How to survive a Bear attack!
Bears can attack people if they feel they are in danger, if they are surprised, have cubs or are protecting their territory. If at all possible – steer clear of the bear! But if you have put your self in a situation where you can not avoid them, make sure they are not surprised by you.
Here are some crucial rules to live by.
1. Never camp or hike alone.
2. Avoid bears. That “teddy” bear can turn you into ground beef really quick – this includes the smaller black bear.
3. Do not feed it even from the “safety” of your car. There have been movies made that show people being ripped from their cars because they were dim-witted enough to feed it. If you have to feed an animal, feed your cat or dog at home. The wild is well, wild and wild animals will attack given the right circumstance.
4. Do not leave food around camp. This is the chief reason a bear will come into your camp as they smell food. Zip up your tent even if it’s hot and clammy. Always keep an eye out. Please clean your camp and put any fires out before you leave. If you have any food left, seal it in plastic or in a container far up into a tree away from the camp site. Better he has that food for dinner than “camper ala cart”.
The black bear is a scavenger and although small is very dangerous. More commonly seen around human habitats, it may not think of you as an enemy. Be careful and use the procedure below.
Grizzly bears will attack you on a whim. Although not aggressive by nature they are very unpredictable. He might run away. He might see you and act as though you are just another animal or he might charge you if he woke up on the wrong side of his bed. Grizzly bears rarely maintain the attack however, with their huge size and weight they can with little effort mangle an average size man.
Polar bears are a different nightmare. Indians still live in fear of them and there is plenty of history to divulge the terror of what they can do. These creatures can and do stalk humans. They are highly intelligent and deadly. Staying out of polar bear area is wise and will keep you alive. Unless you are doing a project for national geographic, do not engage!
What to do. . .
Singing, talking or listening to music out loud is a good way to not surprise any animal. In any case most bears will leave your area as they don’t really look for a conflict.
The rule is if you are facing a bear, talk gently while holding your arms above your head and slowly walk away. Be aware of your surroundings so you don’t trip over something as this can create a problem! Holding your arms above your head not only makes you look bigger but keeps his attention as you walk away.
Bears may grunt, growl and some times put their head low with their ears back before an attack. If a bear stands on its legs it’s not a sign of aggression, it’s just trying to get a view of where you are at.
So what happens if that does not work and you realize your going to be attacked? While this can be a horrifying experience you must keep your wits about you. Shooting a bear does not usually stop an attack. Sometimes the more valuable weapon is bear spray.
If you notice the bear is going to charge you, spray! Bear sprays shoot out at a great distance. In any case do not try to run. Some bears can run as fast as a horse and definitely run faster then you. Quickly do one of two things. The best thing to do is find a large tree that you can quickly climb. Make a lot of noise and waving your hands as this might make the animal leave. If you are stuck on the ground keep your back-pack on, this will give you some protection for your back. Cover your head and neck and get into a fetal position. PLAY DEAD. Continue even if you are being bitten. In many cases the bear will quickly realize you’re not a threat and leave. What if he does not stop? Scream, yell and fight back, this includes throwing dirt in its eyes, throwing large rocks at its head- anything to make him realize your not going to be an easy meal. With some people that was enough to get away unharmed.