Bear proofing, portable electric fence? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 03-03-2015   #1
Wondervu, CO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 492
Bear proofing, portable electric fence?

With increased bear activity on some of my favorite rivers I am looking into some bear proofing options.

Does anyone have experience with portable electric fences? Could you suggest how there are best deployed and what makes or models I should consider.

Any other strategies folks use to keep things safe? I have looked into replacing all my cooler and dry box with certified bear proof versions, but I would like to find a solution that was less than $1000. Plus the dry box & cooler upgrade would still leave my trash, my boat and some of my food storage bins unprotected.

Kind of like the flexibility of leaving everything on the boat and surrounding it with the fence.

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Old 03-03-2015   #2
Jenks, Oklahoma
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Do not know how effective bear fences are but have seen advertisements on the interweb for portable ones. Worth some google searches.

On a Rogue River camp below Blossom Bar, the camp we used on one trip had a bear fence, I assume put there by the Rangers. Sign on it recommended putting cooler and food boxes inside the fence. Probably like most boaters, we looked at the big coolers and dry boxes on the raft, took a few beverages out, and left the big boxes on the rafts.
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Old 03-03-2015   #3
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If there is something they are interested in on the other side of the fence (food) they aren't getting stopped by no portable electric fence.
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Old 03-03-2015   #4
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Colotucky, USA
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Being smart with your food storage, cleaning up your kitchen after using it and being aware of bear activity will go a long way. That and make sure you have people in your group who will stay up until 3am by the fire should keep em away for a bit
Who's your monkey?
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Old 03-03-2015   #5
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Charleston, West Virginny
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I honestly wouldn't trust one of those fences to deter a hungry or angry bear (a curious one-yes). I also wouldn't want to lug the battery around, set it up, risk people and dogs getting into etc. (peeing on it?)

I vote do everything pinemnky13 says plus carry bear spray and don't hesitate to spray. Educate problem bears that interacting with humans is a bad idea.
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Old 03-03-2015   #6
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Louisville, Colorado
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Plus one for bear spray. I used that stuff on two overly curious adolescent Grizzlies in Alaska and it work remarkably well. The local ranger told me good on ya! Said tat brother and sister needed to learn a lesson to stay away from people.

PS - works great to get play boaters off the surf wave too
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Old 03-03-2015   #7
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glenwierd, Co.
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People in sleeping bags are burritos of the bear world.

Nonsense, I have not yet begun to defile myself
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Old 03-03-2015   #8
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I’ve been getting in the habit of getting my cooler, food, garbage, toothpaste & etc. off my boat in bear country. Some folks I float with do the same and others take the stand that it’s not required, so no reason to do so.

I spent four seasons as a caretaker of a remote cabin along a western hiking trail and many hikers had bear problems. More than a few bears tearing into occupied tents for food. On one occasion, a hiker had an empty metal SIGG bottle with a used tea bag in the tent while sleeping. A bear tore into the tent to get the bottle and spent the next thirty-minutes putting about a dozen bight-holes into the bottle, but was not able to get the used tea bag.

On another occasion, hikers hide their food under the porch of my cabin and a bear tore my porch apart to get to the food, just a few feet from where I had been sleeping. I was pissed!

I've seen bears come close to river camp and have come across folks who had bears severely damage rafts getting to the food stored on them. Having seen multiple bear episodes over the years, I don’t want to risk my boat and equipment, so I’m taking the 15-minutes of prevention. I don’t need regulations telling me to do so.
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Old 03-03-2015   #9
Boulder, Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 12
We used a portable electric fence on Deso last summer. The bad bear came up to our camp kitchen for dinner for some cake, but a brave soul in our party (shoutout to Gremlin's wife) chased it away. We set up the fence, and in the morning, our kitchen was intact, but there were two spots with deep claw marks in the sand where the bear got shocked and turned away. So, our fence worked.

After the bear got denied access to the kitchen, he went to our boat and chewed a hole through an empty water jug, and climbed around on the other cataraft.

I would recommend the fence.
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Old 03-03-2015   #10
Redmond, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1973
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You Are In Bear Country
Aggressive bear behavior has been observed throughout the years in the Rogue River Canyon. Problem bear-human encounters have dramatically decreased since electric fences and food hoists were installed along the river and river users began consistently keeping a clean camp. By bear-proofing your camp, you are contributing to the effort of keeping the bears looking for their native food supply rather than human food or garbage. In the past, bears have been known to get into coolers, dry boxes, and trash; on and off the boat. Please keep your camps clean and secure your food and garbage.
Bears Oregon/Washington BLM



There are a lot of black bears on the Rogue.
Mostly smaller.
No Grizzles in Oregon.
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