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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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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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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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Boy Howdy!
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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
 

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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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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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People in sleeping bags are burritos of the bear world.

Nonsense, I have not yet begun to defile myself
 

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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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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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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.
From
Bears Oregon/Washington BLM

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============

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

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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.
Ask any Alaska fishing/hunting guide, electric fences are required gear for the remote camps I have been to. Once a bear, dog or human touch a fence they will never do it again. It is a real education for bears in what to avoid with little chance of injury to anyone or any animal. Nothing IMHO will stop a angry bear other than a very big gun and that is hard on the bear. One little strand of wire 3 feet off the ground will keep bears, horses, cows and axe murders out of your camp. The fence will also discourage drunk rafters from peeing beside your tent.
All that said I do not carry one. A clean camp (groover and trash a long ways from camp at night) and banging on a pot has always worked for me.
 

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For another raft I purchased a few years ago, I went with a RECRETEC dry box. Later, Timmy (RECRETEC) upgraded my box to be an IGBC certified Bear Resistant container for a very reasonable price. Note: He can only upgrade RECRETEC boxes, not other brands of boxes.

My coolers are the YETI SHERPA (previous non-bear model) and an ICEKOOL. I take a target hardening approach and tightly wrap 3-4 well spaced cam straps around the top and bottom of cooler, then tie an overhand knots near the cam buckles. I hope the straps are enough to slow down the bear and make it hard enough and less appealing, so the bear moves over to the light weight IGLOO nearby. My YETI SHERPA could easily survive a bear encounter, it just doesn’t lock like the newer model.

The electric fence may be the best target hardening approach for the pile of coolers and food river runners float with. Backpacking, I always (when possible) hang my food from a tree and also have a Kevlar bear bag and a bear container. In reality, this approach is just not practical for river running.
 

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I have a small unit that takes two D cell batteries , fits in my hardshell, and has worked great at keeping the wildlife out of my food and the likes. I accidentally touched it when I set it up and flew backwards several feet and landed on my ass. Two little D batteries can pack quite a punch.
 

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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.

That bear fence really worked well! That bear should have been scared off by the airhorn and wild woman chasing it far into the woods but he came back nonetheless. He checked the rafts even though everything was off of them and inside the bear fence. It had rained that evening so he got a good jolt from the wet sand. I would recommended using a bear fence on Deso.


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The unit I use is a havahart ss-2. I run a ground wire right next to the hot wire, it doubles the punch. I was sleeping near this set up one night and woke to a loud bang and bright flash, but the critter that hit that wire was long gone. I tested it before I took it on the river to make sure it might work. If you do this, make sure you are sitting down in a comfortable chair first and a carpeted floor helps when the unit flies through the air as you fling back into the chair. There was a spark a good half inch long that enlightened me.
 

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Just put all your beer cans in a pile a few feet for your tent. When the bears come they will dig through the cans and make noise. Then, just crawl out of bed and chase the bear off. Its worked for me for years.
 

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I have a 20 mile solar fencer that I use for my horses. it gets your attention when you bump it, and makes your eyes flutter. I'm sure it would deter a curious bear. but I wouldn't trust it in early spring with a super hungry bear. its not very big, has a built in 6v battery, so you don't have to lug around a battery. I just use the little fiberglass poles. if I can pack it with me on my horse, you can pack it on a raft no problem. They run a couple hundred dollars though ( I think mine was $250).

I personally just keep a clean camp. trash is in a 5 gallon bucket stored away from everything else at night. coolers and dry box with the exception of the kitchen box usually stays on the boats. I don't imagine a bear messing with coolers or dry boxes if they are sealed.
 

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One gets a very good education each time a bear comes into camp and decides it's hungry. I've been warned about leaving coolers and dry boxes in the boat and had a bear tear up a boat trying to get at what was inside.
I've also had a team member not listen to the discussion about no food, drink or toothpaste in the tent. Then had a bear decide it was interested.
Practicing good bear since is like wearing your PFD when on the water.



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