*RUMORS* of Bear Attacks at Philmont


As posted to rec.scouting.usa
See 1997 Bear Attack at Philmont for a more accurate description of the incident.

See also:

Note: these articles have been edited to remove text quoted among them.

From: "Bill Falk" <bfalk@crl.com> Newsgroups: rec.scouting.usa Subject: Bear attack at Philmont? Date: 24 Aug 1997 14:27:53 GMT Organization: CRL Network Services
I was an advisor on a Philmont trek from 7/27 through 8/8/97. Our ranger's orientation was emphatic about the need for scrupulous attention to smellables as this has been a very active year for bears, particularly in the northern section of the ranch. On our return to base camp, we heard from several sources that a bear had entered one camp at night, tore into a tent, and clawed a boy on both shoulders, attracted by a PowerBar or similar wrapper in the boy's jacket pocket in his tent. (According to the account, the boy was either in the health lodge or in a local hospital.) I am confident there were lots of bears roaming the ranch during our time there, but I have seen no media account of this purported incident, and I wonder if this story was fiction, a teaching device, or both. Anyone out there with better info? =================== Bill Falk (ASM, Troop 102, Greater St. Louis Area Council) St. Louis, Missouri bfalk@crl.com ===================
From: nf4w@mindspring.com (michael w. taylor) Newsgroups: rec.scouting.usa Subject: Re: Bear attack at Philmont? Date: Sun, 24 Aug 1997 23:38:13 GMT Organization: MindSpring Enterprises
Bill, I never heard of an actual attack, but there have been several occations in which a bear has entered a site in the hunt for food. The last time I was at Philmont, a scout decided that he would finish the supper pots in the morning. Needless to say, "Ole Smokey" or his brother, came for a visit. Good Luck, Michael Taylor Pelzer, SC nf4w@mindspring.com
From: scottdvoa@talon.net Newsgroups: rec.scouting.usa Subject: Re: Bear attack at Philmont? Date: Sun, 24 Aug 1997 20:44:50 +0100 Organization: Microserve Information Systems (800)-380-INET
I know nothing of a recent attack, but the summer my son was out... probably about 12 years ago, there was an attack and that did make our local (Pennsylvania) newspapers.. -- Ed Scott scottdvoa@talon.net http://www.talon.net/scottdvoa --
From: jpcross@phoenix.net (John P. Cross, Emperor) Newsgroups: rec.scouting.usa Subject: Re: Bear attack at Philmont? Date: Mon, 25 Aug 97 13:10:07 GMT Organization: Intergalactic Enterprises, Inc.
There was one incident this summer where a bear got into a campsite and caused havoc, ripping apart equipment before being scared off. We rode back on the bus with this contingent. Keep them smellables up a tree, folks! YIS John P. Cross Scoutmaster, Troop 869, Houston, Texas Want to trade some patches? Check this: http://www.phoenix.net/~jpcross/869trade.htm
From: dwillcox@prairienet.org (David A. Willcox) Newsgroups: rec.scouting.usa Subject: Re: Bear attack at Philmont? Date: 25 Aug 1997 14:20:04 GMT Organization: Prairienet
True rumor, though, of course, Philmont isn't going to make a big deal of publicizing it. This happened in Copper Park on (I think) Aug 5. (It was the night before we were supposed to be there.) Copper Park was closed for several days while they tried to find the bear. One of our scouts talked to the tentmate of the injured scout when both crews were in Baldy Town. As we heard it, there was something contraband in the tent, toothpaste is what we heard. The bear ripped into the tent to get at the "smellable" and caught the scout's shoulder. The scout was, of course, yelling at this point. This woke up the rest of the crew, which tried to frighten the bear away. The bear reared up on its hind legs, and when it came down its forepaws landed on the tent, making a few more holes in the scout. He was not badly injured, and returned to his crew after some patching. The bear was tracked for a couple of days (rather disrupting schedules in the area), and was finally killed near Black Horse Camp (on the 8th, while we were staying there). He had a radio collar, and apparently had been a problem before. One of these days, I'll get the full account of our trek onto the web. David Willcox, T104, Urbana, IL
From: ean@altair.com (Eric Nelson) Newsgroups: rec.scouting.usa Subject: Re: Bear attack at Philmont? Date: 25 Aug 1997 18:49:41 GMT Organization: Altair Engineering, Inc.
Unfortunately, when I worked at Philmont in 91 and 92 as a ranger we didn't have to make up any stories to use as scare tactics. We had a number of true stories to keep safety tops on everyones list. Particularly with regard to lightning strikes and bears. I doubt that there are any ficticious stories spread around by the staff although I imagine the tale gets continually taller once it starts spreading amongst the scouts around the ranch.
From: krtodd <krtodd@gte.net> Newsgroups: rec.scouting.usa Subject: Re: Bear attack at Philmont? Date: 12 Sep 1997 04:37:02 GMT Organization: gte.net
Bill, I cannot comment on current events. However, in 1974 a boy from a neighboring Troop was attacked by a bear while sleeping. It seems that the boy had been eating in his tent & spilled sweet stuff on his sleeping bag. The boy's one shoulder was injured and the opposite strap on his backpack. He did remain with his contingent and hiked out. Needless to say, we kept our food between the trees the next 2 years when I went out. I don't remember the local papers saying much about it in Lancaster, PA. If you know anybody who will be going out in the future, PLEASE let them know that these are TRUE stories and not just tales made up to scare the scouts. One recommendation I have is to add moth balls to the bottom of your food sack before putting it up between the trees. One day at Cimmeroncito (sp?) a bear came into camp while we were out rock climbing. Another contingent had their bag higher up, but the bear left ours alone. It appears that the bears and some other critters do not like the smell of mothballs. Yours in Scouting, Ken Todd CM Pack 295 MC Troop 295 Lake Ridge, VA
Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2007 07:24:50 -0600
From: tjbratzel
Subject: Ken Todds comment
Ken Todd's comment on bear attacks @ Philmont. "One recommendation I have is to add moth balls to the bottom of your food sack before putting it up between the trees."

Moth balls DO NOT deter Bears. The smell DOES NOT discourage them in any way. Mothballs are napthaline, a cancer-causing compound.

Do you want that in your food sack? Crackers don't taste so good after setting next to Mothballs.

"Old Wives Tales" die hard!!

Tim Bratzel
Was @ Philmont in '68
tjbratzel@shaw.ca


From: Ann Marie Wertz <amwertz@bright.net> Newsgroups: rec.scouting.usa Subject: Re: Bear attack at Philmont? Date: 16 Sep 1997 02:32:00 GMT Organization: BrightNet Ohio
Was there that week, and yes, it's true, just not to the serious extent listed. The boy received a scratch on the cheek. Bear had to be destroyed. Controversy was via New Mexico wildlife officials. Seems the boy had eaten Lifesavers prior to being at camp. Jeans were not washed. Lesson learned ... things used previous camping season still smell yummy to a bear, like Gatorade in the water bottle. Store cedar bars in your backpack when not in use. Never would have thought of this. We found the mountain lions very close to people also. The wildlife was there first.

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