It’s Spring, and for most parts of the country, it’s time for hungry bears to start coming out of hibernation. Although bear attacks are rare, let’s look at some tips for how to survive the odd attack. While there are many things to analyze about each bear encounter, however, the first and foremost thing you need to know in the event of a full-blown attack is whether to run, fight or play dead. This article is certainly not a compendium of bear attack survival techniques. You can read much more extensively about bear encounters on the National Park Service website.
You should never run from a bear. Prior to a bear attacking you, it may be a good idea to edge slowly away in a sideways movement while a bear is still stationery. Once a bear has attacked , getting away definitely isn’t an option. Do you play dead or fight back?
If a black bear is attacking you, he is wanting to eat you. Do NOT play dead with a black bear. You should fight back with bear spray and blows to the mouth and head. Loud voices also sometimes deter a black bear.
A grizzly bear or brown bear attack can often be lessened by the victim playing dead. The experts suggest that you lie down with your pack on you back and cover the back of your head and neck with your hands. The grizzly likes to come back and be sure the prey is still dead, so it is wise to not get up too quickly.
There are so many other aspects to bear safety than this, and much of it involves gauging the bear’s mindset and intent. bearsmart.com gives some great insight in how to avoid an attack to start with. However, once an attack has ensued , a good rule is “If it’s black, fight back. If it’s brown, hit the ground.”