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2016-06-19 1:15 PM

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Subject: Awesome Black Bear Encounter!
I have posted previously about running in the Great Dismal Swamp and various wildlife encounters. Yesterday's run was pretty notable and exciting. About ten minutes or so into my run I saw what I thought to be a black bear crossing the fire trail several hundred yards ahead of me. Bear sightings are not uncommon in the swamp and I didn't give it much thought. With the canopy of trees covering the trail internet coverage is spotty so I had taken my ear buds out when I lost signal. This may have been a good thing. Not sure if I heard or saw movement but I looked to my left and saw a black bear clinging to the side of a tree just a few feet off the ground. This was the closest I had been to a bear outside of hunting encounters. I turned and took some pretty horrible photos and even worse video but did mange a brief commentary even invoking the name of the unfortunate bear enthusiast Timothy Treadwell. I scanned up the tree and saw two bear cubs which explained why the bear "hung around". Not one to cut a workout short, I left my Dollar Tree sunglasses just off the path as a marker for my return and planned to continue my run. Before doing so I noted that mama bear had climbed a little further up the tree but was very much interested in me and the possible threat I posed to her babies. I began to become a little concerned as this was the only way back to the trail head. The mayflies and horse flies were performing sorties with pinpoint precision and stunning accuracy and were only mildly deterred by a prevailing breeze. I continued the run hoping the bear would ascend further up the tree. On the return I was dismayed to discover she had not moved much at all. By my estimation she could have quickly climbed or even dropped down if she perceived a big enough threat. I waited a few more minutes and decided I had to make a move. I planned an all out sprint only interrupted by briefly swooping down to collect my dollar shades. The blazing speed I had envisioned felt painfully slow and not particularly graceful. The good news is I made it past the bear unscathed and managed a few more horrible photos. I suddenly became quite bold knowing the bear was no longer between me and my truck and was rewarded by with some exclamatory emoting not quite reaching the level of a growl. In the interest of full disclosure I would estimate the mama bear to maybe be 200 pounds. Not a particularly large bear but dangerous nonetheless, especially when with cubs. It made the run really cool and enjoyable even more than usual even with the risk (actual probably a few clicks below perceived). Yet another reason I am so blessed to have such an awesome place to run, hike, bike and paddle in my back yard. Any notable wildlife encounters while training or racing?


2016-06-20 10:00 AM
in reply to: CBess

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Pennsylvania
Subject: RE: Awesome Black Bear Encounter!

While a little part of me is saying, yeah, that was a great sighting, most of me is saying you got very, very lucky and probably should've done a few things differently.

http://www.newser.com/story/226904/bear-attacks-marathon-runner.html  Different part of the country, but same type of bear, similar encounter.

2016-06-20 10:21 AM
in reply to: CBess

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Falls Church, Virginia
Subject: RE: Awesome Black Bear Encounter!
I would probably wet myself if I saw a bear like that, and absolutely would not have run past her again. Then again, the closest thing to wildlife I've ever seen on a run is deer. One time while riding I thought I saw a gigantic snake, but upon closer inspection it turned out to be discarded tubing in someone's yard. Suburbs...I has them.
2016-06-20 11:49 AM
in reply to: CBess

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Subject: RE: Awesome Black Bear Encounter!

You are damn lucky mama bear didnt take a more aggressive response. No way you could have outrun her if she'd decided You were a threat. We have black bear all over the place - year round. I saw a smaller (probably) male cruising down my street yesterday morning. They don't hibernate because food is plentiful via trash and dumpsters. We're 30 miles from NYC.  They're usually just a nuisance but we keep our distance. Never approach them and stay the hell away from cubs. 

2016-06-21 10:52 AM
in reply to: kcarroll

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Greenwood, South Carolina
Subject: RE: Awesome Black Bear Encounter!

I love seeing some of the wildlife on my runs and bike rides (not much to see in the pool).

Last week on early morning bike ride I saw two Fawn running in my direction on the road. 50 feet back was a coyote chasing them. The two fawn darted into the woods to my left and the coyote did the same 50 feet back. Not sure of outcome as I couldn't see the animals any further but my money was on the coyote catching one of the two.

2016-06-21 11:43 AM
in reply to: CBess


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Sarasota, Florida
Subject: RE: Awesome Black Bear Encounter!
Thanks for sharing your story. I like occasional encounters like this because it just makes me feel like I'm living life instead of riding it out. My experience with black bears is they are just skittish and usually not aggressive when curious but no way would I approach a mama with her cubs or a wounded bear. You're probably braver than I. If a bear wants to hurt you you're screwed unless you have defense.


2016-06-21 1:36 PM
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Subject: RE: Awesome Black Bear Encounter!

Ñ

Originally posted by GODAWGS I love seeing some of the wildlife on my runs and bike rides (not much to see in the pool). Last week on early morning bike ride I saw two Fawn running in my direction on the road. 50 feet back was a coyote chasing them. The two fawn darted into the woods to my left and the coyote did the same 50 feet back. Not sure of outcome as I couldn't see the animals any further but my money was on the coyote catching one of the two.

You just aren't going to the right pools . 

 

https://www.facebook.com/laura.mcneill.12/videos/10206479402967249/?pnref=story

https://www.facebook.com/groups/10150152619490241/?ref=ts&fref=ts



Edited by kcarroll 2016-06-21 1:39 PM
2016-06-22 8:45 AM
in reply to: CBess

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Albuquerque, NM
Subject: RE: Awesome Black Bear Encounter!
This was just in our local news:
http://www.koat.com/news/bear-attack-victim-she-bit-my-neck-started...

considering everything, she's very lucky.
2016-06-23 2:48 PM
in reply to: kcarroll

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Greenwood, South Carolina
Subject: RE: Awesome Black Bear Encounter!
Originally posted by kcarroll

Ñ

Originally posted by GODAWGS I love seeing some of the wildlife on my runs and bike rides (not much to see in the pool). Last week on early morning bike ride I saw two Fawn running in my direction on the road. 50 feet back was a coyote chasing them. The two fawn darted into the woods to my left and the coyote did the same 50 feet back. Not sure of outcome as I couldn't see the animals any further but my money was on the coyote catching one of the two.

You just aren't going to the right pools . 

 

https://www.facebook.com/laura.mcneill.12/videos/10206479402967249/?pnref=story

https://www.facebook.com/groups/10150152619490241/?ref=ts&fref=ts




HaHa...no wild things in my pool at the YMCA.
2016-06-24 5:43 PM
in reply to: CBess


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Subject: RE: Awesome Black Bear Encounter!
Cool! I'm in Australia so don't know much about bears (other than Koala's!).. is a 200lb black bear capable and likely to attack kill a person? How much bigger can they can?
2016-06-24 9:17 PM
in reply to: zedzded

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Subject: RE: Awesome Black Bear Encounter!
I ran at night during the solstice full moon and almost stepped on a toad. Nearly gave me a heart attack


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