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Ottertooth Forums * Temagami canoe routes & backcountry travel * Archive through January 7, 2011 * Bear story on Wasaksina lake < Previous Next >

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kevin_callan
Member

Post Number: 3
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Wednesday, August 4, 2010 - 6:14 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

I wrote my blog today on a bear encounter on Wasaksina lake - check it out at
http://explore.outdoorsica.com/blogs/paddlers_guid e_to_happy_camping/2010/aug/03/islands_are_not_saf e_from_bears__trust_me/
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maramar
Member

Post Number: 19
Registered: 06-2009
Posted on Wednesday, August 4, 2010 - 9:50 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Hi Kevin,

Not an encouraging story for my wife who is a bit "bear-phobic" and took some comfort in island sites.....lol. She and I were just on Wasaksina on Sunday and lunched on an island and may go back to stay a night or two...can you say which island it was? One of the north end islands? And when were you there? Anyway, very nice country in there and appreciated the fact that there doesn't seem to be any cabins or camps. Thanks for the story!
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kevin_callan
Member

Post Number: 4
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Wednesday, August 4, 2010 - 11:12 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

It was the cigar shaped island to the southwest, near the entrance to the 1300 meter port to Cross lake. The bear really wasn't an issue though. He turned tail the momnent we made a loud noises. I think he was just swimming from island to island - poor guy. And yes, I love that lake as well.
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preacher
Member

Post Number: 154
Registered: 09-2007
Posted on Wednesday, August 4, 2010 - 11:14 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Great story! Don't be discouraged by the bear. These encounters are inevitable if you spend enough time out there. I'm discouraged by how few bear I have ever seen out there, one. One year I was tempted to bring a bag of chicken & bait a bear, likely a bad idea.

The "safety" of island sites is a myth. Any critter native to Ontario has no problem with water.

Islands are actually less safe and less than ideal compared to mainland sites.
In an animal confrontation you're cornered or the animal is cornered, neither is good.
If the weather picks up you're stranded. If you're stranded because your canoe is lost/broken then walking out is swimming out.
Not to mention the very limited resources and human impact is longer lasting. Unless it's a rarely used site the area becomes picked clean of dead wood, which removes the ability of the soil to renew. Reasonable locations for poo diminish with the island size, little islands (less than 100m diameter) should be restricted completely.

Remember, the whole outdoors belongs to the bears. This island today, that one tomorrow, wherever the food & shelter are is where the bears will go.

That being said, there are some island sites that are super sweet and worth the risk and effort to tread lightly. We were at one on Diamond with a beautifull grassy area, great sitting rock near the firepit. The t-box was full, but cat-holes are no problem for us.

Clearly this may not be something to bring up with the worrisome type. If someone needs a rabbit's foot or an island site to feel safe, then by all means do what you need to.

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