The Yogi Bear Report

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

Bears at Yosemite remind me of sharks in the ocean. Divers LOVE to see sharks. We know that only 5 species attack man and only about 50 attacks occur per year – worldwide! No problem. Beauty and grace and unchanged since the TRex roamed Des Moines. People really freak when they see a bear at the park. Why? They don’t eat people. We are not their natural food. They love berries. They are lazy and go for the easy pickin’s. Look, we have a full bowl of kibble for little Yosey, the WonderYorkie, yet he spends his day sniffing every crack for something to eat. So bears also root around endlessly stocking up for the long winter hibernation. You probably will only see a bear when you are “answering the call” at 3 am.
We’ve gone  over this before – Just look big and shout and toss pebbles and sticks near the bear.”Bad Bear.”  If they took your stuff, they most likely will drop it and scurry away.  So how did the Bears vs. Humans battle turnout in 2009 at the park?  There were 432 “incidents” this year. That means a human lost something of value. Last year there were 385 incidents. I guess the bear game plan is getting better organized.  Financially, that amounted to $67.5K surrendered in ’08 and $62.5K this year…but the year is not over yet. Here’s were the bear mafia hit and the take:
Parking Lots 70 $43,582
Campgrounds 173 $7,129
Other Areas 166 $9,969
Backcountry 27 $2,106

Specifically by place:

PLACE    /  # of incidents
Upper Pines 1
Camp 4 Campground 3
Camp 4 Parking 1
Wilderness Parking Lot 1
Housekeeping Camp 3
Yosemite Lodge 1
Curry Village 4
Little Yosemite Valley 1
Swan Slab 1

Oh, to prove our superiority, we hit 23 bears with our vehicles this year.
Related thought worth quoting: “Yogi Bear is smarter than the average bear, Yogi Bear is always in the ranger’s hair. At a picnic table you will find him there. Stuffing down more goodies than the average bear.” – Yogi Bear Cartoon theme song.
*Mr. Half Dome -Rick Deutsch –

About Mr Half Dome - Rick Deutsch

Mr Half Dome. Has written the only half dome hiking guide, One Best Hike: Yosemite's Half Dome. Has hiked it 31 times to day. Lives in San Jose, CA Available for presentations. Carpe Diem Experience, LLC
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4 Responses to The Yogi Bear Report

  1. mrhalfdome says:

    Mr Trust,

    I’m not buying into your ESP theory about bears, but it’s probably more a matter of speed and gawking out the window that causes most hits. I’m surprised more deer don”t get hit. Slow down! Now that it’s clear that we have the right to arm bears, it may slow down.

    Nice signs, I sure noticed them.

    Rick D

  2. Mike says:

    It’s funny that we tally up the dollar value of the damaged cars and the stolen food. The real damage is to the bears and can’t be measured in dollars. There is a lot of good info at including this quote: “They’re never the same after their first positive experience with human food.”

    Just in case any of your readers ever has a chance to make a bear’s human food encounter negative Mr Trust says this: “But, really, I think more than anything, bears can read our minds. They can tell when someone means, “GET OUT OF HERE, BEAR!!!” vs. “uh. um, bear? please leave? please?” I think it’s not just the volume of the yelling, but the confidence with which the yelling is yelled.”

    It’s for their own good, keep your food away and scare the heck out of any bear that gets near human food.

  3. mrhalfdome says:

    Editor note: For our non-British readers… a “torch” is a flashlight…not a stick with fire!!

  4. Dean says:

    We didn’t see any bears this trip, though one kept us awake in Curry one night or rather the Ranger with the big torch chasing him did.

    My wife crossed paths with a coyote in LYV, and we were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a bobcat – it was right down near Happy Isles hiding behind a big boulder near the large sign with all the trails listed on it.

    Also nearly stepped on a crayfish (I think) in the Merced.

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