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Old 05-01-2009   #11
St George, Utah
Paddling Since: 1974
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 48
I have run Deso 2 to 3 times a year for the last 25 years. I have seen signs of bear on almost every trip in the early part of the season. From June to the end of Aug hardly any sign,however last year while filling waterjugs at Rock Creek we watched a cinnimon bear waiking downstream river left along the rapid that was cool. 2 years ago I gave some food and ice to a group from Aspen that had caught some catfish and left the guts along the beach above coal creek ( A direct invitation to the bear world) they lost most everything they had left. Good thing it was close to the end of the trip. Keep a clean food free camp at night and you will have a fantastic trip.

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Old 05-01-2009   #12
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 103
Last time I was down there, a couple of years ago, we saw one bear at Moonshine. The rangers warned us off of camping at one camp, I think it was the one above 3 fords (Is that Coal Creek?). We had a bunch of small kids with us, so we didn't camp there.

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Old 05-01-2009   #13
TakemetotheRiver's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 05
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,477
Originally Posted by alanbol View Post
The rangers warned us off of camping at one camp, I think it was the one above 3 fords (Is that Coal Creek?).
It's Wire Fence.
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Old 05-01-2009   #14
St George, Utah
Paddling Since: 1974
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 48
Wire fence is just north of three fords.
I have a 5 spots on my June 19th trip if anyone is interested. It will be a non drinking trip with kids
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Old 05-01-2009   #15
Colorado Springs Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 254
We had a bear wandering into our camp below Rock Creek once and I think at least one of the incidents (I remember two) happened in that area. There are some mulberry trees there that the bear liked. In spite of the fact that the bear was obviously habituated to people we didn't have a problem but we didn't toss fish guts around camp either .
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Old 05-09-2009   #16
Dolores, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 49
Originally Posted by penguin View Post
Thanks everybody. This is about what I figured: basic precautions. In the Sierras we've learned to be armed with capcacin spray, paintball guns, etc. because bears (and the people who inadvertantly fed them with garbage) have created a really bad situation of dependancy.

Did Deso in July. We camped at Rock Creek Ranch, and the mulberry and apricot trees were full of perfectly ripe fruit (YUM!). Early in the morning I thought I'd go get some apricots for breakfast, thinking how amazing it was that there were no bears or bear sign in the orchard. About an hour later a bear swam across the river and made a bee line for the fruit trees about 20 yards down the river from us.

We just kept a clean camp, and no food/toothpaste etc in tents.
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Old 05-09-2009   #17
castle rock, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 203
The place nols trip that had the person drag from the sleeping bag was right above wire fence. The night after My ob trip camped there and stayed over there two days and did not have any problems and saw no sign of bears. I have been down there many tmes and have only seen two bears. One at rock creek and one just up stream of the take out. Just be smart and just an extra reason to leave a clean camp!
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Old 05-10-2009   #18
The next zone, .
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,200
Originally Posted by peak View Post
I think there was one incident that got everybody all crazy about bears in deso a few years back, a funny incident too. some NOLS kid wanted dreads, so he put honey in his hair, and while he was sleeping the bear pulled him out of his sleeping bag by his head...

Now that is some funny shit.... I dont even think you could make up a story like this!! Thanks for the laugh...
"I feel better than any other time when I am in the mountains and uh I cant explain it ya know...." - Shawn Farmer..........
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Old 05-15-2009   #19
pinetree's Avatar
Cedar City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1963
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 33
I think the honey story has been around for years, probably a backcountry legend.

A friend runs commercial trips down Deso. 4 (?) years ago one of his clients was bitten while in his sleeping bag. He chased it away with some homemade M-80s another friend had given to him (effective, not recommended). He had bears on his rafts trying to get in the coolers, in the kitchen, etc. He said most of the incidents have been at river right camps, where most folks stay.
In life, pain is unavoidable, suffering is optional.
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Old 05-21-2009   #20
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Winter Park, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 110
With a 6/18 launch, I'd think that Mosquito's will be more of a problem than bears (be sure you bring plenty of repellent and netting isn't a bad idea either ). I agree with everyone that a clean camp is a happy camp...

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