While it is rare, bear attacks do happen from time to time. Store food out of reach of bears. 1. It evolved as a way to prevent encounters with enemies and it may provide you with an opportunity to back away. What to do if you encounter a bear. Knowing the species of bear will determine exactly how you react to an attack. In North America, the two most common types of bear that you'll come across in the backcountry are brown bears and black bears. Two things that motivate a bear: food and fear. Bertie from Effortless Outdoors recently sent me a link to his article titled, What To Do If You See A Bear (And Why) and asked me to mention it on my blog. When you find your­self face-to-face with a griz­zly, you don’t have much time to think. If the grizzly charges to within 25 feet of where you’re standing, use the spray. If your bear encounter turns into a stand-off, you'll want to hold your ground and begin talking to the animal in a clear, strong voice. NEVER run from a bear. If you see a bear before it notices you: stand still, don’t approach and enjoy the moment. Bears are naturally scared of people, and your ruckus will likely frighten them. Bears are reclusive creatures, and they generally prefer to steer clear of humans. An ODFW intern encountered a wolf while out in the woods monitoring wolf activity. When the bear leaves, remove potential attractants such as garbage, bird seed, or pet food. For starters, black bears are smaller in stature and have smaller claws as well, while brown bears – also known as grizzlies – are much larger, have a distinct hump on their backs just behind the neck, and have much bigger paws and claws. 2020: A year like no other in entertainment. If you have bear spray, spray it directly at the bear. Bears are magnificent creatures and it can be exciting to see one—from an appropriate distance. Intimidate the black bear by making yourself look bigger and making noise (wave arms, shout, clap, bang stick). Keep an eye on the bear so you can see its reaction, in most cases, it will run away. Don’t spray it yet! Size: ... What to Do if You Encounter a Bear . However, if a bear does approach you, make yourself look big, make loud noises, clap your hands, and continue to back away.”, Jaime Sajecki, Black Bear Project Leader If the bear is about to make contact, use your bear spray. The vast majority of the time those encounters are safe and pass without incident, but on occasion they can turn dangerous and sometimes deadly. Educate yourself, learn about bear behavior, ways to avoid bears, and what to do if you encounter a bear. If you encounter a brown bear, keep these tips in mind: Always carry bear spray. Most likely, the bear also will move away. 2/ Be Ready to Spray: Get your bear spray out, take the safety off, and be ready to spray it if need be. When you encounter a bear other useful things to determine are: Technology is the best weapon to neutralize your bear. Then move away quietly in the opposite direction. 2020 was a dark year. Continue to step to the side so you can keep your eyes on the animal at all times, but walk away from it at a steady pace. Give the bear plenty of room, allowing it to continue its activities undisturbed. Never feed or approach a bear. 1/ No Sudden Movements: Stay facing the bear but do not make eye contact. Spread your legs to make it harder for the bear to turn you over. However, if the attack persists, fight back vigorously. How to use bear spray. Don’t venture into the Alaska bush with no bear protection plan in mind. You should be able to use your spray on auto-pilot during a grizzly bear encounter. Put your arms over your head and spread your legs to keep from getting turned over. If the bear is about to make contact, use your bear spray. If you find yourself hiking or camping in an area with ursine inhabitants, here are some tips to help you return home safe and sound. 2020 in business: A year like no other . Each year, Park staff spend hundreds of hours dealing with problem bears. On the other hand, grizzly bears can be quite aggressive, and because they are so large fighting back isn't generally a good option. Use bear spray either to scare away a bold bear or to deter a bear that is coming toward you. DO NOT feed bears. Hold the can in two hands, with one finger on the trigger, and extend your arms straight out. The intent is not to cause harm but to protect yourself and scare it away. 3 Bear Safety Rules. The absolute best way to stay safe in bear country is to avoid the animals altogether. Remove the safety latch. Use caution when passing however, because the bear may still become spooked or startled and could potentially turn on you. Remove the safety tag. There are a few things you can do to avoid a black bear encounter. But just like humans, bears occasionally use hiking trails too, and startling a bear on your path isn’t the best scenario. Back away only when the bear stops its approach. If you encounter a bear on a carcass, get as far away from the bear’s cache as possible; leaving the area quickly and quietly preferably in the same direction you came in. If you do happen upon a bear – or it happens upon you – just remember: Stay calm. That said however, there are some other physical characteristics that can help you to tell them apart. So it's no surprise that a lot of people want to know what to do if you see a bear when out and about. This isn't always a successful technique however, and occasionally you'll come across a bear that is distracted while foraging for food or water. Most of the time, they are just posturing, and more likely than not, they'll simply run off into the woods as soon as the opportunity presents itself. You can help them to do so by announcing your presence when you're exploring their home environment: talk loudly, sing, or carry "bear bells" so bears have time to escape you. It is normal to be frightened once you encounter a black bear. The absolute worst thing you can do is to run or to abandon your pack. Black bears are distributed across the U.S. in at least 40 states, while brown bears, including grizzly bears, tend to live in the Northwest and Alaska.And sometimes people enter into bear territory without a clue. In general, when you encounter a black bear you should: Remain calm. Remove safety clip. What to Do if You Encounter a Bear If you encounter a bear, you should try to remain calm and avoid sudden movements. The reality is that majority of encounters with the black bears rarely result to aggressive behavior and the attacks are rarer. … The absolute worst thing you can do is to run or to abandon your pack. As of 2016, more than 11 million people and 1,600 black bears share the park each year. The first step, as in many situations, is prevention. If instead the bear approaches or follows you, change direction. Never feed or approach bears. How to use bear spray. Black bears are distributed across the U.S. in at least 40 states, while brown bears, including grizzly bears, tend to live in the Northwest and Alaska.And sometimes people enter into bear territory without a clue. One of the most exhilarating and wonderful creatures that you can encounter while hiking or backing in the wilderness of North America is a bear. When identifying the type of bear you've spotted the color isn't the determining factor despite the name of the two species. If it changes its behavior, you're too close, so back away. This might cause it to think you are prey and go chasing you in pursuit. Running could trigger an attack. If you see a bear in an urban environment in Whistler it’s most likely a black bear. Bears are big, powerful, and sometimes-aggressive animals capable of surprising speed and strength. Back up slowly Never turn your back on a bear, or run. Leave any doors open as you back away from the bear. Failing to respect that can lead to trouble, but knowing just how to react can go a long way toward diffusing the situation and getting you home safe and sound. If the bear is about to make contact, use your bear spray. Walk! If you come across Yogi and Boo Boo at your campground, the National Park Service recommends making a lot of noise right away. If you encounter a bear that’s aware of you: don’t run; running may trigger a chase response. Here's what to do if you encounter a bear. Bears love thick brushes, berry patches, and parsnip thickets, so those are some obvious spots you don’t want to venture into. Black bears rarely become aggressive when encountered. Back away when possible. DO NOT run from a bear. However, it’s best to avoid bear encounters, and to know what to do if an encounter happens (keep reading). Keep your eyes on the bear at all times, while remaining well aware of your surroundings. Move away slowly but do not turn your back on the bear until you have moved far enough away that the bear no longer shows interest; Your goal is to look as large as possible and to help the bear identify you as a human. Larry King hospitalized with Covid-19. Take note, majority of bears prefer avoiding contact with people and the bears you see is just as frightened like you do. If it is a black bear, the best course of action is to try to escape, but if that isn't possible you should fight back. There’s no better way to prevent an unpleasant encounter with a black bear than avoiding the animals altogether.. Bears usually avoid humans, too, often leaving the scene even before a person realizes a bear was around. Many small credit unions shy away from competition because they are “too small.” Hogwash. This is designed to allow enemies to back down before the bear needs to actually make contact. Do not play dead and do not act aggressively. The human development and activity in Whistler deters grizzlies, but don’t rule them out when out hiking in the back country. DOG AND BEAR ENCOUNTER: WHAT TO DO. From a safe distance, make loud noises, shout, or bang pots and pans together to scare away the bear. Some hikers like to wear a bell on their pack that jingles while they walk, alerting bears and other creatures to their presence. The best way to deal with a bear encounter (or heaven forbid an attack) is to never have one. A bear encounter can be remarkable, downright terrifying, or straight up deadly. Certain safety measures can be taken to prevent a bear encounter.However, if you do find yourself face to face with a grizzly or black bear, these tips will help you escape with your life. Do not run. By using Tripsavvy, you accept our. We do not want to contribute to an unhealthy fear of bears, but apparently this is not the problem. This is especially true if you find yourself between a female bear and her cubs, so keep a watchful eye out for little ones who might be in the area. If you can prevent an encounter with a bear, the rest of the steps are unnecessary. Aim toward the bear’s face, or slightly below. There’s no better way to prevent an unpleasant encounter with a bear than avoiding the animals altogether. The idea here is to let any nearby wild animals know that you are coming, giving them the opportunity to exit the area before any dangerous interactions can occur. A grizzly bear's fur may also be tipped with white. Do not play dead and do not act aggressively. If you get Bear wrong, I'll be very disappointed in you :-P ) Test your knowledge on this literature quiz and compare your score to others. Lay flat on your stomach with your hands clasped behind your neck. While it may not seem all that easy to tell them apart at first glance, there are some tell-tale signs that can let you know exactly what your'e dealing with. Wind will reduce this effective range even farther (and may blow the spray back into your face). These rescued dogs got stuck when COVID-19 hit 'I have to live in a cage': See how this city copes with its monkey population . Leave your backpack on to serve as protection for your back and shoulders, and try to remain as still as possible. 2020: A year like no other in entertainment. What to do if you encounter a bear. If you encounter a bear that’s aware of you: don’t run; running may trigger a chase response. As of 2016, more than 11 million people and 1,600 black bears share the park each year. If you do see a bear, what you should do depends on the situation. What exactly that action is depends on the species of bear that you've encountered. 2. The goal is to get away as quickly and safely as possible, while keeping constantly keeping the bear in sight. There is no way you can outrun a bear. Virginia Department of Game and Inland. Black bears can be brown and vice versa. If you're going to be hiking in an area where bears are active, it is a good idea to have a can of this powerful deterrent at your disposal. Don’t venture into the Alaska bush with no bear protection plan in mind. Certain safety measures can be taken to prevent a bear encounter.However, if you do find yourself face to face with a grizzly or black bear, these tips will help you escape with your life. Watch this … FIGHT BACK with anything at hand (knife, sticks, rocks, binoculars, backpack or by kicking). ... Don't let the color fool you — black bears can be brown in color and brown bears can be nearly black," said Goldes. If you see a bear before it notices you: stand still, don’t approach and enjoy the moment. If the bear approaches, follows or charges you, keep reading the sections below. Use bear spray either to scare away a bold bear or to deter a bear that is coming toward you. You also need to plan what you will do if, and when, you encounter a black bear. Grizzlies try to avoid humans, too, often leaving the scene before someone realizes that they were around in the first place. If that is the case, give the bear a wide berth and exit the area as quickly as possible. If you encounter a grizzly, do not run. What to do if you encounter a bear The US National Park Service advises hikers and campers that encounter bears to stay still and wave their arms above their heads . For the most part, they coexist without incident. There’s no better way to prevent an unpleasant encounter with a black bear than avoiding the animals altogether.. Bears usually avoid humans, too, often leaving the scene even before a person realizes a bear was around. Keep food out of sight and don't feed any to the creature, as it will only encourage it to follow you looking for more. And it will take off on its own. This will help to let it know that you are not prey, which is usually enough to dissuade the animal from attacking. Sometimes an encounter with a bear is unavoidable despite your best efforts to sidestep it. This super-concentrated version of pepper spray can stop even a large bear dead in its tracks, forcing them to back off and leave you alone. Remove safety clip. Aim at the bear’s face and keep in mind the direction of the wind. If your off-leash dog charged a bear who decides to retaliate your only recourse is bear spray. If you encounter a bear on a carcass, get as far away from the bear’s cache as possible; leaving the area quickly and quietly preferably in the same direction you came in. Bears … If the bear gets close, strike it in the nose and face with your fists, a stick, rocks, or just about anything else you can get your hands on. If you are sure you have encountered a black bear, you could take a more active behaviour to make it go away. It is also important to keep in mind that the National Park Service requires all visitors to America's national parks to stay at least 100 yards away from any bears they encounter at all times. RELATED: The Best Place to Spot Black Bears in the Smoky Mountains. Fisheries, when hiking, walking with your dog, camping or fishing in bear country, To report website problems: webmaster@bearwise.org, helping people live responsibly with black bears, Copyright ©2018-2020 BEARWISE.ORG | All Rights Reserved |, Remove Bird Feeders When Bears are Active, Avoid bears while hiking, camping, fishing. Quiz by Tom_the_Terrible RELATED: The Best Place to Spot Black Bears in the Smoky Mountains. If you have a griz­zly bear encounter, here’s what you need to know to stay safe. Give the bear plenty of room, allowing it to continue its activities undisturbed. If you see a bear in an urban environment in Whistler it’s most likely a black bear. How to Avoid Hitting Deer and Moose With Your Car, New Zealand’s Dangerous Plants, Animals, and Insects, The 8 Best Dive Spots Near Phuket, Thailand, A First-Timer's Guide to Grand Teton National Park, Dangerous Animals You Might Find in Ireland, Everything you need to know before hiking California's Lost Coast Trail, Walt Disney World for Wimps - Scary Rides to Avoid, 5 Reasons Travelers Shouldn’t Fear Sharks, Where to Get (Relatively) Close to Animals in Ireland, Maine Wildlife Park: Where Sighting a Maine Moose Is Guaranteed, Beware of These Venomous Snakes in Tennessee, What to do if You Encounter a Bear in the Wilderness, Tripsavvy uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Pepper spray works if you are upwind of the bear, but if the bear is upwind of you, spraying it can result in you spraying yourself! A bear encounter can be remarkable, downright terrifying, or straight up deadly. You may not see a bear during your visit because bears naturally avoid people. Keep your distance, alter your route of travel or wait until it leaves. So, what should you do when you see black bear? 2/ Be Ready to Spray: Get your bear spray out, take the safety off, and be ready to spray it if need be. Eventually, the bear will lose interest, leave you alone, and wander away. Should I charge it? Larry King hospitalized with Covid-19. Some bears may try to intimidate you with snarls, growls, and even aggressive charging. One of the best ways to deal with a bear attack is to use bear spray. Don’t approach a bear – just quietly move away and leave the area. Then move away quietly in the opposite direction. DO NOT climb trees to escape a bear. What to do if you see either of these two main classes of bears is pretty similar - but with one key difference, which you'll need to know if the bear actually starts to attack. What to do if you encounter a bear. As visitors camping in bear country, you have a responsibility to follow the bear rules and to know what to do if you encounter a bear. Bears are magnificent creatures and it can be exciting to see one—from an appropriate distance. Instead, you should lay face-down, flat on the ground playing dead. If it changes its behavior, you're too close, so back away. Here's what you should and should not do if you encounter a bear or are ever attacked by one. Keep your distance, alter your route of travel or wait until it leaves. When you find your­self face-to-face with a griz­zly, you don’t have much time to think. It is normal to be frightened once you encounter a black bear. Bear Spray. 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