One of the most important factors in the event of a bear encounter is to try and quickly determine the type of bear it is...brown or black. The reason this is so important is because it will determine your next course of action.
Let me start this by saying that if you are in bear country you should at least carry bear spray. If I was in Grizzly country I would not go into the bush with anything less than a 44 magnum strapped to the hip.
So back to our bear encounter...
Forget runnning, even the largest, fattest and laziest bear will run you down in a matter of seconds. They will out run you and Carl Lewis in his prime for that matter.
If you startled the bear or worse yet came across a momma bear with young ones...move slowly and in a non-threatening manner away from the bear keeping yourself facing the bear.
BROWN BEAR (GRIZZLY)
If there is a tree nearby you can quickly climb and get high enough off the ground...that COULD be an option. (Grizzlies are not as inclined to climb a tree although it can happen...never underestimate them)
If you are backpacking and have the pack on keep it on. It makes you appear larger and less easy to tangle with and will protect you while the bear is mauling you.
Realistically Grizzlies usually do not try an eat people (Apparently Timothy Treadwell didn't get the memo). If a Grizzly charges you drop to the ground on your stomach with your knees tucked under you but spread out to stablize you. Place your hands with your fingers interlocked on the back of your neck to protect it. Play dead...DO NOT MOVE or make a sound even if the bear is hurting you (this will be hard but you MUST do it). Hopefully you have a backpack on and that is taking the brunt of the bears rage. Most times the bear will move on once you are not deemed a threat. This really does work and as crazy as it sounds may be your only chance at surviving.
Unlike the Grizzly...a lot of black bear attacks are predatory.
Once again DO NOT run.
Do NOT climb a tree - Black bears are EXCELLENT climbers.
Do NOT play dead...the black bear will proceed to eat you.
You can try an make yourself appear threatening...if you in a group stay close together to appear larger. Make loud noises and don't back down from the bear. Try and scare him or at least lead him to believe there are other easier targets somewhere else.
If you have no choice because the bear charges you, the only thing you can do is fight at that point. I sure hope you brought the pepper spray.
WAYS TO AVOID BEAR ENCOUNTERS
If your are camping keep a clean camp and don't store food or toiletries near your tent.
If you are walking in the woods...make noise...let the bears know you are in the area...most times they want to avoid human contact and will move along and you will never know they were around.
Disclaimer: I am not an expert on bears...I did stay at a Hoilday Inn Express once. This information is just for entertainment purposes and if you get eaten, it certainly ain't my fault.
...that is all.
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