what to do if you encounter a black bear

Leave any doors open as you back away from the bear. Don’t be intimated and stand your ground. Here is what to do if you run into a cougar, black bear, or grizzly bear in B.C. So, if ever you encounter a black bear in the wild or anywhere in the woods, stay calm if possible and never let panic rule your mind if you don’t want to be in danger. Their most prominent body features are their clearly visible shoulder hump and large claws. Bears may also react defensively by woofing, yawning, salivating, growling, snapping their jaws, and laying their ears back. If the black bear attacks, use the deterrent you have and fight the bear. It also points out that there are millions of interactions between humans and bears in the wild without any human injuries. If you meet up with a black bear in California, Remain calm and move slowly. Close encounters of the bear kind. Ever wondered what to do if you were to come face-to-face with a bear? But, whatever the case or situation you are facing, whether the black bear is aggressive or just staring at you, never panic. Talk, whistle, sing, clap your hands regularly. Stay calm: Walk slowly and speak in a loud and calm voice. Differences Between Black Bears and Grizzly Bears. 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. It also gives you peace-of-mind and can prevent a bear from attacking. Out of these, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. Luci Cadman of the North Shore Black Bear … Usually, black bears avoid people and majority of people do not even know when they have come closer to bears. Even if you are going on a hike, there are still a number of things that you can do to decrease your chances of running into an animal. If attacked in a building or tent, immediately fight back. Generally black and brown bears attack humans for different reasons. Both species behave and respond differently when encountering people. Differences Between Black Bears and Grizzly Bears. It is the smallest of the three bear species found in North America—the polar bear is number three and by far the largest. Avoid a Dangerous Encounter The absolute best way to stay safe in bear country is to avoid the animals altogether. Black bears might bluff an attack and they are fairly popular for doing the bluff changes. 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. You should never attempt to provoke a bear to fight. When encountering a defensive black bear, face the bear directly and try to appear as large as possible. amzn_assoc_marketplace = "amazon";
Remember, if you’re actually physically attacked by a black bear, you will have to fight for your life. If you see another visitor breaking these rules, or encounter a bear in a picnic area or campground, on a trail, or in any other developed area, please call (865) 436-1230 or stop at a Visitor Center to report it. Bear encounters in the woods are relatively infrequent, Madden said, as bears want to avoid people more than we want to avoid them. Evaluate the bear’s body language. There’s no better way to prevent an unpleasant encounter with a black bear than avoiding the animals altogether. Yes, they may be huge and imposing, powerful enough to cause major injuries to any other animal, but they can also be gentle and curious. While they used to live all over North America, their range is now limited to the northwestern part of the continent. Black bears have much larger ears than grizzly bears and do not have the same hump at the base of their necks that grizzly bears have. Using it is a classic win-win situation. What to do when encountering a bear while hiking depends entirely on which species of bear it is. Bears are omnivores that eat mostly berries and fish. The answer is true, although there are some exceptions. Bears are magnificent creatures and it can be exciting to see one—from an appropriate distance. You may have been close to a black bear in the wild without even knowing it yourself. Panicking won’t take you to a safe place as it will just cause you to worry more and this could result to more dangerous situation. Should you end up in a close encounter with a bear, Forbes said it's important to stay calm, but acknowledges that may be easier said than done. If you end up in close encounters with black bears, it is always essential to stay calm, yet acknowledges that might be easier than done. Tips in terms of dealing with black bears: Never Sneak Up On a Bear and Consider Make Noise, Other Tips You Should Take Note Once You See a Black Bear, Repelling Non-Defensive or Aggressive Black Bears, How to Make Your Legs Stronger – Try These Tips and Exercises for Better Leg Endurance, A Brief Look into the Types of Rock Climbing, Best Lightweight Long Sleeve Hiking Shirt, 6 Things to Consider When Choosing a Truck Canopy for Camping. What is being classified as the first recorded fatal attack by a black bear in New Jersey occurred this week. To ensure an unpleasant or surprise encounter with black bears does not occur, get rid of moving through bear habits alone and silently. If you encounter one of these venomous animals on your walk, do not make sudden movements. Is it curious? Luckily, once a black bear realizes you’re putting up quite a bigger fight than it anticipated, it will most likely give up and you’ll be able to say that you won a fight against a wild bear. Bear attacks are split-second events, you should be able to use your spray on auto-pilot. I also recommend taking a basic first-aid kit with you on hiking and/or camping trips. Close encounters of the bear kind. If you fight back, most black bears will give up. Do not run from it. This is often nothing more than the bear’s running away from you as fast as possible. The reality is that majority of encounters with the black bears rarely result to aggressive behavior and the attacks are rarer. Now if you do encounter a bear, and that bear does see you, more times than not, the bear is more afraid of you than you should be of it. What to do if you encounter a black bear this spring From the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources; Mar 27, 2019 (Photo courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce.) SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Spring is here and that means West Virginia’s black bears are coming out of their winter hibernation and looking for food. However, if you encounter a black bear in your neighborhood or outdoors while hiking or camping, follow these common-sense safety tips. Never turn your back to a black bear and never, ever run away. While black bears live and can be spotted all over the U.S., there are some areas where the likelihood of seeing them is just that much higher. Avoid direct eye contact. From tees and sweatshirts to stickers, our original designs showcase many of America’s iconic parks and landscapes. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. The best way in preventing unpleasant black bear encounter is to get rid of them. Never feed or approach a bear! Remain calm if you encounter a bear. Practice grabbing it, removing the safety with your thumb and spraying. Aim at the bear’s face and keep in mind the direction of the wind. If the bear charges, stand your ground (you cannot outrun it). You can recognize a black bear by its straight face profile, large protruding ears, small claws and lack of shoulder hump. If you do see a bear in your yard, bang pots and pans or blow a loud whistle, he said. Our national park-inspired merchandise store celebrates “America’s Best Idea”, the national parks. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. This way, the animal can identify you as a human. This might give you an opportunity to keep backing away. The tips on these pages will help reduce the likelihood of meeting Master Bruin, but at the same time, you need to be prepared for what to do when the unexpected occurs. Or it’s the foods conditioned and habituated. If you’re walking in the wilderness, making noise would keep the black bears away These bears have poor eyesight, so if you’re silent, they might not see you until you’re in close proximity. Remember that the bear is probably more scared of and startled by you than vice versa. If a black bear (or any bear that is stalking you) makes contact. Punch, kick or hit the black bear with any kinds of weapons are available. They’ll catch you. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Black bears may cover big distances in a short period of time, so if you’re camping, see to it that you store your foods well out of reach of bears in the area. As an effort to give back and protect the lands we love to explore, we donate 10% of profits to conservation organizations. Usually, a surprise black bear encounter will trigger a defensive response in the bear. If you see another visitor breaking these rules, or encounter a bear in a picnic area or campground, on a trail, or in any other developed area, please call (865) 436-1230 or stop at a Visitor Center to report it. But opting out of some of these cookies may affect your browsing experience. Hiking in groups is always better—you’ll be both louder and more imposing to bears. Once you continue, take a detour and give bears a wide berth. Required fields are marked *. If you meet up with a black bear in California, Remain calm and move slowly. Outdoor Federation is supported by its readers. There are numerous things you can do once you see a black bear. Indeed, if it’s a black bear and you can’t escape to a safe place, fight with all you’ve got, concentrating blows to the face. Don't turn and run away During the spring calving and fall mating seasons, elk can be particularly dangerous. It is available at most outdoors stores or online sporting goods retailers. Don’t climb a tree. Keep your backpack on, it may offer protection for your back in the extremely unlikely case of an attack. This may trigger an attack. Talk to the bear in a calm, low and monotone voice. DON’T climb trees to escape a bear. Black bears are black. Experts recommend it to back away slowly and place the jacket or knapsack or hat on the ground. Remain calm if you encounter a bear. Their range extending from the north Rocky Mountains to the Cascade Range and into southeastern Alaska, mountain goats are an iconic species in the national park system. You can read more about our Terms of Use / Disclosure here. Consider turning around as well as leaving the way you came. Is it just going about its business? Bears consider sideways movements non-threatening. What To Do When Encountering a Black Bear, Best Places to See Black Bears in the Wild. If You Encounter a Bear in A Building Do: Provide an exit for the bear: Give the bear a clear escape route out of the building. Leave slowly: Cautiously back away from the bear and leave the area. Bear spray is by far the most successful way to stop aggressive bears. One of the best ways to avoid encountering a bear in the wilderness is to store your food and trash correctly. As in many potentially dangerous situations, the first step is prevention. If the bear charges: If you know the bear has an escape route AND you are sure it’s a black bear, stand tall and look it directly in the eye: yell at the bear and tell it to leave—make sure your bear spray is at the ready. If it is a black bear, gather together, stand tall and make lots of noise. Continue to talk to the bear in low tones; this will help you stay calmer, and it won't be threatening to the bear. Slowly pull out your bear spray and remove the safety lock. Additionally, grizzly bears have short, rounded ears and a so-called “dished” face profile with a nose that somewhat sticks out from their face. Attacks by black bears on people are very rare and most black bears can be easily scared away with the following approach: Stand and face the bear … A more curious bear may stand on its hind legs to see you better, but this is not necessarily aggressive behavior. Fishing has long been known as a recreational activity for people who are not fond of active sports but want... Do you want to know the best handheld ham radio for beginners in 2020? They have black fur, which looks black, when you see it. Although they’re called “black”, black bears can also be dark brown, brown, blue-ish black and cinnamon. Focus your attack on the bear’s face, nose, and eyes. Never use bear spray like you would insect repellent. Practice using your bear spray with an empty can. Ensure the bear has an escape route. But a bear may not see or hear a person if they are concentrating on eating food, he said. Black bears are excellent climbers. Properly position the bear spray in your hand. What to Do if You Encounter a Bear . amzn_assoc_title = "";
"Even if we're quiet in the woods, we're not that quiet," Madden said. So, whenever you head into bear country, you must know what to do when encountering a black bear while hiking. If you encounter a bear on the trail, or in your campsite, stop what you are doing and evaluate the situation. Of course, it is hard to know if it is going to keep or stop running. Bear spray can reduce the number of bears killed in self-defense or after a physical attack, as well as human injuries. Most black bear attacks happen when a bear gets surprised. This is, of course, unjustified. What to know about bear spray Do not run from it. To do so, wait until the bear touches you and then fall to your stomach while protecting your head with your arms. Do not run. Once you see black bears in the distance, respect its need for space. Use noise to scare bears away: Yell, clap, or bang pots immediately upon sighting a bear near your campsite. Does it seem to be following you? Travel by groups and make noise by singing or talking. Bear Safety Tips (Printable pdf, 22kb) Black bears by nature tend to be wary of people. And with any luck, the bear will survive the encounter too.

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