Bear Attacks-What You Need To Know
We saw an article recently which reported that bears at this time of year, as they are getting ready to go into hibernation, are bulking up with as much as 20,000 calories a day. Much of that food comes from you, whether you know it or not.
Frequently bears are unable to get enough calories from their normal habitat, especially with drought conditions that have existed in the West for the last 3 to 4 years. They are forced to seek alternative food supplies in order to survive. This means they wander down to lower elevations and invade residential areas where homeowners, knowingly or not, often provide food sources for these hungry animals.
In this article we will discuss some facts about bears you should know for your own personal safety and personal security. They are not normally aggressive animals. If you encounter one in the backcountry, it need not be a dangerous situation if you know what to do.
If you see a bear in his natural habitat in the backcountry, for many people their first reaction would be to run to escape. That is a huge error for two reasons. The first is you have no chance of outrunning a bear. Despite their size, bears are surprisingly agile and fleet of foot. Secondly bears, as noted, are not naturally aggressive animals. They may be more afraid of you than you are of them. So if you turn sideways, so you can keep an eye on the bear and slowly back away your chances of turning a potentially dangerous situation around and escaping to safety are excellent.
There are a couple of exceptions to this. If there are cubs around, mama bear will turn aggressive. If you are in her territory, she will turn aggressive. If a bear starts pawing at the ground and making snorting sounds, that is her warning to you that she’s getting ready to attack. Under any circumstances you should never go into the backcountry without a long range Bear Spray.
Look for one that’s EPA approved and has a range as long as you can get. Some Bear Sprays have 30-35 foot ranges.
If a bear is getting ready to attack, create a wall of spray between you and the bear, so if he does charge at you he will run into the bear spray which will repel him. Bears have extremely sensitive noses, which is what draws them to your food in your trash can. The smell of bear spray to a bear is extremely repugnant and highly effective-even more effective than a handgun according to the Sierra Club.
If you are in bear country, always make sure you’re carrying a long-range bear spray for your own personal safety and personal security.