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How to Survive a Bear Attack: 11 Steps (with Pictures)


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Deal with a bear charge as calmly as possible. 

Some charges are tests or bluffs to see what you'll do, if anything.[1] Even though it's hard, try to stand perfectly still and stand your ground when a bear is charging you.[6] Some bears will be nonplussed by the lack of movement and stop considering you as a threat. However, do be readying yourself for an attack, such as preparing pepper spray or sticks, etc. during the charge. Don't use the spray or hit the bear unless you are sure the bear is attacking––some bears make several bluff charges before deciding you're not worth the effort and you wouldn't want to unnecessarily arouse the bear's wrath when she might just simply grow bored and wander off again.

  • After a bluff charge, talk softly, wave your hands slowly above your head and back away slowly.[1]
  • Note that if a bear rears up on her hind legs––this is often an attempt to see what is happening rather than an immediate launch into an attack. Stay still and let her assess you; she may find you unworthy of further interest.
  • A grizzly will tend to make a direct charge, while a black bear may zig zag charge to attack from undercover. Above all, do not run or you will trigger the bear's instincts to give chase. Naturally, being surprised by a stealth charging bear can make this easier said than done, so always be alert when in bear country.

I like my bears like I like my men:  nonplussed.

You're not supposed to run from big cats either because they love a chase.

Keep calm, stand your ground, make yourself bigger.

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