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How To Protect Against A Bear Attack [Video]

Posted on Wednesday, August 21, 2013 by in Survival News |

A 12 year old girl was recently attacked by a black bear and told her story on Fox & Friends. Taking the advice she learned from one of her favorite disney shows, Abby Wetherell, played dead.  “Although this goes against conventional wisdom” said outdoorsman Steven Rinella  “it worked for the girl.” Steve Rinella, host of the Sportmen Channel’s “Meateater”, shared his tips on how to ward off a bear


So what should you do in a bear attack?

1. Look big – Make yourself appear large by extending your arms out in a waving fashion
2. Be assertive with your voice and demeanor – make a lot of noise
3. Do not run – Running can trigger a predatory response by the bear
4. Carry and use pepper spray  – It’s more effective than a firearm and it’s easy to use



3 Responses to How To Protect Against A Bear Attack [Video]

  1. Rob L says:

    “It’s more effective than a firearm”
    Pepper spray, Never was, never will be, more effective than a firearm.

  2. Jessie Love says:

    Everything really depends on the situation. Here’s what Parks Canada provides (they know a thing or two about bears):

  3. EB Young says:

    Few outdoor topics generate as much stupid advice as dealing with bears. There are two types of bears in the US – Grizzlies (in northern areas) which are also called brown bears, and black bears. Black bears may be brown in color – just to confuse things. There are 18 (as I recall) types of black bears, but the distinctions are not significant for defense purposes. GENERALLY playing dead is a decent plan for dealing with Grizzlies. It normally is a very bad idea for dealing with black bears.

    Don’t ball yourself into the fetal position during the playing dead phase. Laying face down, flat, with your arms around your head, is currently considered the optimum pose.

    Black bears – with the exception of their notoriously protective momma bears defending cubs – may attack IF they are searching for food AND think you look like a very large McNugget. They are unpredictable on that score, though they tend not to attack. You want to face an attacking black bear, not staring into their eyes (people who study such things feel that direct eye contact is considered hostile by both Grizzlies and black bears), make yourself as big as possible by raising your arms and waving whatever weapon (stick, rock, etc) you can hold, and yelling or otherwise making noise. The bear could kill you in an instant, but may not realize that and decide instead to look for a deer or something less noisy and agitated.

    Grizzlies (brown bears) typically do not attack humans and the idea is that playing dead helps the bear decide you’re not a threat and the bear will therefore ignore you. Pray that your bear got the memo about how they’re supposed to behave.

    Bear spray – especially the 45 foot stuff – is much better than a rifle at short range. 45 feet and closer with a bear is very short range. Bear organs are widely dispersed so one shot will not normally do killing damage. Their brain is small and thus not an easy target. The bear is bouncing up and down as they charge making any specific area hard to hit. Most of you don’t have the training necessary to remain calm and collected in the face of a bear attack and thus your shooting isn’t likely to be all that accurate. A good bear spray, on the other hand, is easy to use and it’s easy to see where it’s going. It doesn’t have to hit the bear exactly in the eyes to give them something to think about, but as your aim gets better the bear will pay additional attention. Within 20 feet you need to be hitting the eyes and nose directly! Bear spray is not a guaranteed deal – you may run into a bear that is so pissed or so hungry that a little pepper in the eyes isn’t going to stop them. Sorry.

    Don’t surprise bears. Wear a bear bell at a minimum and otherwise make noise (talking to yourself is a good approach) so the bear is aware of your presence. A surprised bear typically is – so the experts say – more inclined to react violently to your presence than is a bear who can hear you coming. I don’t know who interviews the bears in order to make such declarations, but it’s generally accepted so I’m going with it here.

    Avoid bears with cubs. Bears are not the only animal inclined to get angry when it feels a threat to the kids, but momma bears are known to take special offense. Don’t stop to take pictures if you see an adorable little bear in your presence. Instead back away as quickly – though calmly – as possible and do what you can to avoid looking like a threat to the youngster.

    Some people believe that strobe lights aimed at eyes disorient bears and other animals enough to cause them – sometimes – to interrupt an attack. Many modern LED flashlights have a strobe setting and thus you might carry such a light – WITH your bear spray – as part of your outdoor kit. Very loud noises – such as the self-contained air horns for sale in the boat section at WalMart – -are also thought to have a deterrent effect. I’d go with the bear spray if I were alone, but if you’re with a group perhaps the combination of (mostly) bear spray plus strobes and air horns might tip the balance in your favor. The advantage of such a mix over everyone having the spray is that people toward the back of the group wouldn’t be trying to spray “around” those in the front of the group in order to deter the bear – remember that the bear spray will knock you on your ass if you get sprayed.

    Don’t try to outrun a bear – they can chase down a horse and you don’t have a chance in a race. You may be able to outclimb a grizzly (or not) in a tree but a black bear loves trees so that’s not a good option dealing with them. Remember the the lower animal has the advantage in a tree attack – the higher animal has to bend over to fight off an attack and that is harder than swatting upward.

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