View Full Version : kittatinny bears

12-18-2004, 09:14 PM
gonna be section hiking new jersey real soon and was wondering how active the bear population will be.?
any other heads up would be great!

happy holidays

12-18-2004, 10:00 PM
There are bears in the area but they shouldnt be too active this time of year. Some designated sites have a bear box to store food, another uses a bar with hooks on it. You use a pole to lift your food bag to the hooks. The AT thru NJ is realy nice hike bears or not.

12-19-2004, 01:21 AM
There is absolutely no reason to fear bears in the east period. Hang or store your food and you have nothing to worry about. If you really want to worry about bears go to the north west, ie yellowstone.

12-19-2004, 06:54 AM
There are bears in the area but they shouldnt be too active this time of year. Some designated sites have a bear box to store food, another uses a bar with hooks on it. You use a pole to lift your food bag to the hooks. The AT thru NJ is realy nice hike bears or not.

The bears in the Kittatinnies (and the rest of New Jersey, for that matter) do not hibernate, but do take "extended winter naps". So you may run into them at any time of year. I've have yet to run into a bear that was the least bit threatening - well one in the Kitts did snort a bit and whack a tree to warn me, but never moved. Most bears either run away or ignore me!


Jay H
12-19-2004, 08:26 AM
Most bears either run away or ignore me!

Hence, all the photos of bear butts!


12-19-2004, 10:34 AM
ditto on the above. I have been hiking and backpacking in that area for the past 4 years with absolutely no issues, though a lot of folks see a bear here and there. I do know that the brinks road shelter has had som e bear problems, but they have a bear box there (as well as other shelters).
Also, VFTT member "Snowshoe" is a park ranger in the area - if you PM him, he could probably fill you in on the latest.

12-19-2004, 11:39 AM
Newark has a minor league baseball team named the bears, but you probably mean the other kind.

NJ decided to have another bear hunt this year. However, somehow the politicians managed to segment it. The hunt will not be conducted on State park or forest land, but will be conducted on state fish & game land. Go figure. Nevertheless, there will be a few hunters who will inocently wander into state forrest land, so keep your head up.

Unsure what the season is, but I think I remember that it goes thru Dec.

12-19-2004, 12:10 PM
The supreme courts ruled agains a bear hunt on all lands including Fish and Wildlife lands. They said there was not enough evidence showing the need for a hunt. No hunt this year. The bears are active in the Kittatinny's and the Northern NJ Highlands. On an average summer I will run into a bear once a week. I also live in the Kittatinny's. Most will run away or just stand there and look at you. But no need to worry just hang your food and you will be ok. Fred is right black bears do not hibernate but take long naps from time to time. You have a better chance of seeing a bear in winter in the southern Kittatinny's rather than the North Kittatinny's. It tends to be much colder and snoweir in the Northern Kittatinny's. Usually the mother and the cubs will stay in the dens but the males will come and go. I have seen bears in Jan when the temps were in the teens and a foot of snow on the ground. They are not as active as in summer. I will see maybe one or two during the winter verse the 50+ during the summer. If you have any more questions let me know.

12-19-2004, 04:31 PM
I think itís pretty well established that black bears are not much a threat to human safety.

But I often wonder if repeating such a thing might embolden some of the Darwin Award gene carriers among us to do Darwin Award worthy stuff. Are we seeing more incidents in which humans suffer the injury and indignity of making bad assumptions about bears? A sizeable critter driven by hunger and equipped with claws that can dismantle a log or tree stump and jaws and teeth that can . . . who knows what? . . . certainly has the capacity to inflict harm on a human.

On the other hand, I believe it is equally well established that black bears -- nice as they are to see at a distance -- can be a serious nuisance when they decide the chow youíve toted into some backcountry spot belongs to them.

I suppose the bottom line on this is that free-roaming bears are wild beasts. That would apply even to those that have become accustomed to the presence of humans and to taking advantage of human presence. Common sense dictates exercising reasonable caution in bear country, as you would in the presence of any beast that operates on instinct and habit rather than on intellect.

Asking the right questions about what to expect is a good first step. Separating the wheat from the chaff in what you get in answer is the next, but it may not be so easy.


John Graham
12-20-2004, 07:31 AM
I think the parents of the baby that was snatched out of a stroller and killed a few years back in the southern Catskills might disagree with the statement that bears pose no danger to human safety. Black Bears have been known to grow as large as 800 pounds and there have been cases of predation against humans by black bears, but it is very rare indeed. They are opportunistic omnivores and will take an easy meal where ever they can get it. A healthy adult is in very little danger, but a lost hiker on Friday Mt in the Catskills was found partially eaten by a bear, although the hiker was probably already dead from a fall, or at least comatose.

I don't wish to exaggerate the danger to humans from black bears, there is certainly more threat from our fellow humans, but neither should it be dismissed altogether. Bears that have lost their fear of man are more dangerous than wild bears, and when they have learned to regard humans as a food source, they are more likely to become aggressive. Avoid threatening action around bears and give them wide berth if you run into them. Keep a clean camp, don't eat food in or right next to your tent and hang your food between two trees a fair distance from your sleeping place.

Jay H
12-20-2004, 09:09 AM
Was talking a Denali Park ranger a few years ago and he was mentioning most of their problem bears are black bears. Denali has two bears, the Grizzle/Brown bear and the Black bears and the ranger said about 90% of their problem bears are of the black variety as the Grizzlies there are generally more predictable, have a more natural fear of man. The black bears are more unpredictable which can lead to human/bear interaction issues and problems.


Ned Kipperson
12-20-2004, 11:57 PM
John Graham,
That bear incident in Sullivan County, NY was due to the fact that that particular bungalow colony did not practice acceptable sanitation practices. The open dumpsters with food and soiled diapers mixed together caused the bears to associate the smell of baby s**t with the smell of food. Also the tendency for this particular bungalow colony to swarm in vast numbers around furred forest dwellers of all fur colors and species probably agitated and confused the bear to protect it's food (baby). Granted, bears are oportunists and will take an easy meal, but the actions taken by this camp are what caused this rare incident. I agree with you that you should keep a clean camp. Unfortunately, this camp and others like it in the area do not.
Note: I failed to mention that in no way was I trying to slander ALL bears. To any black bear with good habits, grizzly, Kodiak, or Polar bears out there, please accept my apologies.

12-21-2004, 06:54 AM
There have been more people killed by dogs than bears. I would much rather bump into a bear than a loose dog. I have been chased by more deer and small animals. I have never been chased by a bear. I will run into bears on a regular basis and have never felt uncomfortable. You just have to be smart and not hold out a bagel to the bear so you can get that picture with your son next to the bear or leave your 6 year old on the front steps eating a ice cream cone with a garbadge can behind him. Especially knowing that the bear has been raiding that garbadge can for the last week.

12-21-2004, 08:19 AM
Last year several of the men I work with went both deer and bear hunting in north Jersey. They felt the bears were somewhat aggressive as one of the hunters was "treed" for some time before the bear gave up and went away.

John Graham
12-21-2004, 08:23 AM
I would agree that most black bears bears pose little threat, and I am also more worried by loose dogs, but I have never been chased by a deer. I have been charged by a bear trying to drive me away from my supper at Slant Rock in the Adirondack High Peaks. I stood my ground and he stopped, giving me a chance to throw an M-80 at him, but in hindsight I have to question if that Mountain House dinner was worth risking serious injury.

What I utterly reject is the notion that if a bear attacks a child of a minority religious group, we should side with the bear, blaming the victims for getting upset, just because a bear has grabbed one of their infants by the head and dragged him off into the woods, saying they had it coming because they were unclean. That is ignorant bigotry, and has no place in this forum.

Much as we might romanticize bears and wish for their continued survival, it is foolish to deny that they are capable of injuring or even killing people. Most bears become a problem because humans have unwisely allowed them to learn to view us as food sources, by being careless and letting them get into food or garbage. The fact is that these type of bears are a potential threat, and it is quite possible for someone who takes all the right precautions to still be injured, by being unlucky enough to run into one of these aggressive bears.

12-22-2004, 09:32 AM
thanks for the replys
my biggest concern was cooking at the shelters, i noticed in descriptions and photos that there are picnic tables in or around them.
guess we will make supper before shelter and enjoy the tables in the a.m.

wasnt planning on bringing crampons, anyone think otherwise.

happy holidays and peace on earth, los

12-23-2004, 06:00 AM
No need for crampons in the Kttatinny's The little snow we had melted yesterday. Does not look like any snow in the forcast for the next few days just getting cold after today.

Ned Kipperson
12-24-2004, 06:55 PM
John Graham, I don't think that what I said was "ignorant bigotry". Maybe you are unfamiliar with the Monticello/Liberty area. It may seem a little bit harsh, but my intent was to give the facts of the situation. It is no secret that the bungalow colonies in Sullivan County are unsanitary by accepted standards. It has nothing to do with religion or bias, it has to do with lifestyle in bear country. I never said anyone had it coming. I think anyone who read my explanation of the situation can see that a very habituated bear might act that way, like the many cases outside of the northeast. Reading in to people's posts has no place on this forum. I will edit out any reference to anyone's culture or lifestyle.