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Bear Spray on trails around Durango?

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Bear Spray on trails around Durango?

Friend and I are going to be spending a month in Durango this summer and like to do a lot of half day hikes

Do many people actually carry bear spray? For example on Animas Mountain Trail or others close to the town?

I don't want to look perfectly stupid with it strapped to my body, but think it would make us feel better.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
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1. Re: Bear Spray on trails around Durango?

There are no grizzly bears in the Durango area (or so rare that they have not been spotted in decades) so no real need for bear spray. Usually bllack bears do not attack, but do be aware of your surroundings and make some noise while hiking. Check this link for info http://bearsmartdurango.org/home.shtml

Frisco, Colorado
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for Frisco
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2. Re: Bear Spray on trails around Durango?

I like bear bells, especially in the backcountry. Attacks are super rare, black bears are pretty fearful of people, I guess the bells just give me piece of mind that I won't be that rare statistic - or have any close encounters with an aggressive momma.

http://tinyurl.com/bearbell

Edited: 09 March 2013, 19:07
United States
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3. Re: Bear Spray on trails around Durango?

Thanks for the above info.

I looked at that city of durango site and it mentions bear spray (but perhaps it means for "at home" use).

What about mountain lions. Do you ever see them on hiking trails around Durango or in the San Juan National Forest?

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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4. Re: Bear Spray on trails around Durango?

The only mountain lion I have ever seen was when we lived in Durango, but that was at dusk/sundown in the winter. We just happened to be walking along the creek that the lion wanted to get to for a drink! Slowly backed up and left the area and no issues with the lion. During the day I doubt you will have an issue, especially more than 1 adult walking. Worry more about dehydration, sunburn, getting lost!

Tyler, Texas
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5. Re: Bear Spray on trails around Durango?

Davey... You don't need to go outside of town for bear!! Last year almost downtown they arrested a women with her two children feeding a bear in town.

And we personally saw deer on our street,5th, on 3rd st and Main St

You can subscribe to the morning paper and look at the police blotter for interesting, ie bear, sightings

United States
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6. Re: Bear Spray on trails around Durango?

You were VERY brave to handle that mountain lion situation as you did. My heart would have been pounding.

United States
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7. Re: Bear Spray on trails around Durango?

So I am beginning to gather that carrying bear spray is silly :)

Kremmling, Colorado
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8. Re: Bear Spray on trails around Durango?

NO it's not silly.It is smart. Yes you need to be aware of your surroundings, but you will be hiking in the back country. I live at 10,000 ft and hike almost daily. I have had 5 cougar sightings and at least 8 bear encounters. You never know when you might interrupt a bear or run into one with cubs. Most of these encounters have been within 3 miles of a primary road. Don't leave food in your vehicle or if camping keep it away from sleeping areas. Check with the local Colorado Division of Wildlife to find out if there have been sightings in the area you will be hiking.

970-247-0855 wildlife.state.co.us/

Click on Education then Living with Wildlife.

Be Safe Have Fun

Vicki

9. Re: Bear Spray on trails around Durango?

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Fruita, Colorado
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for Fruita, Grand Junction
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10. Re: Bear Spray on trails around Durango?

If you want to carry it, do so. I have bear encounters on a regular basis when I hike. Usually as I am returning down the trail, I will see their fresh prints on the muddier portions of the trail I have just been on or I get a whiff of that horrible rancid smell that some bears have. Ughhh. My DH hikes an area near here that has regular mountain lion visits because it has lots of deer and he has seen their prints on top of his. So just because you don't see them doesn't mean they aren't around. And as noted, you never know when you come around a bend and there they are. Being prepared is so much better than being attacked by a bear that is defending its young or turf and then it has to be put down.