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Thread: Are Black Bears Attracted To, Or Repelled By Human Urine?

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009

    Default Are Black Bears Attracted To, Or Repelled By Human Urine?

    After reading the thread "Campsite 24-Bear" with much interest, my mind wondered to the question, are black bears attracted to, or repelled by human urine? I have read two schools of thought on the subject. One suggests that the smell of human urine acts as attractant to black bears because they are interested in anything that smells interesting, plus the salt factor. The other school of thought is that human urine acts as a deterrent to nosy black bears. I would find it interesting to know some of your thoughts on the subject.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Maryville, TN


    I would venture to guess that they are indifferent to human urine for the most part or possibly deterred by human smells at the very least. If a wild bear catches a whiff of human urine out in the woods I doubt it is going to start heading in that direction because it is attracted by it. Now maybe some bear might be curious but most in the backcountry don't seem to be actively seeking out contact with humans unless they have been fed and in that case they are coming for the food. On the contrary most get moving as quick as they can in the opposite direction as soon as they hear or smell people.

    That being said I have had many close encounters with them including one near #24 this year that wasn't so scared. However 9 times out of 10 they turn tail and run away as fast as they can.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Rock Hill, SC


    Speck Lover--In general, any scent connected with humans will send black bears the other way. But that doesn't count in the Park because their protected status, along with interaction with humans or around humans without any harm has changed things. But let a bear smell urine (or other human scent say 50 miles away in Graham County, where hunting is deeply ingrained in the culture) and I'll assure you they will suddenly recall the fact there is urgent bruin business two counties away. Or, to put it another way, you don't have to worry about bears in your campsite when far up Big Snowbird Creek.
    Jim Casada

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Hillbilly Hollow, NC


    I don't have any scientific data one way or the other, but I still mark my territory like any male dog or tomcat when camping in the backcountry
    "Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it."
    Salvador Dali

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Default Depends.........

    Depends on where the human is from. If they are from TN, NC, SC, GA, AL, or KY, then the bear is indifferent. However, if from another state especially the west coast the bear mistakes it for the pheromones of a sow in heat. I would highly recommend that one not urinate in the woods until the end of their trip for their safety.

    Forgive me, I couldn't help myself.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008


    Lol, yeah west coast guys smell like honey. Sweet and soft.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Andersonville, TN


    I agree with Flyman. I usually go 1 on everything that is mine.

    jasonkelkins at yahoo dot com

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