs just won't handle meat, at first.  Afterwards, though, you could very well be invited to dinner.... theirs.  You should follow some good advice, though, and beg, borrow or steal a BIG dog or two, but also back things up with a good rifle.  If you intend on working the same area for any given period of time, you might wish to get yourself set up with a bear fence.... you can buy all that from a place called "Margos" in Alberta.  Personally, I'd prefer, maybe, flame throwers, hand grenades, bazookas, or napom air strikes.  Not to add fears, but they are too danged big and far too strong, and way to unpredictable to even think of going into their territory without having adequate protection.

There's been another post on bears (do a search for it) which you may find interesting.  Either way, travel safely.

Somebody said that it couldn't be done
But he with a chuckle replied
That maybe it couldn't but he wouldn't be one
Who'd say so until he had tried.

Offline willthedancer

  • PPT Invited
  • *****
  • Posts: 394
  • Province/State: Portland OR, USA
  • Kudos: 6
  • All my hair fell through.
Re: Is panning in Grizzly country safe??
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2010, 05:44:55 AM »
You need a pack of pet skunks to protect yourself. No bear would dare....

Just make sure they don't get excited in your rig on the way out.

A mining partner or two, a dog, and a 30-06 are in order. I like bells too.
Naps are wasted on toddlers, only an adult can appreciate them. Looking for mine now.

Offline Chuxgold

  • PPT Invited
  • *****
  • Posts: 819
  • Province/State: Naches Washington
  • Kudos: 10
  • The thinker.
Re: Is panning in Grizzly country safe??
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2010, 06:14:13 AM »
No dogs no gun and hungry bears? 1+1=diner for the bears. especially since your going out for the first times. But that is just fear talking isnít it? Odds are you'll have little trouble thou if you follow advice well. And can read. I'd offer some of the for mentioned if it was not such a wild subject for me. But one reoccurring lesson sticks out. Do not pan with your back to the woods with your head stuck down in a noisy creek.
One other would be buy a gun!! dues not have to be a pistol or some high caliber. shot guns are probably the best being more cop friendly for there lack of range and accuracy. And with that! never shoot to kill. Always take a front shoulder or leg out from under it first. Trying for more mite only wound it in a way that still allow it to launch its self over 50 feet.    
I personally like bears, cougar and anything that mite still find its way to keeping it real for me. Not much fight left in the old woods now. And even thou there mite be bears were your going. I'll bet its but a fraction of what was ones there. So you should have time to learn before mistakes are made.
The old timers had no city ways to leave behind. And were far more suited for the life that must at least be recognized that surrounds prospecting.
Or whatís the point otherwise? Buy some gold! Its safer, and you can buy all you want of it. And if you work real hard you can even afford all the luxuries and conveniences that will let you grow old.
I am 45 years old. Yet I feel 80. and for how I got to feeling like this. I am connected to memories of thematic events that I survived.
The gun fighter of the old days did not need to live past twenty to gain that inner respect for survival. As that is about when I got mine. 20 years ago.
Time is not the same out there when the life is fully lived. It leaves a richer history to the barer of those years.  
Give self, to gain wisdom,


  • Guest
Re: Is panning in Grizzly country safe??
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2010, 07:02:52 AM »
Bear Spray is convenient on a shoot from the hip holster....I don't like shinny bells myself (big cats might like them).
The buddy system or "Wolf Pack" works good.....even a mighty bear knows when they are out numbered and will most likely back down.

            - Wolf vs bear

            - young grizzly vs wolves



  • Guest
Re: Is panning in Grizzly country safe??
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2010, 07:45:45 AM »
This is a great post!  lol!!!@* lol!!!@*
 Has anyone ever thought of just slapping on a light weight saber? Not a bowie knife, I am talking a light weight sword. Personally, this would be a formidable weapon against a bear I think. Including a cougar. I am wondering if anyone has heard of attacking a bear with one?
How possible is it that a bear could get to you, wielding a sword?? Surely this would be adequate?

Offline GollyMrScience

  • PPT Invited
  • *****
  • Posts: 2951
  • Province/State: Near Edmonton Alberta
  • Kudos: 160
Re: Is panning in Grizzly country safe??
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2010, 07:49:43 AM »
PJ I spend a lot of time in bear country. Have survived a grizzly attack. Doesn't make me an expert but does add to the perspective.
In over 40 years in the bush I have only had a few bad encounters with bears and I average at least two close encounters per year. Pretty well every encounter I have had ends with the bear figuring out what I was and taking off. Your best defense is to stay aware - don't look or act like prey -don't breach bear etiquette with cubs or food.
Chucks advise about not sitting hunched over at the stream is good. Not only do you have a passing resemblance to something on the menu but you can't keep an eye out very well and neither you nor the bear can hear very well over the stream.
Things I have found effective and use for myself and my crews:
Make noise - the ding a ling of bells has caused bears to come in as curious. Discordant assertive noises. Yelling - laughing - walking loud etc. Predicatable and/or rythmic - repetitive sounds are more a curiosity than a deterrent. You don't have to sneak up on minerals so you don't have to be quiet. Make noise - take up yodelling (sp). Thats another reason to bring a partner - you can have an excuse to talk loud etc and the bears won't think you are crazy for talking to yourself.
A refillable air horn works very well - the type you use a bike pump to refill. You don't have to blow it lots - once or twice and the bear knows you are there. Keep it filled! They generally move to a quieter venue. As you move into a valley or cross any significant topography sound off. Horn and yelling. A good loud whistle works well and I also have a really loud marine air horn that can be blown into so no refills needed. Odds are you won't even see a bear. don't be surprised if a bear comes to check out the commotion  -they are curious by nature. Generally they will circle to get your scent and a look at whats making all the racket. Once they get a wiff of you they are usually eager to stay clear.
Do not sneak or scurry like a bear might jump you - walk and act like you own the place and are considering anything you encounter as dinner. Quads seem to keep most bears away though I have seen grizzlies take out their frustration and territorial aggression on equipment left for any length of time.
This rule changes if you run into a bear that hasn't read the memo about avoiding the two legged, stinky, noisey apes.
A face to face challenge - charge - or sneak attack can happen. Very rare.
A dog that you KNOW will act right around bears is handy.
I carry both a short barrel - pump action shotgun or Marlin 45-70 and bear spray. I would prefer not to shoot if possible but I admit the gun is my first grab in a tight situation. Seems to settle the nerves and project the right kind of energy/attitude. I carry the spray more as a last ditch thing and to hose down a bear that grabs a crew member where shooting into the fight could be a problem. Hose them both down and appologize later. I also like having the spray on me all the time in a holster. The gun may have been set aside as I work.
Frankly you hear people talk like bears are out to get ya but the reality is that you go about your business in an aware and assertive manner and you can't stand stand there constantly on guard like the Viet Cong could attack at any second.
One thing about noise makers. The hunters on here will know what I'm talking about.
A point source noise - in other words standing still and aiming the horn/whistle/yell - in a single direction is not as effective as doing a bit of a turn as you make the noise.
In the bush it can be hard to pinpoint a noise. By broadcasting the noise you create a doppler effect and an animal (humans included) can pinpoint you better. This helps prevent the bear from stumbling into you as he comes down to check out what the noise is. He will have a more exact position on you. Anyone who has done moosecalls knows how effective swinging the call can be.
Larry has mentioned the bear fence. Works surprisingly well. Too bad they didn't have a personnal force field model.
Just because you see a bear does not mean he is attacking. They are curious and smart and will often check you out but generally they stay well away and if they realize that you see them they often take off right away. That curious and smart bit is what makes bears such a pain - they are not predicatable - one runs while another charges - one walks right into camp like he owns the place and another moves to the next county as soon as the chopper lands.
I once had to help track a bear that had been wounded in an encounter with a tree planter. He claimed the bear was charging him. Tracked out it was obvious that the bear was over 75 yards away and had not done anything other than stand there and look at him. The fact that he shot the bear in the butt weakened his argument about the bloodthrsty mankiller as well. The tree planter would have been better served with a lesson on bear management from my Uncle George. Upon seeing a bear stick its head up over some bushes about 50 yards away from him as he split some wood he pointed his finger at it and yelled 'I SEE YOU YOU MANGY LITTLE SON OF A BITCH!!!" and he chucked a piece of wood in the general direction of the rapidly retreating bear. I have used that same technique - sometimes with stronger language - and it is a classic and effective deterrent.

What the heck - lets just keep mixin' stuff together till it blows up or smells REALLY bad!


Gear Pan
Gold Rat