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  1. #1
    takin' it to the streets malpag3's Avatar
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    Colorado Grizzlies?

    Hey all,

    As some of you might know, I'm moving to Denver from Detroit over the summer.

    One of my other loves is backpacking and camping. Eventually this might translate into bike-touring, but for now allay my worries.

    In Michigan, I'm the biggest (albeit smallest version) thing in the woods. But in Colorado I fear things...

    Are there many grizzlies in CO? I know there are mountain lions. Mountain lions, conceptually, scare the bejesus out of me. The fact that they stalk you really gets me.

    Now how am I going to convince my never-been-camping before g/f to go!
    "Any Movement That Forgets About Class Is a Bowel Movement" ~ 1-speed bike (AKA Bottleskup Flenkenkenmike AKA Aidan Girt)

  2. #2
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    No grizzlies, just black bears here, no big deal, learn proper backcountry food storage techniques and go camping.

    Here's a link I founds with one minute of googling:
    http://wildlife.state.co.us/Wildlife...gWithWildlife/
    http://wildlife.state.co.us/Wildlife...earCountry.htm (how-to for camping)

    And this says no, grizzlies are extinct in CO
    http://wildlife.state.co.us/Wildlife...rizzlyBear.htm

    ...

  3. #3
    cyclepath daredevil's Avatar
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    I know this doesn't add to the discussion but I'm proud to say that I live in an area so pristine that Grizzlies do still exist. I've even seen em up close and personal. But you are right, mountain lions are pretty scary. Carry on....
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  4. #4
    takin' it to the streets malpag3's Avatar
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    Ok, cool. Yeah, I've googled for sure, but it was coming up with some strange results.

    We have black bears here in MI too so I know how to bear bag and such.

    Thanks! That'll reassure the g/f...although...mountain lions...yikes!
    "Any Movement That Forgets About Class Is a Bowel Movement" ~ 1-speed bike (AKA Bottleskup Flenkenkenmike AKA Aidan Girt)

  5. #5
    Mountain Goat dark13star's Avatar
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    No grizzlies, as stated above, but food storage is an issue. I do a lot of backbacking and am usually camping at or around treeline. It is really hard to find the proper kind of tree for safe storage. Still, I would rather lose my food than have a bear in my tent at night.

    One other pointer. Don't leave your boots outside your tent when camping in CO. Porcupines will eat them for the salt in them. First-hand experience here and I have spoken to many other backpackers who have suffered the same fate.
    "I would be an historian as Herodotus was." Charles Olson
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  6. #6
    takin' it to the streets malpag3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dark13star View Post
    No grizzlies, as stated above, but food storage is an issue. I do a lot of backbacking and am usually camping at or around treeline. It is really hard to find the proper kind of tree for safe storage. Still, I would rather lose my food than have a bear in my tent at night.

    One other pointer. Don't leave your boots outside your tent when camping in CO. Porcupines will eat them for the salt in them. First-hand experience here and I have spoken to many other backpackers who have suffered the same fate.
    Good god man! Porcupines! that is mildly adorable (we have the Porcupine Mountains in the UP here). I definitely know that breaking a lace or damaging your boots well into a backpacking trip is kind of a horrendous experience.

    That is a great point though. Where do you critter bag if you're above tree-line!? I can't wait to deal with issues like this instead of "how much further until we can't hear the road!"

    I am kind of sad about leaving my backpacking partners, but I'm hopeful I can find new ones. It's a tough process though. I've had a few blind-ish backpacking dates that didn't go so well.
    "Any Movement That Forgets About Class Is a Bowel Movement" ~ 1-speed bike (AKA Bottleskup Flenkenkenmike AKA Aidan Girt)

  7. #7
    Mountain Goat dark13star's Avatar
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    I usually like to get the tent below treeline for lightning anyway. For above, there are two options other than in the tent. Carry a bear canister or bury it in the rocks and hope nothing finds it.

    It is always best to day-hike with people before committing to the backcountry. I have had similar experiences.

    Ok, gotta go get the bike ready...
    "I would be an historian as Herodotus was." Charles Olson
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  8. #8
    Senior Member hocker's Avatar
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    The last grizzly was killed in '79 by a bow hunter. There are black bears, I saw one while mtn biking at Elk Meadow in Evergreen last summer. My wife rolled up on it and thought it was a dog at first. Mtn Lions are a problem for sure. Twice I have walked up on dieing dear and we must have scared the lion away before it was finished. First time was at Deer Creek park in Jeffco, the other time was near Ned. Just don't hike at night or dusk, never let your dog off its leash, and try to always be with someone else. You should read up on how to defend yourself in case of an encounter.

    When camping make sure you put your toothpaste, soaps and the clothes you ate in, in your canister. I took a bear safety class before camping back country in Yellowstone, it was very useful.

  9. #9
    Senior Member climbhoser's Avatar
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    Some say they still see Grizz in the San Juans, the Uncompahgre and down by Pagosa Springs. I wouldn't be surprised, but there ain't many
    View my blog: climbhoser.blogspot.com

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    Generally speaking, the mountain lions want nothing to do with humans. If they did, we'd be in big trouble. And the black bears of Colorado also want nothing to do with humans, unless the bears are very hungry, which, unfortunately, they often seem to be. Black bears will be outa Colorado too before too long at the rate they are being killed.

    I'd guess that there are still a few grizzlies in the San Juans. People were certain that the grizzly killed in the 1950s was the last one in the state until the incident in 1979. So maybe we are about due for another confirmed sighting. The '79 bear was determined to have borne cubs during her life. In the 1980s biologists set up a remote camera in an attempt to capture the San Juan grizzlies on film. The camera malfunctioned, but the 1400-pound horse carcass they used as bait was dragged a great distance and devoured. The potential existence of grizzlies in Colorado is still the source of controversy.

  11. #11
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    I would worry more about the coyotes in the metro area than the bears and mtn lions in the foothills!!

    We have had two human attacks by coyote right in the middle of town, and just today a coyote snatched a Dachsund who was walking near the owner, in a local very frequented mostly kid's park.
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  12. #12
    cyclepath daredevil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    We have had two human attacks by coyote right in the middle of town, and just today a coyote snatched a Dachsund who was walking near the owner, in a local very frequented mostly kid's park.
    Yikes! What's the city doing to combat it? Or can they? And what's making them so bold and aggressive?

    edit: never mind, googled it. Lured by food and have lost fear of humans. Should have guessed that I spose.
    Last edited by daredevil; 05-08-09 at 08:02 PM.
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  13. #13
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil View Post
    Yikes! What's the city doing to combat it? Or can they? And what's making them so bold and aggressive?

    edit: never mind, googled it. Lured by food and have lost fear of humans. Should have guessed that I spose.
    The "food" is mostly pets in yards.

    One of the cities hired a sharp shooter, who, after 2 weeks or so managed to shoot one coyote.

    "They" say that shooting does no good, as the coyote is immediately replaced by another coming in from the hinterlands.

    As far as fear of humans, "they" are now promoting techniques to make them more fearful. SOmeone is advocating paint ball guns?????
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  14. #14
    takin' it to the streets malpag3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    The "food" is mostly pets in yards.

    One of the cities hired a sharp shooter, who, after 2 weeks or so managed to shoot one coyote.

    "They" say that shooting does no good, as the coyote is immediately replaced by another coming in from the hinterlands.

    As far as fear of humans, "they" are now promoting techniques to make them more fearful. SOmeone is advocating paint ball guns?????
    that reminds me of my uncle's deer farm. They hand raise these expensive deer to shoot, and then to put the fear of god back into them, my dad and crew borrow my paintball guns and go mark the hell out the poor *******s.

    =(
    "Any Movement That Forgets About Class Is a Bowel Movement" ~ 1-speed bike (AKA Bottleskup Flenkenkenmike AKA Aidan Girt)

  15. #15
    Senior Member hocker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    I would worry more about the coyotes in the metro area than the bears and mtn lions in the foothills!!
    I saw two coyotes on the Cherry Creek bike path near Monaco. They just stood there, didn't even blink as I went past yelling at them. When they have no fear whatsoever, it is real problem in residential areas.

  16. #16
    Hypoxic Member head_wind's Avatar
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    In town in Colorado Springs (really near the edge of town on Cheyenne Mountain) we currently have bear cub prints on our driveway. That scares me more than an adult as it is difficult to know if you are coming between the cub and mom. Last year DOW removed three mountain lions from our 'hood. One of the DOW guys explained that it was really unusual to have two yearlings and a two year old running together.

    Learn about precautions (many of which have been presented here) and be careful out there!! You will hear jokes about finding bear bells in bear scat but think about it!!

  17. #17
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    I was riding the southern Cherry Creek Trail today. There was a horse and a rider fording the creek to the west of me. I saw a coyote running in the field further west. About 2 minutes later, a horse comes screaming by - galloping at high speed - with no rider.

    Investigating, the rider had been dumped in the creek by the coyote-spooked horse. Fortunately, besides getting wet, the rider was OK. She said the horse would go home. I offered to get my wife for a ride home, but was refused.

    FWIW, the police 911 dispatchers don't know diddly about the trail - unless you can give them an "address" you are pretty out of luck. No addresses are available on the trail.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member climbhoser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    I was riding the southern Cherry Creek Trail today. There was a horse and a rider fording the creek to the west of me. I saw a coyote running in the field further west. About 2 minutes later, a horse comes screaming by - galloping at high speed - with no rider.

    Investigating, the rider had been dumped in the creek by the coyote-spooked horse. Fortunately, besides getting wet, the rider was OK. She said the horse would go home. I offered to get my wife for a ride home, but was refused.

    FWIW, the police 911 dispatchers don't know diddly about the trail - unless you can give them an "address" you are pretty out of luck. No addresses are available on the trail.

    Haven't paid that much attention, but I seem to remember mile markers. I live in Stroh, btw. I also have a dachsund

    Our big mutt has had encounters with the coyotes where he actually plays with them. Yes. Seriously. Just north of Stroh Rd. on the pathway.

    Grew up in the Springs at the mouth of Cheyenne Canyon. We used to have black bear and mt. lion visits frequently. Don't hear of 'em or see 'em as much E. of the S. Platte, but a friend who rides lives by Deer Creek Canyon and sees 'em both lots. I wouldn't worry about them on a road on a bike. On foot, maybe the cats up high, but never bears. There are cat attacks every year.
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  19. #19
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by climbhoser View Post
    Haven't paid that much attention, but I seem to remember mile markers. I live in Stroh, btw. I also have a dachsund

    Our big mutt has had encounters with the coyotes where he actually plays with them. Yes. Seriously. Just north of Stroh Rd. on the pathway.

    Grew up in the Springs at the mouth of Cheyenne Canyon. We used to have black bear and mt. lion visits frequently. Don't hear of 'em or see 'em as much E. of the S. Platte, but a friend who rides lives by Deer Creek Canyon and sees 'em both lots. I wouldn't worry about them on a road on a bike. On foot, maybe the cats up high, but never bears. There are cat attacks every year.
    Mile markers don't do you much good unless you happen to be keeping track of them, or are right in front of one when you need to call 911. I wasn't "tracking" them yesterday - sorry, I was just enjoying my ride.

    This occurred between the Stroh Bridge and the new Hess bridge.
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