Bear Encounters, from Jim Sogi

October 12, 2015 |

 My wife and I were kayaking in Glacier Bay National Park this June and saw 10 bears during the trip. One black bear came up to our parked kayak on the beach about 80 feet away from our tent early one morning and started banging it around. The bear strategy is to speak to it in a firm loud but calm tone, so I said in a cop like tone, "Please leave the area immediately. Do not touch the kayak." It looked up at me and walked on.

In an earlier bear encounter a big brown with two cubs was walking along a stream on a beach where the two of us were camped. The rangers orientation had recommended standing two people together and try to look big. So we stood together and raised the paddles over our head. I had my guitar and was singing songs to alert the bear to our presence. When it saw us, it stood up 10 feet tall and looked at us in what appeared to be horror and sent her two cubs scurrying in to the brush and up a hill. I turned once or twice as it ran away. Once during the encounter when I ended a song my wife says," hurry sing another one!". But I couldn't think of another one. I should have sang, The Bear Went Over the Mountain, to see what he could see.


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