Definitely plenty of talk of Grizzly bears in the Powell River area, heads up if you are venturing out.
George and I headed on on a spur of the moment fishing trip yesterday to Freeda Creek, a trip we had done countless times. This time we had our pontoon boats and we were going to paddle up-stream and fish an area. It wasn’t long before we arrived and had our flies drifting down the creek. We were there for about 20 minutes when i glanced down stream and saw a Grizzly Bear standing on the bridge. Initially we were just enjoying the beautiful site but soon realized he was curios about us and really not sure what to make of us. Up he went on his hind legs trying to get wind of us but we were down wind so he couldn’t, that’s when he decided to get closer to us. Down the rocks he went and into the creek, now he swimming up the creek towards us. It was at this point we began to feel uneasy and started to make an exit plan, however we were in a bad spot and the options limited. At this point we were super focused on the situation and staying calm hoping he would stop his advance. I quickly took out my Bear Spray and Knife, but honestly wish i had a firearm as we were sitting ducks on a sandbar surrounded by water and thick brush. As he was getting closer we were constantly making a game plan, if he does this we will do that sort of thing. The best thing we did was stay calm. and before he got to close he headed to shore into the thick brush out of site. Now we are thinking he will head up the creek through the brush out of site towards us. so we decided to get in the Pontoon boats and be prepared to head down stream back to our vehicles next to the bridge. We would only do this if he got closer as that was the best option at that point. We waited ready for about another 20 minutes and then he appeared again right back on the bridge. We were so relieved however our vehicles are about 100 feet from were he is standing, so we began working on our exit plan again processing all the possibilities. Just as we are doing that up he goes again on his hind legs, staring in our direction trying to get wind of us. Down the rocks he goes again into the Creek across the other side and disappears back into the thick brush reappearing just below the bridge about 50 feet from our vehicles. During all this time there had been three White crew trucks cross the bridge headed home but none saw us trying to wave them down. Each time the trucks went by the bear was in the water so he was not concerned at all. As it was getting late we had decided we needed to get closer to the bridge and unfortunately to the bear, who was out of site again .We were hoping to wave down a passing vehicle and by them stopping they could hopefully help us get to shore and our vehicles safely. We waited and waited no vehicles, so George thought that if we get close enough down the creek he could set off is car alarm. Will this scare the Bear off and give us a window to get to our vehicles before it was to late? Let me tell you it is not a good feeling sitting in pontoon boat with a curious Grizzly out of your site knowing it could come out at any time. Just as the alarm started sounding a vehicle was passing on the bridge and we waved him down. It happened to be my friend Brad and he waited on the bridge and stood watch for a bit long enough for us to get to shore. We still had to load all our gear and Brad had to leave so we did all this knowing the Bear could be anywhere. I have had encounters with Bears. Cougars. Wolves but this encounter was probably the most intense. Here are some of the areas you should be aware of possible encounters.so just be bear ware.
- Lois lake fish farm (please do not clean your fish there)
- Freeda Creek (Possibly the same Bear or one of the two cubs that used to hang out at fish farm)
- Head of Haslam Lake (East Haslam Road) We saw a Grizzly run across the road between 18-19k.
- Inland, and Lost Lake area.
- Also reports of one on Lois Main
Don’t want to discourage anyone from enjoying the backcountry.be sure to be aware in these areas especially if you have dogs ect..I am also not trying to sell you goods or i would have posted Bear scare stories long ago. I just feel there is much more people in the backcountry and more Bears as well which is fine just be aware and prepared. If you have any questions about this call me at Powell River Outdoors 604-485-4868…I still encourage you to ” Get of the screen and into the green” Sam Out!