It seems each year more and more people are reporting encounters with black bears in the Adirondacks. It's not like bear sightings never happened, but now the bears are becoming invasive.

Aaron Mish and his family were on one of the semi-regular trips to the Old Forge Camping Resort and were enjoying a fire under the night sky after dinner. It was approximately 8:45 and they were bringing some of the items back into the cabin from the dinner table when they were joined by an uninvited guest.

Below is a post from Mish that shows the moment the bear struck.

Mish says, "When we came out of the cabin to get the rest of the stuff, the bear climbed on the picnic table and took an unopened bag of potato chips and dip." It wasn't until later on they realized the bear took both chips AND dip. The reason they ate so late was because Mish's 4-year-old son had been stung by a bee earlier in the day and they went to town to get after-bite.

In the above video you can see the encounter up-close and personal, maybe a little too close. At one point the campers realized the bear was a young baby and also appeared to be injured. You can see at the end of the video the bear hops off the picnic table and appears to limp off.

In this case it was an instance of folks eating dinner and then cleaning up. Very quickly the bear approached the campsite, not afraid of the fire or activity at the camp site. That fact makes it so much more important for people to be vigilant and diligent about not feeding wild animals or leaving food out overnight.

Popular destinations such as the Old Forge Camping Resort have become known to animals, like bears, as an all you can eat buffet. The Mish family is lucky that the bear was only after the chips and dips and that the mama bear wasn't too close by. One of the women in the video even asked the little guy, "where is your mama?" It's well known that hell hath no fury like a mama bear scorn or her baby being possibly threatened.

The New York State DEC offers a variety of tips on what to do if you encounter a bear in the woods at a campsite.

  • Use noise to scare bears away: Yell, clap, or bang pots immediately upon sighting a bear near your campsite.
  • Stay calm: Walk slowly and speak in a loud and calm voice.
  • Leave slowly: Cautiously back away from the bear and leave the area.

The DEC does not recommend that your run away from a bear as it may chase you. You are also not encouraged to get close to or approach the bear as it may feel threatened and defend itself. You are also advised not to throw a backpack or bag of food at the bear, as it only enables continued visits.

There are so many benefits to camping and enjoying the great outdoors, but you have to realize you are in the habit of these animals and the ultimate respect should be paid to them and their home.

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