Equipped To Survive Equipped To Survive® Presents
The Survival Forum
Where do you want to go on ETS?

Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#293634 - 09/30/19 06:29 PM Bear Attacks – Killer Statistic That May Surprise
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1179
Loc: Alaska
A view from Alaska, from a couple of years ago.
Bear Attacks – Killer Statistic That May Surprise You
Quote:
We all know a couple of great stories, usually dramatic, that we didn’t experience first hand. Outdoor media latches onto these stories and dramatic bear encounters have historically been good sellers.
-----------------snip--------------------
A cruise into any outdoors related online forum and there will be hundreds upon hundreds of threads about bear attacks, bear defense weapons or bear defense strategy for every fatality.
Go find a thread about personal flotation devices or packing an epinephrine pen and you’ll probably come up very short by comparison. The numbers are certainly not proportional to the 3,582 people who drowned or the 48 people who died from anaphylactic shock following a bee sting.
_________________________
"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."
-Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz

Top
#293635 - 09/30/19 09:49 PM Re: Bear Attacks – Killer Statistic That May Surprise [Re: AKSAR]
clearwater Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 1161
Loc: Channeled Scablands
I always carry an epi-pen when leading backcountry trips. Always make sure everyone has a properly fitted life jacket on raft trips. However there is often resistance by those in charge to bringing bear spray or firearms when in bear country. I have been in only one situation where we needed an EPI-Pen, but nearly a half dozen where bears were threatening. It all depends on where you visit or live. Bow hunters in Western Montana should have a firearms or bear spray. Backcountry skiers there can substitute an avalanche beacon.

Top
#293637 - 10/01/19 01:31 AM Re: Bear Attacks – Killer Statistic That May Surprise [Re: AKSAR]
gonewiththewind Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1517
Do some research into the media. There are some good resources. Drama and sensationalism ALWAYS wins over fact. That is regardless of the subject area, I might add.

Top
#293638 - 10/01/19 04:11 AM Re: Bear Attacks – Killer Statistic That May Surprise [Re: AKSAR]
Phaedrus Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2666
Loc: Big Sky Country
I realize bear attacks are pretty rare statistically. But of course the stats don't matter much if you're the one getting attacked. There have been four Grizzly bear attacks within 70 miles of my front door in the last two weeks! The bear is believed to have been shot during the last attack (yeah, officials think all four attacks were by the same animal) so it may either be dead or wounded and even more dangerous. Regardless of the specific figure one wants to assign to the odds I'll be toting bear spray and a firearm until the risk of running into a bear drops a bit more (ie later in the winter).

It's not the odds, it's the stakes. Warning! Do not click on the link unless you have a strong stomach. eek
_________________________
“I'd rather have questions that cannot be answered than answers that can't be questioned.” —Richard Feynman

Top
#293639 - 10/01/19 12:21 PM Re: Bear Attacks – Killer Statistic That May Surprise [Re: AKSAR]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7290
Loc: southern Cal
The article referenced talks about the most common problem: trips, stumbles, and falls. I had linked to stats that give the common occurrence of falls into hot springs in Yellowstone, an issue relatively unique to that region.

Here is another hot spring occurrence: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/man-su...yser/ar-AAI5JeI

Notable in this instance is likely involvement of alcohol, something I have seen repeatedly in incidents in which I have been involved. I drink a whole lot less than I used to.


Edited by hikermor (10/01/19 12:21 PM)
_________________________
Geezer in Chief

Top
#293640 - 10/01/19 07:39 PM Re: Bear Attacks – Killer Statistic That May Surprise [Re: AKSAR]
Phaedrus Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2666
Loc: Big Sky Country
I quit drinking almost seven years ago (in a few days it will be seven grin). Drinking was at the root of a good amount of the stupid things I've done. Lots of things in the woods that can injury you- falls, water, animals, fire, etc and all are more likely to harm you if you're drunk.
_________________________
“I'd rather have questions that cannot be answered than answers that can't be questioned.” —Richard Feynman

Top
#293662 - 10/04/19 03:23 AM Re: Bear Attacks – Killer Statistic That May Surprise [Re: AKSAR]
Robert_McCall Offline
Stranger

Registered: 12/27/14
Posts: 17
There is plenty of misdirection from the other side of the bear argument, despite their efforts to appear to be purely data driven.

- Cardiovascular disease is listed as more deadly than bear attacks. True enough. But people are subject to disease 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, every year of their lives. All Americans are subject to cardiovascular disease, but only a tiny minority are exposed to bears. What is the exposure time to bear country, even by hardcore hunters in Montana? 5 days a year? 3 days a month? But when you ARE exposed, there is a nontrivial risk. Comparing bear attack rates with disease rates, without a corresponding correction for the difference in exposed population, is a slight of hand trick.

- Slips/trips/falls are certainly more common than bear attacks. But beyond a risk's frequency, you must also assess its impact. If I slip on the trail, it's likely not a big deal. If a griz comes up on my elk kill, won't you agree that the stakes are far higher?

- The article lists DEATHS by bear attack per year. But you can have your life ruined without dying. In between the two extremes of "I was unscathed" and "I died", there is a very wide spectrum of "I was mauled and my life will never be the same, physically and emotionally".

- "A cruise into any outdoors related online forum and there will be hundreds upon hundreds of threads about bear attacks, bear defense weapons or bear defense strategy for every fatality." Really? There are HUNDREDS of threads on ANY outdoors forum about bear attacks? Hyperbole much? That's a bad look for a supposedly rational and data driven author.

I've spent 4 seasons in Montana and Wyoming during the bears' hyperphagic phase, where they are especially assertive about food and space before the onset of winter. I practice all the bear-aware methods and have still found myself within 20 meters of a huge griz. We managed to exit safely. But part of my toolset was a can of bear spray on every member of the party, prior live fire practice with the spray, and an effective firearm that I am expert with. It's not a guarantee but I won't operate in that environment without those tools.

And I'm not wrong for making that choice.

Top
#293665 - 10/04/19 04:28 AM Re: Bear Attacks – Killer Statistic That May Surprise [Re: AKSAR]
Phaedrus Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2666
Loc: Big Sky Country
Well said, Robert McCall. Most folks I know that have spent their entire lives in Montana or Idaho that spend a lot of time in the woods have had a run in or encounter with a bear or lion. A buddy of mine worked for the forest service for just three or four years yet still had several close encounters. As you say, the fall and spring can be especially interesting as bears are coming of or preparing to hibernate.

I don't want to exaggerate the risk but you make a great point. Heart disease is a risk 24/7/365. Most folks spend hundreds or even thousands of hours per years their vehicle driving so that risk is obvious. You can only be at risk of a bear attack while you're on their turf...at least most of the time. In Missoula a 900 lb Grizz was tranked in the garage of an urban home. While I lived in Coeur d'Alene, ID a mountain lion was treed in a park downtown and had to be tranked (after which it fell out of the tree and died, much to the angst of the local tree huggers).

It feels to me like present management practices are bringing bears and humans into contact a lot more than in the past. Part of this is politics so I won't go there but it's something to aware of. Especially in Montana, Wyoming, and parts of Idaho and CO.
_________________________
“I'd rather have questions that cannot be answered than answers that can't be questioned.” —Richard Feynman

Top
#293666 - 10/04/19 04:32 AM Re: Bear Attacks – Killer Statistic That May Surprise [Re: Robert_McCall]
Phaedrus Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2666
Loc: Big Sky Country
Originally Posted By: Robert_McCall


- The article lists DEATHS by bear attack per year. But you can have your life ruined without dying. In between the two extremes of "I was unscathed" and "I died", there is a very wide spectrum of "I was mauled and my life will never be the same, physically and emotionally".


Very true. I don't mean to be a sensationalist and I have posted it before but check out this story! Harrowing! CAUTION- The link contains graphic pictures of the victim, and you may not want to them. Be warned! eek
_________________________
“I'd rather have questions that cannot be answered than answers that can't be questioned.” —Richard Feynman

Top
#293684 - 10/04/19 03:50 PM Re: Bear Attacks – Killer Statistic That May Surprise [Re: Phaedrus]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7290
Loc: southern Cal
A great deal of the problem is the growing urban-wild land interface. just as people are building further into wild lands and increasing their exposure to fires, they are also in closer contact with the wild life, whether it be chipmunks or bears. The basic problem is too many people on a non-expanding planet. And that is the basis for many of our difficulties.
_________________________
Geezer in Chief

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >



Moderator:  Alan_Romania, Blast, cliff, Hikin_Jim 
July
Su M Tu W Th F Sa
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31
Who's Online
0 registered (), 86 Guests and 1 Spider online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
MarcusPetz, CBlackRaven, TnSweetie, Sundiver70, Keh
5320 Registered Users
Newest Posts
Cash is king
by Roarmeister
Yesterday at 07:28 PM
Smallest possible survival kit
by Phaedrus
Yesterday at 01:19 AM
Why Are We Preparing?
by TeacherRO
Yesterday at 12:33 AM
I'm Moving Out of Hell
by TeacherRO
Yesterday at 12:31 AM
Hikers, protective gear requirements, and SAR
by Phaedrus
Yesterday at 12:14 AM
What did you do today to prepare?
by chaosmagnet
07/02/20 07:48 PM
Bunny Ears Figure-8 Loop Knot w tutorial link
by TonyE
06/29/20 04:50 PM
Boring gear
by chaosmagnet
06/29/20 01:29 PM
Newest Images
Tiny knife / wrench
Handmade knives
2"x2" Glass Signal Mirror, Retroreflective Mesh
Trade School Tool Kit
My Pocket Kit
Glossary
Test

WARNING & DISCLAIMER: SELECT AND USE OUTDOORS AND SURVIVAL EQUIPMENT, SUPPLIES AND TECHNIQUES AT YOUR OWN RISK. Information posted on this forum is not reviewed for accuracy and may not be reliable, use at your own risk. Please review the full WARNING & DISCLAIMER about information on this site.