The Good, the Bad, and the Grizzly
What to Do if You Encounter a Bear

Before visiting Yellowstone National Park or “bear country” familiarize yourself with safety precautions in order to avoid bear encounters. “Run for your life” may seem like common sense if a grizzly approaches you, but such action is highly unlikely to foil an attack. The recommended steps are not easy to follow, but they offer the best chance for survival. Here’s what the experts say:

If you encounter a grizzly, do not run.

Avoid direct eye contact.

Walk away slowly, if the bear is not approaching.

If the bear charges, stand your ground (you cannot outrun it).

Don’t scream or yell. Speak in a soft monotone voice and wave your arms to let the animal know you are human. If you have pepper spray, prepare to use it.

If the grizzly charges to within 25 feet of where you’re standing, use the spray.

If the animal makes contact, curl up into a ball on your side, or lie flat on your stomach.

Try not to panic; remain as quiet as possible until the attack ends.

While in bear country, be aware that you may encounter a bear at any time.

Be sure the bear has left the area before getting up to seek help.

While in bear country, be aware that you may encounter a bear at any time.

Some other interesting things about grizzlies:

  • Most human injuries from grizzly bears are caused by females acting aggressively to protect their young.
  • Grizzlies are omnivores; they will eat almost anything. Although a large part of their diet is vegetation, grizzlies will also kill and eat large and small animals.
  • Fewer than 1,100 grizzlies exist in the lower 48 states, in 5 populations in Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and Washington. An estimated 500 to 600 grizzlies populate the Greater Yellowstone area.
  • Grizzlies are North America’s slowest reproducing land mammal. A female may not have her first litter until she is 5 or 6 years old, after which she will then typically produce two cubs every 2.5 years. Cubs from the same litter can be from different fathers. Grizzlies have a natural life span of 30 years or more.
  • daniel

    “If the bear charges, stand your ground (you cannot outrun it).”

    I can’t imagine the act of will required to do this.

  • David Whittingham

    Fewer than 1,100 grizzlies exist in the lower 48 states.
    How does this compare to the number of humans?

  • Rick

    grizzlies are not like black bears, in the fact, they won’t actively hunt you. They are protective and territorial.

  • sonia pace

    where are they to go humens seem to keep takening the land

  • HA

    those damn humens and their takening of things!

    kill the humens!

  • Brent

    He-llo Hu-men! Do you want to play hu-men tetherball?

  • Lance

    Can bears climb trees? I would climb a tree and then if it tried to pursue me up the tree I’d kick it in the face from above, how’s that for survival tactics.

  • TommyMac

    And don’t forget, they’ll steal your pic-a-nic baskett

  • Matt

    Just get one of these…

  • bpg131313

    I’ve actually had a black bear charge me in Washington State. I already knew about standing still and was sure to avert my eyes. The bear actually stopped the charge a few feet away from me and sniffed me. I didn’t wave my arms as the article suggested, nor did I speak in a monotone. I remained motionless and quiet. The bear grunted a few times, bounced it’s front legs up and down a few times, but eventually left without ever touching me.

    That said, I’d rather encounter a Grizzly before encountering another black bear or worse still, a Cougar.

  • Darren Steele

    Alternatively you could just move to England [ or Ireland, Scotland or Wales if you really had to ] and about the scariest thing you’ll run into is a drunken teenager with a knife….has anybody wrote a piece on surviving a drunken british teenage knife attack?

  • G.Adams

    With brown bears, 6 hollowpoint shots from a 44 Ruger Magnum takes care of the problem. Never ran into a grizzly, so I have no knowledge of what to use.

  • BRad Coughlin

    If the bear charges, stand your ground (you cannot outrun it). — Its not the bear that i have to outrun, but rather the other guys i am camping with.

  • Mikeroe

    Oh man…Lance, that is about the best comment ever!!

    “Can bears climb trees? I would climb a tree and then if it tried to pursue me up the tree I’d kick it in the face from above, how’s that for survival tactics.”

    Dude, that’s awesome! Why didn’t anyone ever think of that!

    Seriously…climbing a tree and kicking a grizzly in the face?? You nuts? The bear would either climb the tree and rip your foot off with it’s 200lb arm and 4 inch claws. Or, if the tree was too small to climb, it would simply knock it down.

    Climb a tree and kick a grizzly in the face…unreal…

  • Ron

    To #7 “Can bears climb trees?” Yes the can climb trees very well, and they are excellent swimmers as well. The speed of a male grizzly is 30 MPH.

  • Pon Zew

    “With brown bears, 6 hollowpoint shots from a 44 Ruger Magnum takes care of the problem. Never ran into a grizzly, so I have no knowledge of what to use.”

    Brown bears are Grizzlies. Black bears are the other kind in North America.

  • Caitlin

    “If the bear charges, stand your ground (you cannot outrun it).”

    I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some, people out there in our nation don’t have maps and, uh, I believe that our, uh, education like such as, uh, South Africa and, uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and, I believe that they should, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., uh, or, uh, should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future, for our children.

  • Bryan

    What about kiss your sorry ass goodbye?

  • max

    “Grizzlies are North America’s slowest reproducing land mammal. A female may not have her first litter until she is 5 or 6 years old…”

    Aren’t we forgetting humans?

  • Jonathan

    If you have to run, run downhill. Bears are so fast that they’ll actually trip and fall past you.

  • maggie

    I love how the first thing some people think about is how to “kill” the bear; how many bullets it takes to kill a brown bear. I think people need to start realizing that when they enter any wilderness inhabited by wild animals such as bears, cougars, etc. they are at the mercy of these great animals. If people think they need a gun, because they are so afraid of a bear attack, then stay out of the forest and go back to the city.

  • Fhin

    Bears eat beats!!!

    Bears, Beats, Battlestar Galactica.

  • Hobbes

    I’ve been close to bears in the woods, and I’ve been in some bad parts of Baltimore. I was less worried when I was with the bears.

  • Fhin


  • maggie

    To #16

    Actually brown bears and grizzlies are not the same. Brown bears are actually bigger than grizzlies, and have a more pronounced hump on their upper shoulders. Alaska is home to both grizzlies and browns. As far as I know, there are no browns in the other states.

  • WhoopWham

    “Can bears climb trees? I would climb a tree and then if it tried to pursue me up the tree I’d kick it in the face from above, how’s that for survival tactics.”

    As stupid as it sounds, it actually makes sense. If you’re choice is to climb a tree and kick the bear in the face as defense, aim for the nose. A hit to the nose for a bear is said to be 10,000X more painful than a man getting hit in the nuts.

    I couldn’t begin to imagine that kind of pain…

  • tanakvagu

    hi bryan..i think its funny

  • antimaggie

    to maggie:

    High talk, wait until your kid is being charged by a grizzly and let’s see where your “Tread Lightly” rhetoric is located. I Bet you’d want to have some way to protect them. I’m sure you’d consider that pepper spray woefully inadequate then.

  • David

    “If the bear charges, stand your ground (you cannot outrun it).”
    You need to be mentally veeeery strong to do this. Nice advices!

  • Eric

    If the bear charges, stand your ground and shoot. Believe or not you are more important than the bear. If you feel guilty after killing the bear and you think that you should have gotten mauled or killed. You can donate money or time to protect and preserve animals.

  • Hey boo-boo, wanna grab me that pic-a-nic basket? « O, teh interwebz!

    [...] in the wild will be much more… moody… than good ol’ Yogi.  So, here are some tips! No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI [...]

  • Not Worried

    I’m not worried. The bear would just eat Maggie first.

  • Eric

    I think Maggie would love to be “at the mercy of these great animals”. It would be a honor for her to be eaten. The concern she has about the amount to bullets it takes to kill a bear is laughable. Just go into the woods with a large caliber firearm and 1 well placed shot and a bear will drop like a rock. If your a poor shot empty the firearm and kick the bear several times. Start a fire and eat some well deserved bear meat. Also drop a chunk of at Maggie’s house.

  • Rowan

    Lance(#7) and Jonathan (#20) are the “real deal” when it comes to outdoor surivival. Perhaps they saw these evasive manuevers in the movies.
    Like previously posted, you would only have to outrun the idiot playing Kick The Bear In The Face or the other fool playing Trip The Grizzly Bear.
    Oh, and grizzlys ARE brown bears, as are kodiaks.

  • | The social sites’ most interesting urls

    What to Do if You Encounter a Bear |…

    \r\nRun for your life? may seem like common sense if a grizzly approaches you, but such actio…

  • Mobius

    I grew up in the Smoky Mountains, right at the edge of the park, and there are loads of black bears. Never once did I hear of one “hunting” anyone, as suggested above. Plenty of people hunted them, and in the summer boneheaded tourists fed them, and even under that circumstance hardly ever was anyone injured …

  • sweetmoses

    Begs the question…what CAN beat up a bear?

  • Charlie

    Wait a minute .. do I have to know what KIND of bear is about to kill me?


    What should a bear do when it encounters a human?

  • chicagorado

    @ #20, The reason a bear tumbles downhill is their front legs are smaller and weaker than their back legs and cannot support their body weight at a steep downward angle. I don’t think it has much to do with how fast they are.

  • The Good, the Bad, and the Grizzly

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  • Doug McFall

    I once woke up on the river bar with a black bear between us and our boat. My brother stood up and yelled at it and it stood up and yelled back. Finally it seemed to get bored and dropped back down on its feet, waded into the Klamath and pulled out a steelhead with one foot, waded back out, and ate. If I had known urban-speak at the time I would have told my brother “He’s clowning us”.

  • bobthebuilder

    “Grizzlies are North America’s slowest reproducing land mammal. A female may not have her first litter until she is 5 or 6 years old”

    I guess humans are not land mammals???

  • Dunston

    If a bear charges you, get behind a tree. If the bear goees around the tree, you go around the tree. IF the Bear rears up – this is your opportunity to turn the tables in your favor – before the bear can swipe, rush in and kick the bear in teh nutz.

  • Joe

    This one time at the band camp I was attacked by a black bear while picking up berries. He slapped me a couple of times after I got really mad and decided to break his arm. I learned how to do an arm bar from the UFC fights that ended up saving my life. Right after that every single bear was scared of me. I don’t fear bears anymore.

  • jackson

    great information. I’m going camping in Denali this week. I love how its the complete opposite for black bears though!

  • Jack

    If you are going to woods.BRING shotgun!!! =)

  • Brill

    a lot of comments on Brown, Grizzly and Black Bears.

    In Ontario we have a smaller bear that we call a “brown bear”. They may not actually *be* brown bears… but that’s what we call them.

    They are not as aggressive and you don’t hear much in the way of attacks on humans (although they are still large enough for it). You can typically seem them in towns with forest around them or at garbage dumps.

  • Mobius

    Something clarifying the difference between grizzlies and black bears. Be sure and read to the end (you may have to cut and paste the link)…

  • Dan

    A read a true story about two women who accidentally startled a mother grizzly. The bear began charging the women from across a field. The first woman climbed up into a tree. (Whether or not that would have deterred the grizzly is unknown.) The second woman ran to the base of the tree in time to climb the tree, but she was so scared that she could not lift her arms to climb even though the first woman was reaching down to help her and screaming for her to climb. The grizzly bear caught the second woman as she stood paralyzed under the tree… and ate her. Terribly sad, but true. Poor woman.

  • mggie

    There is a difference between grizzlies and Brown bears. Look it up.

    Oh and since I’m already so loved on here, I thought I’d respond to the comment about my kids. If I had any I wouldn’t be taking them into bear country. To clear up any mis-understanding I just think people shouldn’t shoot first and think later – nine times out of ten the bear won’t attack and is just threatening, as in a mother bear.

  • Jeremy

    Brown bears, grizzly bears, and kodiak bears are all brown bears. All three are Ursus arctos. However grizzlies and kodiak are both sub-species, so grizzlies and kodiak are brown bears but brown bears aren’t grizzly or kodiak… So everyone is right. Hopefully that clears things up. Oh and I have been charged by a black bear, and to stand still is one of the hardest things to do in the world… it takes all the courage in you. Your first instinct is to run like hell. But I did stand still and raised my hands. Luckily it worked.

  • M Desmarais

    I happen to bump into this site and feel I should make mention of this often mis-informed fact. There are are two species of Bear in North America. Black Bear and Grizzly Bear. Black bear come in many color-phases as do Grizzly. The distinction between Grizzly Bear and Brown Bear is geographic location. It is well known that the bears of the Islands off the coast of Alaska (Kodiac being just one) and the AK peninsula grow to enormous size due to their high diet of fish caught during the salmon runs. In fact Black Bear from this area too are much larger than other locations. However, because of this geographic line (you might know this was primarily designed by the hunting community) a bear could be considered a Brown Bear one day and that same bear travel over land to interior AK and now be considered a grizzly bear (common) The size difference is severe. A coastal Grizzly AKA “brown bear” can get as large as 10′ or more and weigh over 1000 lbs while an interior grizzly are around 6-7′ maybe 8′ and between 400-600 lbs.

    as Paul Harvey used to say: “and now you know the rest of the story”

  • Jeremy

    Yes there are only two species of bear in North America, but there are sub-species of those two species. This is called a scientific term. It doesn’t really mean anything in reality; it is just what us humans use to classify life. Kodiak and Grizzly bears are both sub-species of brown bear!!! So kodiaks and grizzlies are both brown bears, but if you say brown bear, it isn’t specific enough, because there are different kinds of brown bears. Oh, and yes, these different sub-species are different. That is why we have classified them differently. So what Desmarais is saying is that if a German moves to Russia he is now a Russian… So the question is how do we classify???

  • M Desmarais

    Sure I’m well aware of sub-species and of different races of human too. Take Caribou for example, there are 5 actually 6 subspecies but all are scientifically from the same pool. Where as the two bear; Ursus americanus and Ursus arctos horriblis are slightly different in that context. In the off chance you might not be a biologist. I want to assure you whether its called by its numerous common names: brown bear, kodiak island grizzly, kodiak island Brown bear, an ABC Island brown bear (the 3 lesser known islands next to Kodiak) or coastal brown bear, a peninsula brown bear, an interior grizzly, an arctic grizzly (grizzly in the Brooks Range) or a grizzly in BC, TYT, NWT oh excuse me (British Columbia, The Yukon Territories, or North West Territories) or grizzly the lower 48 even Russia it’s still only Ursus arctos horribilis. The only things different are location and physical size which I said was due to diet. So to answer your question they are classified as either a Black bear or a Grizzly bear. I should hope you were not quoting the following copied text from the web? You do know not everything you read on the www is accurate, right?
    Grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis)
    Kodiak brown bear (Ursus arctos middendorfi)
    In general the coastal bears are brown bears, the interior bears are grizzlies and the Kodiaks live only on Kodiak Island. Coloration varies greatly, from black to the famous blondes of Denali Park.

  • Jeremy

    No!!! They are classified as black bear or brown bear. Grizzlies are a subspecies! Both Kodiaks and Grizzlies are brown bear, but both are subspecies. The Russian brown bear is a subspecies as well, which isn’t U. arctos horribilis, and isn’t called a grizzly.

    The discussion wasn’t even about black bears, it was about brown bears, and the question was rhetorical. The point is that classification is in the eye of the PhD. We classify humans only as Homo sapiens sapiens, whereas there are many different subspecies of brown bear. Why isn’t there a subspecies for every different human??? Oh, and that’s another rhetorical one.

  • Doug McFall

    wild stuff…wanna do a shout out to the other Doug McFall.

  • Caryn Rose

    Despite what this article says, if a bear is going to attack you, you NEVER play dead! If you do this, the bear will attack you, guaranteed! You are supposed to act fearless, wave your arms, yell, act as threatening as you can! The bear will usually get scared off if they think you’re threatening enough.

  • Tiana

    I love all animals but bears can be very dangerous.YES we all know if a mama bear attack you or try to attack you, their protecting heir babies. Well, actually not all mama bears just do that, they can also attack you at the ZOO! Well as I was watching television a lady wanted to take a picture of a bear, and she decided to get a better view so she climbed over the gate and some how the bear snatched her arm and it had been a couple of hours and people try helping her but they couldn’t but finally the bear yarn and had let her arm go. SO EVERYBODY BE CAREFUL WITH BEARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Stephanie

    To #50..that is freaking hilarious! Thanks for a good laugh!

  • Ursus Sapiens

    Wow! Impressive to see so many macho easy-trigger killers walking around this site. Actually, somebody should put a page to advice bears on how to keep away from these humanoids, not because of the threat they represent with their big guns (what would they do without them?), but because of the stench they make.

    And now that you mention it, Eric, I would prefer to see you becoming meat for some hungry bear than the other way around… There are so many like you around that you won’t be much missed…

  • kathy


  • Monica

    I not sure but i know that if you play dead it works before i went to bear country i had a game of sleeping lions every night

  • Mr hobobebi

    I think bears arent that dangerous if you dont bother them. And if you do it’ll hurt bad.

  • loite

    Great information.
    Best, most leading informatio I have ever found

  • funny bunny

    I loved the comment about climbing a tree and kicking the bear in the face.Very funny.Posting comments it fun

  • Johnathan Rollison

    what are you people talking about? Grizzleys are harmless if you dont mess with them trust me i know.

  • Frank

    I had one charge me at Yellowstone last week. I did not invoke an attack or anything. It charged me until about 15 feet and ran away. Grizzleys are not harmless if you don’t mess with them – trust me, you don’t know.

  • NotaFool

    I’m not for just going out and mowing down bears, in the woods, but boy would I feel fortunate to have a firearm handy, heaven forbid, a ferotious bear (10 times stronger than me) should present a real threat. I wouldn’t want to depend on kicking it in the face, trying to play roll the bear down a hill, kicking it in the nuzt or standing still (helplessly), hoping the son of a b. isn’t going to follow through with ripping you to shreads.

  • Baker

    As an outdoor educator in Black Bear country, I can tell you that ANY bear encounter is not unprovoked. It might be because of food, territory, young, or any number of reasons. Maybe not reasons that we, as humans, understand, but perfectly good reasons to the bears themselves.
    Bears have a sense of smell 1000s of times more powerful than us. That alone puts THEM at an advantage. They know we are coming long before we would even think there is a bear in the area. If you just ate, drank, or got out of a car where food was stored – they know it. They will track you for miles because they think they are tracking food – nothing more.

  • Papadi

    I spent the summer of 1973 backpacking w/inflatable kayak through Glacier Nat Park, Yellowstone, and the Bob Marshall Wilderness. The hot, dry conditions forced many grizzlies down to lower altitudes where they treed back packers in numerous campgrounds in Glacier that summer. That made for some very tense fishing conditions. Caught many cutthroat trout in cirque lakes and surrounding streams. Those destined for dinner had to be eaten immediately so as not to attract bears and the skillet had to be charred to destroy odors. Tent was pitched with the entrance against a tree for quick retreat. Kayaked the Gallatin River canyon north of West Yellowstone. A bear forced a backpacker to make hasty escape from his secluded campsite, cross river and sleep in my campground. By far, the densest pop of grizzlies in lower 48 states is in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. Actually lost the trail crossing Spotted Bear creek and was later told by elk & bear hunting lodge that agitated grizzlies were knocking down trail markers. I saw bears several times but had no encounters. Word to the wise…dangle a small noisy cowbell on your belt and backpack at all times so as not to startle bears, leave no food odors anywhere, & never try to run away!!

  • drizzy

    Dont ruin away because THE BEAR might eat your LUNCH.

  • corneilius

    ALWAYS stay BEHIND the bear….. that ways they’s confused, they can smell yer, but can’t see yer. SO run towards the crittter, real fast, and then veer t one side and rush past (keeping outta range of dem big clawrs) and then stay behind until bear falls over from dizzyness or wanders off in frustration. Only do this if yer fit and agile…… or suicidal! lol!

  • Steve Hall

    Bear attacks in the US and Canada are extremely infrequent, averaging about 4 per year. Last year 400,000 people visited Denali National Park, and probably half of these at some point saw a Grizzly. Number of attacks? None. It’s the old story: the only time you read about a bear is when he attacks someone. I’ve seen 40 grizzlies in the wild. Half ran away, the other half ignored me. While an attack by a black bear is an improbable event, If one does attack you, stand your ground and defend yourself, as you may be able to discourage a black bear. On the other hand, never fight back if a grizzly attacks, as you’ll have no chance, and may enrage it through resistance. Go into the fetal position, grit your teeth and hope for the best. Most people attacked by Grizzlies survive, as killing you is not necessarily the bear’s intent. Attacks are generally caused when a sow thinks you’re a danger to her cubs, or when you unwittingly pass near a grizzly who is guarding a food cache.

  • Sadie Jane

    Hi my name is Sadie and I’m 10 years old and my mum and dad are taking me to a trip to Colorado for snowboarding and I was told there were bears their and I was trying to find Infomation about them but I’m not sure what to do and I’m really scared and I don’t want to tell my mum cause I don’t want to cancle the holiday cause it’s my firsttime to America and I don’t know what to do coulée some one please help me cause I’m really scare xxxx

  • Maggie

    Aw baby you will be fine Hun you have gou nothin to worry about as long as you stay calm

  • Heather

    I sat with the bears in Katmi National Park in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. We sat along a stream bank where the bears were fishing (not too far from where that bear guy was eaten). Those bears were HUGE!! It was an amazing experience. I have to say that the bears had no interest in us…they were busy fishing and clamming! I would never go there if they were hungry :)

  • Ugh, people these days

    Wow! Impressive to see so many macho easy-trigger killers walking around this site. Actually, somebody should put a page to advice bears on how to keep away from these humanoids, not because of the threat they represent with their big guns (what would they do without them?), but because of the stench they make.

    How stupid are people these days? By this “Grizzlies are North America’s slowest reproducing land mammal.” I’m pretty sure they mean in total. Trust me, humans are fastly reproducing(think of all the humans out there people??) And needing guns to fend off bears? Why would you need to use a gun?? Why not follow the advice above? How would you feel if bears could use guns, huh? I’m probably really biased, but the TYPE of PEOPLE out there, ANNOYS me to no end. Humans thinking they are like the rulers of the world(I’m probably going to get some stupid comment like “We ARE the rulers of the world”) even though, we won’t last very long(no species has lived that long), so many in another million years or so, some asteroid collides into us or the moon finally drifts away(it is currently slowly pulling away from the Earth), in which we wouldn’t be able to survive O.o Or Yellowstone, a supervolcano, erupts. Sad, since there are plenty of nice people out there. I feel bad for them, and for the bears. I wonder if their slowly-reproducing has anything to do with us, hmm?? (As in people wanting to kill them, while their habitat has also diminished) I mean seriously, stupid macho crap(at any rate, you could miss when shooting and hit someone else O.o but then of course, you wouldn’t care would you? you only care about yourself)

    *This coming from a 14 year old*

  • naughty

    Bears are dangerous. They have a very human-like psychology in that they are creatures of habit, are highly territorial, and somewhat unpredictable. They also have personalities. Some will hunt you, and others will avoid you, depending on their nature and personality. Thinking they will leave you alone if you leave them alone will only work SOMETIMES. And, likewise, portraying all of them as man-killers is also misguided. It depends on the bear.

  • I’m a Bear

    Hi folks. I happen to be a Bear so please excuse my poor grammar.

    Unless we are truly famished, dehydrated, or threatened we will not attack you or eat you.
    The trick is to stay away from us, but if you do have an encounter; make a lot of noise and raise your arms.

    Eric, please don’t shoot me or my family, we are just trying to get by and mostly stay in the woods.
    Also, kicking me in the face is not a good ideal, I don’t like that.

    Have the Cubs won a World Series yet?

  • lalalalalalalal

    i actually grew up in Alaska, and have seen bears often, once when riding my horse in the woods we encountered a bear, my horse being the stupid beast that he is made a run for it, unfortunately when we were only thirty feet away i fell off, i later learned that it was a grizzly, but the whole time it didnt attack me it just stood thier on its hind legs and watched me very carefully as i climbed a tree, i wasnt very high but i had to stay in it for like three hours becuase all the bear did was walk around eating berries and roots and crap and it wouldnt freaking leave.
    i later found my horse in our barn.
    and i was like “thanks a lot.”

  • Jamie

    Joe, your comment made me almost pee my pants. Hilarious. Maybe you should just round house kick an attacking bear into a mountain. You guys should watch the SNL skit about some hiphop artists going in to a bear cave.

    Personally, I think bears are great creatures and I’m all for conservation and repopulating efforts.
    HOWEVER, even without feeling “more important” than a bear, I think it’s completely reasonable to want to know how to survive an attack. From the evolutionary/biological perspective, instead of adapting 4-inch claws, we adapted a brain that is capable of creating tools that are better than 4-inch claws- in this case, namely firearms. I don’t “want” to kill a bear, but I’ll be damned if I’m not willing to blast the hell out of one that attacks me. Some would respond that the forest is their territory, and therefore we should either not go in to the forest, or that if we do, we should accept our ‘natural’ place there, which is not at the top of the food chain. I disagree. I don’t really like arguing using the nature-defense, but we belong in the forest just as much as a bear does, and, even in such a place, we ARE at the top of the food chain, because of our adapted capacities to catch food and defend ourself against predators.

  • Bill G

    There is an amazing amount of misinformation on the Internet about bears, as well as in these posts. For example, Rick stated that, “grizzlies are not like black bears, in the fact, they won’t actively hunt you.” Absolutely untrue. It is estimated that up to 90 percent of all black bear-inflicted deaths are motivated by predatory drive (56 people were killed by black bears in the U.S and Canada in the past 100 years). Predatory drive means that the bear is attacking you to kill you and eat you. If a black bear is following or stalking you, yelling and throwing rocks at the bear will sometimes discourage it and cause it to discontinue the predatory behavior. In that situation, experts agree that you should fight back with everything you have, because your life depends on it.
    And Johnathan says, “what are you people talking about? Grizzleys are harmless if you dont mess with them trust me i know.” Sorry, Johnathan, you don’t know. There were 50 people killed by grizzly bears in the U.S. and Canada in the past 100 years. Approximately 13 percent of the grizzly bear attacks resulting in human fatalities involved predatory drive, that is, the bear ate human flesh after killing the person.
    There is a lot of bad advice in these postings. Do your own research and learn how to survive before going into bear country.

  • i Am Grizzly Bear

    mmmmm i guess i dont have to chase my meal, when i charged it, it stood there then just laid down and waited for me to eat it.
    damn nature, we scary!

  • Joe mamma

    Slowest producing mammal? Humans cant reproduce until they are at least 12 and on average only produce 2children per lifetime.

  • Greg

    Got it, thanks for the read. So the best escape technique is to always make sure I travel with my annoying, sniveling coworker. He’ll do the running.

  • Banana

    Just carry a 2lb sirloin in your pack. When the bear charges, throw it his way. Problem solved.

  • Child Of The White Wolf

    all you people who are saying “oh if I see a bear I’ll just do ___! or if it charges I’ll ____!!” you are being immature and childish, if you really think you can overpower a full grown bear then you re truely naive, I admit that I have never been within 100 feet of a bear but I have heard stories from people who have and I know that they can be huge, powerful, and EXTREMELY intimidating. Let’s put you infront of an angry, pissed off bear and see how you handle yourself.
    also, for all those stories about bears ‘eating’ people. the bears are never the only ones at fault. Bears dont have a will, they only do what their instinct tell them to do so if a human does ___ the bear is always going to react acording to that action. Not acording to what it THINKS it should do. that girl who got ‘eaten’ ran and the bear only followed it’s chase instinct. I’m not saying she did it in full knowledge, I’m only saying she did an action and the bear resonded. it was no one’s fault.

  • Child Of The White Wolf

    please, if I am wrong, correct me. I’m always eager to learn ^ ^

  • charlotte w.

    I am with Bill G. on the bear encounter reaction. God gave us all the world to enjoy, even the wilderness and I cannot predict what kind of mood that bear is going to be in or how hungry he may be and how long it’s been since that bear last ate or if they have cub’s close by somewhere, so if that bear get’s close enough to me, I am going to protect myself however I have to when he charge’s me and doe’s not walk the other way, but if I feel threatened that bear can kiss his ass good-by! I am an animal lover, but if that bear decide’s on choosing the wrong meal, he’s dead meat! No one know’s what a bear is thinking and like the person above said they all have their own personality, so no one know’s or can predict all bear’s behavior’s and it may be there is a shortage of food, so you may be looking pretty good especially if she is desperate to feed her cub’s! All wild animal’s are unpredictable, so no one can say they will respond a certain way at all time’s, if you stay still, or roll into a ball or run. I’ll just make sure that I don’t have the chance to see what that bear might do, I’ll take my fate into my own hand’s (thank you very much!!),instead of leaving my fate to what other’s may think that bear might or might not do. If that bear threaten’s me and whomever I’m with, he is a gonner for sure,I would rather be safe than sorry!!! You call it what you want, but it will be your sorry ass that get’s killed and eaten for your stupidity in saying they will not ever hurt you or kill you, that we have no right to be out in nature or the wilderness, that it is their’s, that’s a bunch of bologne! God created this world for us all to enjoy and God doe’s favor us above the animal’s, that’s why he made us in his likeness, so if we have to protect ourselve’s when threatened, God understand’s. Killing an animal for me is a last resort, but if they are going to try to kill and eat me, they asked for their fate!!!

  • Child Of The White Wolf

    @charlotte w. – Actually, humans are the unpredictable ones, that is why animals are scared of us and like to stay away. Bears will only act on instinct so if you know the warning signs, they are very easy to read and their movements can be very predictable. But yes I do agree that a human life is definitely worth more than the life of a charging bear, but the death of one of god’s creatures could be prevented with only a little education. Don’t you think that’s worth it?
    I have read many articles and survival stories and the overall key with bears is to just act casual and not to make any sudden, unpredictable movements. And it is true that all bears have their own personalities but that does not mean that they dont make decisions based only on instinct. Also I have worked with many animals in my time(snakes, rabbits, turtles, lizards, ect.) and I know that almost every time a severe attack occurs, it is because the victim acts spastically or out of fear and the animal takes it either as a challenge(common with bears and species of wild dogs) or it see’s the random movements, and makes the conclusion the human is weak/injured and unable to protect themselves and sees and easy meal(most common with sharks) And the reason any animal(other than a polar bear or a tiger) would aproach you, is becuase you are invading their terratory and want you out. All you have to do in that situation is slowly retreat if the animal starts to follow you, put on an agressive act. start with puting your arms up and making a low, growling sound to warn them to stay away, that your human. (my above comment still applies [: )

  • Child Of The White Wolf

    (for all the strong catholics out there)
    If the animal makes contact, pray a hail mary and make a vow that if you survive the attack to go to confession :D
    If your still conscious when the bear leaves, write wherever you can as follows-

    “I’m catholic, in case of an emergency, call a priest.”
    \(just thought I’d put my dad’s joke out there :D )

  • Child of The White Wolf (Am I the only one still commenting regularly? o.o)

    to Ugh, people these days- I completely agree with you. I liked your statements a lot and found them to be very true :] and I agree with you too naughty. (For the most part) although I can’t agree that bears hunt people. Unless bears have fed on a human, they will not normally hunt them. The only ‘man eaters’ out there that will actually track and stalk humans are tigers and polar bears, but bears ARE creatures of habit and, like humans, are very quick to develop bad ones as well as good ones, so if a bear has eaten from a human victim it has killed, it will then add humans to the ‘possible pray’ list and will attack a human if it comes across one. Though, I’m pretty sure they don’t stalk us. :T
    and to Ugh, people these days again: I am also under the age of 18( I am 16 ) and also find many of the people on this site terribly unbearable an immature.. :P I also find it troubling that teens are seeming more mature than most of the adults on this site and in the news recently. It makes me wonder who we should REALLY be putting in charge of this country. :T but I guess all I can say is that I am, in the least, dissapointed.

  • Pickle

    my landlord, who lives in the mountain behind our house, just 3 days ago saw a momma bear and 2 cubs. now we cant let the kids outside. does anyone know if there’s a way to get rid of them? i doubt it though cuz bears have a mind of their own.

  • Pickle

    @charlotte w. good job!!!! couldn’t of said it better myself!

  • Bokpiel

    The National Park Rangers are advising hikers in Glacier National Park and other Rocky Mountain parks to be alert for bears and take extra precautions to avoid an encounter.
    They advise park visitors to wear little bells on their clothes so they make noise when hiking. The bell noise allows bears to hear them coming from a distance and not be startled by a hiker accidentally sneaking up on them. This might cause a bear to charge.
    Visitors should also carry a pepper spray can just in case a bear is encountered. Spraying the pepper into the air will irritate the bear’s sensitive nose and it will run away.
    It is also a good idea to keep an eye out for fresh bear scat so you have an idea if bears are in the area. People should be able to recognize the difference between black bear and grizzly bear scat.
    Black bear droppings are smaller and often contain berries, leaves, and possibly bits of fur. Grizzly bear droppings tend to contain small bells and smell of pepper.

  • Geoffrey

    I prefer to use non-lethal methods. I would stand my ground with pepper spray & a pistol. DEFEND WILDLIFE!

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