Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Loaded for bear

 Grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis)
I will be taking a week's break (give or take) from this blog toward the end of July as I will be going to northern British Columbia (NE of Prince George). It will be the second attempt that my friend Monte and I will make to reach his land. This time, though, we are loaded for bear: 4WD with a winch and extra chain; chain saw; camping equipment, GPS gadgets and of course, bear spray, noise makers, hand flares and a Bowie knife (that's a knife).

As the hunting season will be closed at that time, we should not have to worry about hunters (unless they are poachers), but I'm getting Tristan a red bandanna just in case as he looks too much like a wild coyote for my comfort (he's a hybrid). The area where we will be traveling has a bear density (mean) of 12 bears per 1,000 sq. k. most of these will be black bear, but there are grizzlies, too. In a survey of a few years ago, different 1,000 sq.k. blocks had between 8 and 27 bears within them. While the risk of an attack is very low, we will be following all of this advice, and the Bowie knife will be the last defence against an aggressive bear which is viewing us as food (playing dead would just make for a quicker lunch for such a bear, and you cannot outrun them). Tristan will be on a leash always in the back country, I will sleep with him in the back of the vehicle and he will be wearing a bell or two, just in case.

The backlog of my Alberta Senior's Benefit was placed in my account this morning, so I am now "officially" retired and have a few bucks to spare for the trip. As it is an El Nino year, we expect it to be hot and dry in that region. As most of the small lakes are usually surrounded by marsh, we expect that traveling through such areas will be easier than it was a couple of years ago. Last time, I did find one small area that had cell phone reception, but Monte's land (a quarter section/160 acres) has a fairly high hill on it and it might also get some reception. So, until I leave, the blog will go on as before and it will resume once I'm back home.


  1. Have a wonderful trip. Wish I were going, too.

  2. Thanks, Kathy, you are welcome to sign up for the next expedition. In bear country, the more is always the merrier!