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Menyanthana
02-25-2008, 09:30 PM
Would it be possible for a bear to cause real harm to an adult man who is a skillful fighter? (With a sword or a bow. It is fantasy ;))
And how could a bear become aggressive enough to do so? (Without the man attacking. I read that bears do not taste well, so it would be stupid to attack one)

Prawn
02-25-2008, 09:41 PM
Yes. I suggest you check out the movie Grizzly Man.

Kathie Freeman
02-25-2008, 09:44 PM
And how could a bear become aggressive enough to do so?

Just get between her and her cub!!!

I read that bears do not taste well (I think you mean taste good)

Some people do eat bear meat, but I think not very many.

Miguelito
02-25-2008, 09:49 PM
Yes. Watch "Grizzly Man."

When it comes to grizzlies, if it wants you dead, you're going to die. Good luck defending yourself with a sword. Its skull is too thick for most bullets to penetrate. I imagine a sword or an arrow wouldn't do much better (unless there's some kind of magic behind it).

A lot of the time, if they attack, it's just territorial. It may feint a charge. Or, if it's beating the living hell out of you, it doesn't want to kill you, just exert its dominance.

You might be able to fight off a black bear. You'd have to already be big and make yourself enough of a problem that it thought you weren't worth the while killing.

You're really screwed if you're attacked by a polar bear. It doesn't worry about dominance, just finding food.

WildScribe
02-25-2008, 09:49 PM
Yes. I suggest you check out the movie Grizzly Man.

I was going to say that! Funny, in a sick, sad sort of way.

Menyanthana
02-25-2008, 09:55 PM
And how could a bear become aggressive enough to do so?

Just get between her and her cub!!!

My MC is too intelligent to do that on purpose. And he knows the forests...

At the moment, I have a version where he is sleeping, the bear is attracted by food and goes looking for more...
And then the hero awakens, tries to get away, the bear attacks him...and so on.
As the bear is killed in the end and I do not want to have orphan cubs in my story...there can be no cub.
Any other reasons for a bear to attack a person?


@Prawn: As far as I understand it, the man who lived with the grizzlies was not prepared to fighting...I am perfectly aware of the fact, that an average bear is able to kill an average man.



Edit: Okay, it seems as if bears are far too dangerous...hm...I want my MC to be wounded, but not too badly.
Thank you for the answers

Horseshoes
02-25-2008, 10:00 PM
A bear becomes aggressive enough to harm you because: you surprised it; it felt you threatened it, its children or its territoy; it's hungry, ill or injured.
They taste fine if they've been eating berries, not fish and weren't on a major adrenaline burn when they died.

Bear can certainly take a dude with a sword and a bow, but then, the right dude can take the bear w/ a bow. (Sword sounds too close for fun.)

Don Allen
02-25-2008, 10:06 PM
Even a little ol'brown bear can kill a man if provoked, rogue males can be aggressive but most bears out foraging tend to avoid confrontations unless as stated their are little ones involved. To be honest, if an outdoorsmen was confronted by a bear he would know to remain perfectly still and let the bear do his thing, I think it would be rare for a unprovoked attack. In the case of the grizzly man, the guy knew that this rogue bear had started hanging around the pack and if he would have used common sense he would have left the area.

aka eraser
02-25-2008, 10:09 PM
Most healthy animals will not attack a human unless provoked - and that includes bears. (And certainly, coming between a sow and her cubs is considered a grave provocation indeed.)

99% of bears want nothing to do with humans and will avoid them if they can. If you want a most believable scenario, you should have the bear be injured, weakened, and therefore acting out of character (not avoiding man.) Broken, infected teeth or an injured limb are often the reason for attacks on humans. Illness and injury can make their normal prey too difficult to kill.

A weakened animal would also add credence to your hero's ability to kill it with a sword.

Menyanthana
02-25-2008, 10:19 PM
Most healthy animals will not attack a human unless provoked - and that includes bears. (And certainly, coming between a sow and her cubs is considered a grave provocation indeed.)

99% of bears want nothing to do with humans and will avoid them if they can. If you want a most believable scenario, you should have the bear be injured, weakened, and therefore acting out of character (not avoiding man.) Broken, infected teeth or an injured limb are often the reason for attacks on humans. Illness and injury can make their normal prey too difficult to kill.

A weakened animal would also add credence to your hero's ability to kill it with a sword.


Okay, thank you, that might work...I have two men to fight against the bear, but the second one wakes up later.

What kind of wounds would the bear's attack probably cause? (Given the bear doesn't manage to break the hero's neck at once. At the moment I have described some deep scratches...is that possible? Or would there at least be broken bones?)

Don Allen
02-25-2008, 10:25 PM
Bears bite and tear, holding down prey with from claws and stripping skin and meat from the flesh, positivly gruesome. but that's when eating. In a battle the bear would more than likely go for the neck, a can imagine a big gaping neck wound with the carodic artery pumping blood gushing all over the place. Damn, I'm hungry now....

Appalachian Writer
02-25-2008, 10:30 PM
A healthy bear can run up to 35 miles an hour, has six to eight inch claws, and the pressure from a bite can rank up to 2000 PSI. Your swordsman will not come out of this battle, even with a sick bear, unscathed. His sword would have to be extraordinarily long, a broadsword or something, and even with multiple punctures, I'm sure he'd have to penetrate the bear's heart in order to successfully do away with the animal. Even a black bear can stand up to six feet and a grizzly more than that. Perhaps the animal might do itself in in a more believable way by rearing to full height and then falling on your MC's upturned blade. It would be easier to pierce the heart in that manner, and there could be some interesting efforts to dislodge the dead animal afterwards. Bears are quite heavy.

C.bronco
02-25-2008, 10:39 PM
I recommend watching The Edge with Anthony Hopkins (great movie). I haven't heard about the black bears in my area attacking adults, but I do hear about them attacking dogs and small children.
When I lived in the Poconos, some vacationers fed the bears, or left their garbage cans open. They would return the next season to find that a bear or bears had broken into their homes and ransacked them while in search of food.

Menyanthana
02-25-2008, 10:44 PM
A healthy bear can run up to 35 miles an hour, has six to eight inch claws, and the pressure from a bite can rank up to 2000 PSI.


Ahh...wounds caused by eight inch claws sound interesting. :)

But regarding your opinions, I think a bear is far too dangerous...after all, I want my characters wounded, not dead.
(And there is no possibility to take them to a hospital)
It just fitted so nicely, as the main character left food at his camping place, which has to be punished...

C.bronco
02-25-2008, 10:45 PM
Then choose a large buck. They can do a lot of damage.

DWSTXS
02-25-2008, 10:49 PM
A healthy bear can run up to 35 miles an hour, has six to eight inch claws, and the pressure from a bite can rank up to 2000 PSI. Your swordsman will not come out of this battle, even with a sick bear, unscathed. His sword would have to be extraordinarily long, a broadsword or something, and even with multiple punctures, I'm sure he'd have to penetrate the bear's heart in order to successfully do away with the animal. Even a black bear can stand up to six feet and a grizzly more than that. Perhaps the animal might do itself in in a more believable way by rearing to full height and then falling on your MC's upturned blade. It would be easier to pierce the heart in that manner, and there could be some interesting efforts to dislodge the dead animal afterwards. Bears are quite heavy.

exactly.
If you are talking about a one on one fight. No man could take a bear. If he's charging you, you'd have to get extremely lucky and pierce his heart before he slammed into you. And he would too. If he's running at 30 mph or some such, and you were close enough to pierce his heart with that sword, he'd still run you over before he died. Even then, he'd still probably swipe you a couple times with those razor sharp claws, and then if you were lucky enough to still be alive...you'd probably be bleeding profusely, have several broken bones and be unable to hike out of whatever wilderness area you were in before you died. Not to mention if he did slice you with those claws, septicema would set in very quickly and finish you off.

They can outrun, outclimb, and out swim any man. They outweigh you 4 to 1, maybe 6 or 8 to one. If he's pissed, and you're in his way. You are dead meat.

Magic swords? that's just BS.

DWSTXS
02-25-2008, 10:51 PM
Ahh...wounds caused by eight inch claws sound interesting. :)

But regarding your opinions, I think a bear is far too dangerous...after all, I want my characters wounded, not dead.
(And there is no possibility to take them to a hospital)
It just fitted so nicely, as the main character left food at his camping place, which has to be punished...

Give the character a snake-bite. It hurts. It would swell up like crazy. Make it hard for them to walk. Plus, thye wouldn't know if the snake injected the venom, so they still have to get to a hospital asap. I had a friend that got bit on the finger by a rattler in a woodpile. He didn't die, but said it was so much pain he wanted to.

Menyanthana
02-25-2008, 11:01 PM
Give the character a snake-bite. It hurts. It would swell up like crazy. Make it hard for them to walk. Plus, thye wouldn't know if the snake injected the venom, so they still have to get to a hospital asap. I had a friend that got bit on the finger by a rattler in a woodpile. He didn't die, but said it was so much pain he wanted to.


It is fantasy. There are no hospitals. They could go back to the village of the MC; but that would be boring...after all, they just started. (That is why it is probably a stupid idea to confront them with a bear. Then again...who wants to read a fantasy book where the most dangerous enemy is a bear?)
And I have to get the two characters to work together. I liked the idea that main character is wounded, his life is hin danger...then he is saved by the other character (who hates him, but has to keep him alive) who then also is wounded, and after the fight is over has to ask the main character to take care of the wound.

Okay, I could use a giant spider or so...but after reading some books, I consider real animals to be more interesting. Even if it is more work to describe them correctly.

Tsu Dho Nimh
02-25-2008, 11:19 PM
Would it be possible for a bear to cause real harm to an adult man who is a skillful fighter? (With a sword or a bow. It is fantasy ;))
And how could a bear become aggressive enough to do so? (Without the man attacking. I read that bears do not taste well, so it would be stupid to attack one)

Bears, depending on what they have been eating, can be delicious. Tastes like and can be cooked like pork, even to smoking it and having bear ham.

A mother bear with cubs is the most dangerous animal in the woods, because if she decides you are a threat to the cubs, she will do her level best to kill you. You will hear a grumbling snarl (maybe) and have a 400-900 pound animal charge straight towards you, knock you to the ground like you were a rag doll, pick you up in her jaws and shake you like a terrier with a rat. They are a lot faster than they look, and extremely strong. They flip over logs with one paw! They rip cars open to get at food inside! They can break the neck of a moose or elk with one swing of the paw.

If it's a grizzly, photo show that they "paddlefoot" as they charge ... swinging their heavily clawed front feet out to the side and then forward, in sort of a reaping motion, to maximize the chances of nabbing you.

As for a bear being able to cause real harm to a man armed ONLY with a sword or bow ... the man's best chance is to use the arrows and poke (not shoot, hold in hand and poke) the bear's eyes.

Bears are heavily covered in fat and fur, and you would have to be really lucky, because unless you manage to disable the bear with the first arrow or stroke, it's going to be an enraged wounded bear and then you are really in trouble. Hunters have died because they underestimated how hard bears are to kill.

My father, who was an expert shot and skilled tracker, used a 30.06 rifle with high velocity loads for bear hunting, and even then waited for a clear shot at the heart, from the side, from a reasonably safe distance.

Menyanthana
02-25-2008, 11:26 PM
Bears, depending on what they have been eating, can be delicious. Tastes like and can be cooked like pork, even to smoking it and having bear ham.

Interesting. It depends on what the bear has eaten? You need to chose the right time to kill them, then?

Tsu Dho Nimh
02-25-2008, 11:29 PM
At the moment, I have a version where he is sleeping, the bear is attracted by food and goes looking for more...

Edit: Okay, it seems as if bears are far too dangerous...hm...I want my MC to be wounded, but not too badly.
Thank you for the answers

Bears are prone to rip open tents and "taste" the campers, especially if there is food in the tent, sometimes try to drag them off. When that happens, you have deep puncture wounds on the shoulders from the fangs, torn scalp and some broken bones. Their claws aren't sharp, but they rip from blunt force - actually nastier wounds than a mountain lion leaves in terms of damage.

The other character can wake up at the fight and either drive off the bear - they don't like food that fights back, and you can rout them and force them to drop their prey if you attack them with a lot of noise.

No need to kill it ... as soon as the second character joins the fight, it will drop him and run. Carnivores can't risk getting wounded, so they abandon the field and gpo looking for easier meals.



"What kind of wounds would the bear's attack probably cause? (Given the bear doesn't manage to break the hero's neck at once. At the moment I have described some deep scratches...is that possible? Or would there at least be broken bones?)"

els
02-25-2008, 11:36 PM
I like the buck idea. Their hooves are very sharp and can do a lot of damage on someone (people who hit deer with their cars often make the mistake of going to check on the deer, instead of keeping a safe distance- they can get pretty badly sliced up by a thrashing deer), as well as their antlers. Bucks in rut have been known to attack people. Or what about a moose, or a wild boar?
Bears will also attack if they are surprised and feel cornered- even experienced woodsmen can make that mistake. This is why hikers out west will often carry a staff with a bell on it. The bell will wake a sleeping bear and they will get out of the area before the hikers come anywhere near them.

Menyanthana
02-25-2008, 11:37 PM
Bears are prone to rip open tents and "taste" the campers, especially if there is food in the tent, sometimes try to drag them off. When that happens, you have deep puncture wounds on the shoulders from the fangs, torn scalp and some broken bones. Their claws aren't sharp, but they rip from blunt force - actually nastier wounds than a mountain lion leaves in terms of damage.

The other character can wake up at the fight and either drive off the bear - they don't like food that fights back, and you can rout them and force them to drop their prey if you attack them with a lot of noise.

No need to kill it ... as soon as the second character joins the fight, it will drop him and run. Carnivores can't risk getting wounded, so they abandon the field and gpo looking for easier meals.


Mhh...okay. So, it would be okay to have one character wounded slightly while sleeping (some deep scratches at the shoulder maybe) and then the other character awakes, shouts loudly and causes the bear to run away?
Would that be logical?

Tsu Dho Nimh
02-25-2008, 11:41 PM
Interesting. It depends on what the bear has eaten? You need to chose the right time to kill them, then?

If you have that luxury, yes. The best time is in the fall, after they have been eating windfall apples for a week or two. Worst time is in the early spring, right after they leave hibernation because they are thin and the meat stinks. It would be out of desperation to shoot one then.

My father knew which orchards they were likely to be in, or would get a call from a farmer who noticed bear feces in the orchard and didn't want them moving on to the sheep pens and the chickens. He would figure out the trail they were using, sit where he had a clear, safe shot and wait for the bears to walk into the firing zone. It was usually one shot, one instantly dead bear. No drama, this was hunting for food.

We'd skin and butcher the bear (they look uncannily like humans after the fur and fat is off), render the fat for use like lard, and eat the meat or give oit to peoplewho needed it. Fur and claws went to people who used them ceremonially or for rugs. Skulls went to the Fish & Game guys for age and health determination ... nothing was left of the bear when we were done.

reigningcatsndogs
02-25-2008, 11:47 PM
When I worked in Banff National Park, we had both black bears and grizzleys. It was important to know the difference between the two. Under normal circumstances, a black bear with do anything to avoid confrontation. He will be drawn by food, he may get scrappy, but typically he will back down and run from you if you appear larger or more aggressive (unless she is protecting her young or feels totally trapped).
A grizzley bear will not back down if he feels threatened. If you run or try appear aggresive at all, you're in trouble. We have seen then actually shaking trees with people in them when they are mad, and a large male can knock a tree down.

They are possessive of their territories, the men are possessive of sows, the moms are possessive of babies, they will scrounge in anything to get food, and they hate to be startled (hence the bear bells on hiker's boots, or hikers will sing or make a lot of nosie so they don't startle one. Most will leave if they hear you coming). Like Eraser said, an unjured black bear would be the best bet. They are unpredictable, would try to fight, but depending on the injury would probably be unable to do much damage. If ithas a broken jaw (which does happen) the animal would be weak from not being able to eat, would be in pain, would not be able to bite.

mary (who has actualy kicked a black bear in the butt when it was in her garbage cans, and watched it run away, but who would never do that to a grizzley bear because she would have to change her name to stumpy).

ETA: and bear meat can be very tasty but is tough and gamey if not marinated or prepared properly.

Tsu Dho Nimh
02-25-2008, 11:51 PM
Mhh...okay. So, it would be okay to have one character wounded slightly while sleeping (some deep scratches at the shoulder maybe) and then the other character awakes, shouts loudly and causes the bear to run away?
Would that be logical?

Other character wakes, starts hitting the bear over the head with his shield or sword or the cooking pot and screaming at it, throwing dirt and rocks, or hitting it with firewood ... any sane bear is going to drop the food-that-fight and go find a nice log with grubs to eat.

We used to chase bears out of a campground near where I had a summer job by clanging pots and pans together and running towards them ... unlike humans, they don't mind leaving a fight they are losing.

Menyanthana
02-26-2008, 12:06 AM
Other character wakes, starts hitting the bear over the head with his shield or sword or the cooking pot and screaming at it, throwing dirt and rocks, or hitting it with firewood ... any sane bear is going to drop the food-that-fight and go find a nice log with grubs to eat.

We used to chase bears out of a campground near where I had a summer job by clanging pots and pans together and running towards them ... unlike humans, they don't mind leaving a fight they are losing.

This would be black bears, I assume?

The story takes place in late spring or summer, would they only skin the bear (If I use a black bear with broken jaw and they kill it), or would they also try to eat it?
Another important question is; can they carry the skin of a bear while travelling? I do not want to waste good skin, meat or claws...even in a story. ;)

(I am vegetarian, therefore I have no idea how good or bad meat can taste)

Appalachian Writer
02-26-2008, 12:26 AM
You might consider a canine preditor. For example, a lone wolf or a coyote, maybe even a small cat, like a lynx or bobcat, all of which can do some serious damage but all of which could be overcome by a voracious and well trained fighter, leaving some but not life threatening damage.

Sarpedon
02-26-2008, 12:27 AM
Most people aren't aware of this, but humans have a genetic disorder that makes our muscles weaker than those of other mammals. Pound for pound, virtually any animal will be stronger than a person. If you don't believe me, I suggest you read about people who have been in a fight with a chimpanzee. In spite of the fact that the chimp is half the size of the person, they win every time. Also, try going for a walk with a large dog who isn't well trained. Unless you have a choke chain, they'll pull you right off your feet when they see something they want to get.

A side effect of this is that other mammals have stronger skeletons, too, and resist damage better.

No human has a prayer at winning a close quarters fight with a bear. Sword or no sword. I wouldn't dare go against one with a bow, unless I were in an inaccessible spot. If I had to fight one one on one, I'd choose a pole-axe and kiss my ass goodbye.

Shwebb
02-26-2008, 01:41 AM
I've always enjoyed any bear meat I've ever eaten. To me, it tastes a lot like lamb--very heavy and greasy, very rich.

It it so true that bears will take on the flavor of whatever they eat! I have friends who lived in a commune in Alaska, and they'd eaten so much salmon that they were all excited when someone shot a bear. Problem was that the bear had been eating a lot of salmon, too. The bear tasted like salmon, only worse, since it was bear. :tongue

hammerklavier
02-26-2008, 06:42 AM
Absolutely. Lewis & Clark's expodition had some rough experiences with Grizzlies that really left them shaken. No one was killed, but they had guns.

JimmyB27
02-26-2008, 03:41 PM
Would it be possible for a bear to cause real harm to an adult man who is a skillful fighter? (With a sword or a bow. It is fantasy ;))
And how could a bear become aggressive enough to do so? (Without the man attacking. I read that bears do not taste well, so it would be stupid to attack one)
Only if you're Chuck Norris.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2XUgE6g7XU

GeorgeK
02-26-2008, 07:04 PM
you'd have to get extremely lucky and pierce his heart before he slammed into you.
.

Actually it wouldn't even be that good. Bear's heart rates are so slow that with a heart hit, it would still take them a minute or two to go down. A lucky hit through the heart and the guy in plate armor...The bear might take a minute to open the can of dinty moore stew before collapsing on his body all rolled up in the fetal position. If you want it to go down fast, you'd need to pith it, like an arrow through the eye, and even then you'd probably need to wiggle the arrow a bit to stir the brain into soup.

There is only one believable way to win a fight with a bear and that's to not be there or for the bear to believe it has won. (Which means you are left for dead and if you are lucky, you survive to tell the tale)

As far as eating goes, it used to be common to eat bear meat. If you killed it, or scavenged it, you ate it. Well done cooking will usually take care of the safety issues (except for polar bear livers, because they live off seals, that's poisonous to humans due to the massive storage of Vitamin A). The whole concept of not eating something becuase it tastes a little different than you are used to is a byproduct of a society that can afford to throw away food. That is a very very recent cultural change, not biological. Eating bear is no different than other animals (again, except for the liver of polar bears)

GeorgeK
02-26-2008, 07:17 PM
a lot like lamb--very heavy and greasy, very rich.:tongue


Ah, I'd bet that you've only had lamb from a grocery store, or from a woolly (A wool breed of sheep, which have been selectively inbred for wool rather than meat). Lamb and mutton from hair sheep and primitive sheep is very different, not greasy. Soay Sheep in particular (which I happen to raise) taste more like elk rather than what you get in the grocery store. If you like wooly, then you'll love hair sheep. Soay are also believed to be the last surviving vestiges of the first European sheep domestication.

DWSTXS
02-26-2008, 07:32 PM
Actually it wouldn't even be that good. Bear's heart rates are so slow that with a heart hit, it would still take them a minute or two to go down. A lucky hit through the heart and the guy in plate armor...The bear might take a minute to open the can of dinty moore stew before collapsing on his body all rolled up in the fetal position. If you want it to go down fast, you'd need to pith it, like an arrow through the eye, and even then you'd probably need to wiggle the arrow a bit to stir the brain into soup.

There is only one believable way to win a fight with a bear and that's to not be there or for the bear to believe it has won. (Which means you are left for dead and if you are lucky, you survive to tell the tale)

As far as eating goes, it used to be common to eat bear meat. If you killed it, or scavenged it, you ate it. Well done cooking will usually take care of the safety issues (except for polar bear livers, because they live off seals, that's poisonous to humans due to the massive storage of Vitamin A). The whole concept of not eating something becuase it tastes a little different than you are used to is a byproduct of a society that can afford to throw away food. That is a very very recent cultural change, not biological. Eating bear is no different than other animals (again, except for the liver of polar bears)

true.
Not to mention the fact that wild animals, when injured in a fight will fight even harder.
Humans get into a fight, see their own blood and immediately start getting 'shocked' at what has happened to them and begin giving up. Imagine if you are in a fight and an animal bites off two of your fingers. You would freak out so badly that it would seriously hamper your fighting style.
An animal does not stop to freak out when injured, it fights harder.

Bear vs, Man. I'll bet on bear every time.

GeorgeK
02-26-2008, 07:56 PM
true.
Not to mention the fact that wild animals, when injured in a fight will fight even harder.
Humans get into a fight, see their own blood and immediately start getting 'shocked' at what has happened to them and begin giving up. Imagine if you are in a fight and an animal bites off two of your fingers. You would freak out so badly that it would seriously hamper your fighting style.
An animal does not stop to freak out when injured, it fights harder.

Bear vs, Man. I'll bet on bear every time.

Right, people are pound for pound, probably the most frail critters around. Not many people go into a rage when threatened. We're more like opossums than wolverines, in that regard. We're just big enough and smart enough to use tools effectively so that the population survives. We also historically have waged war against predators, driving them out of the habitat.

Sarpedon
02-26-2008, 08:10 PM
Plus, swords are designed to kill humans. There are boar hunting swords, (used from horseback, not on foot! And the horse gets armor) but if you are going to kill large animals, the weapon of choice is the spear. I'd be extremely nervous going against even a wolf with a sword, and I've studied fencing for years.

I was just reading about bears on wiki, and it turns out that most Brown Bear attacks are self defense, but most black bear attacks (though very rare) are predatory in nature. Thus, if you are attacked by a black bear, don't play dead. Black bears are rarely more than 300 kg (660lbs!) and prefer to run away than fight.

Tsu Dho Nimh
02-26-2008, 08:11 PM
This would be black bears, I assume?

The story takes place in late spring or summer, would they only skin the bear (If I use a black bear with broken jaw and they kill it), or would they also try to eat it?
Another important question is; can they carry the skin of a bear while travelling? I do not want to waste good skin, meat or claws...even in a story. ;)

(I am vegetarian, therefore I have no idea how good or bad meat can taste)


The meat spoils quickly, and unless they had enough salt to heavily salt the skin, it would rot and stink in a day or two. They are going to get a couple of meals of gamy, stringy meat, and that's it.

If they "field dress" the bear, and hang the carcass from a high branch, they can notify a nearby village (or passing villager) that there is fur and meat at that locaiton. Good deed for them, if they are that sort.

And, yes, we were scaring black bears. There are no grizzlies this far south. Where I lived as a child, there were a few grizzlies and many black bear, so you had to be sure what you were messing with.

loiterer
02-26-2008, 08:57 PM
I'd never heard of Tim Treadwell and 'Grizzly Man' before this thread, but have now spent the last couple of hours reading about him. What a strange story.

DWSTXS
02-26-2008, 08:59 PM
I'd never heard of Tim Treadwell and 'Grizzly Man' before this thread, but have now spent the last couple of hours reading about him. What a strange story.

watch the documentary

Menyanthana
02-27-2008, 02:22 AM
The meat spoils quickly, and unless they had enough salt to heavily salt the skin, it would rot and stink in a day or two. They are going to get a couple of meals of gamy, stringy meat, and that's it.

If they "field dress" the bear, and hang the carcass from a high branch, they can notify a nearby village (or passing villager) that there is fur and meat at that locaiton. Good deed for them, if they are that sort.

And, yes, we were scaring black bears. There are no grizzlies this far south. Where I lived as a child, there were a few grizzlies and many black bear, so you had to be sure what you were messing with.


Thank you. :)
I am really glad I have found this forum - in Germany it would be hard to find someone who has seen a bear in wilderness.

If I may ask another question: would it be possible to distinguish between a black bear and a grizzly at night? (without light, of course)

Hm, maybe I should just rewrite the part about the bear and post it here for proofreading...problem is, I am not really good at English. :(

Sarpedon
02-27-2008, 02:26 AM
Yes, the brown bear is much larger, and has a fatter face, and is generally more powerfully built than the black bear. I think the ears of the black bear are more dog like.

els
02-27-2008, 02:39 AM
At night?

Back several years ago, I looked out my window and saw what I thought was a large dog in our back yard. It was trying to break into our chicken pen- very dark outside.
My dad (I was living at home then) grabbed his handgun and ran outside. A few minutes later we hear a shot, and then dad came in a little perturbed with me. "That wasn't a dog, it was a bear." (He'd shot to make noise and scare it off.)
This was a 300 lb black bear in the Maine woods. They tend to be territorial, and a neighbor shot him the following fall- last we saw of the bear. Still, down low on all 4s like that, in the darkness, it did look like a dog.

A grizzly is a lot bigger, but I would think it would still be hard to tell in the dark what exactly you are facing, hard to distinguish between types, although if you are in grizzly country it's a good bet that that's what you are dealing with.

One thing I've learned, after having several bear encounters as a kid/young adult, is that you can smell a bear in the woods, often, and if you've got a dog with you, every hair on the dog's spine will stand on end at the slightest whiff of bear scent. Bears have a very strong, greasy smell.
The bears I've been around have been VERY quiet. Squirrels and small birds hopping in the leaves make more noise going through the woods than a bear does. They are scary quiet, except that they huff a little when they are excited or curious. It's a deep, throaty breathy sound.

DWSTXS
02-27-2008, 02:52 AM
interestingly enough (or not) I just wrote a scene, a next-to-last chapter in my current WIP in which a man gets crossed up with a bear.

anyone brave enough to crit this chapter for me?

Menyanthana
02-27-2008, 02:58 AM
interestingly enough (or not) I just wrote a scene, a next-to-last chapter in my current WIP in which a man gets crossed up with a bear.

anyone brave enough to crit this chapter for me?

I am tempted to volunteer, but only because I am interested in reading it. :)

IceCreamEmpress
02-27-2008, 03:28 AM
Here's (http://sports.espn.go.com/outdoors/general/news/story?id=3027134) a recent story of a man who survived a bear attack. There are quite a few first-person accounts of bear attacks out there.

cress8
02-27-2008, 06:34 AM
A friend's son (in NC) went looking for his dog in the woods near his house. He was walking along, calling the dog, when a black bear attacked him completely without provocation. Apparently, cubs were nearby, but this guy had no clue; he was just calling the dog. Even in a fantasy, I wouldn't mess with a bear!

veinglory
02-27-2008, 06:37 AM
What kind of bear? It makes a big difference.

dreamsofnever
02-27-2008, 12:47 PM
Thank you. :)
I am really glad I have found this forum - in Germany it would be hard to find someone who has seen a bear in wilderness.

If I may ask another question: would it be possible to distinguish between a black bear and a grizzly at night? (without light, of course)

Hm, maybe I should just rewrite the part about the bear and post it here for proofreading...problem is, I am not really good at English. :(

From what I've seen, your English is excellent :)

Don't forget, I still owe you a favor for your translating skills, so if you ever want me to read something over for you, I'd be happy to.

Out of curiousity, is your book in English or German? :)

Menyanthana
02-27-2008, 01:40 PM
From what I've seen, your English is excellent :)

Don't forget, I still owe you a favor for your translating skills, so if you ever want me to read something over for you, I'd be happy to.

Out of curiousity, is your book in English or German? :)

Apart from some essays I had to write for my exams, I always use German. I think I could write understandable English, but it would lack style.

Tsu Dho Nimh
02-27-2008, 09:09 PM
If I may ask another question: would it be possible to distinguish between a black bear and a grizzly at night? (without light, of course)

If it runs when you fight back, it's a black bear. If it kills you when you fight back, it's a grizzly. :)

Black bears are smaller, have shorter snouts,

Grizzlies and brown bears have a distinctive shoulder hump when seen in profile ... it's to accomodate their larger, stronger front leg muscles. They have larger heads, bigger claws, but inless you have mooonlight you won't notice ... it will be a bear in the tent.

Menyanthana
02-27-2008, 09:29 PM
If it runs when you fight back, it's a black bear. If it kills you when you fight back, it's a grizzly. :)

Black bears are smaller, have shorter snouts,

Grizzlies and brown bears have a distinctive shoulder hump when seen in profile ... it's to accomodate their larger, stronger front leg muscles. They have larger heads, bigger claws, but inless you have mooonlight you won't notice ... it will be a bear in the tent.

Okay...I'll give them moonlight. Full moon. They have to...um... bear enough, the poor characters. ;)

Oberon
02-29-2008, 12:00 AM
A true story: Farny Cole, an old hermit living out in the woods in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, was crossing a beaver dam when a bear appeared at the other end. For some reason it attacked. The man picked up a log from the dam and fought back. He was badly hurt but the bear was dead. We had a Norwegian elkhound who was a rabid bear-chaser, and they always ran. We used him in Yellowstone to chase bears away from campgrounds and out of people's cars. One day he chased a bear right into a corner where the fence joined one of our cabins. The bear, trapped, turned and Chimo dashed right into its stomach. I heroically grabbed a baseball bat from the front porch and ran to the rescue. Fortunately, just before I got there the bear managed to scale the wall of the cabin, slide down the other side and run off. Chimo was unhurt, unbelievably.

I believe a sword is not a good weapon in a bear fight. A good solid club, smashing the bear right on or across the nose would be more effective. Once the bear closes with you, however, all bets are off. No more room to swing a club. Get in the first blow, and keep swinging.

Sarpedon
02-29-2008, 12:57 AM
Black bears can be rather timid


http://www.rocketseason.com/b_images/bear_up_tree.jpg

GeorgeK
02-29-2008, 07:29 PM
The meat spoils quickly, and unless they had enough salt to heavily salt the skin, it would rot and stink in a day or two. They are going to get a couple of meals of gamy, stringy meat, and that's it.

If they "field dress" the bear, and hang the carcass from a high branch, they can notify a nearby village (or passing villager) that there is fur and meat at that locaiton. Good deed for them, if they are that sort.

And, yes, we were scaring black bears. There are no grizzlies this far south. Where I lived as a child, there were a few grizzlies and many black bear, so you had to be sure what you were messing with.


If they are from a subsistence society where people actually have to preserve their own food, they'd cut it up and make jerky out of it. They wouldn't let it rot unless the wounded man was so wounded that they had to leave it, in which case they wouldn't bother to skin it. I've never skinned a bear, but I have skinned plenty of pigs, their next closest relative. Skinning the pig takes up 1/3 to one half the butchering time.

It would take a few days, but the wounded man could likely help with that whereas he probably have problems travelling. Also what is spoiled to the average American is not necessarily spoiled to the average third world person. Biologically, dehydrating the meat in hot smoke for storage and then stewing it to soften and rehydrate it and kill any bugs (micro and macro) that are on it would be fine.

MMWyrm
03-07-2008, 12:34 AM
http://www.udap.com/markfullstory.htm

Not my site - I'm not selling anything. Just a story I was pointed toward recently with a pretty gruesome pic and description of what a bear can do to a guy.