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Bear follows family while hiking - what’s the move here? (1 Viewer)

BobbyLayne

Footballguy
Weather Channel IG

Spoiler: it ends well

Canadian family with 2 small boys was hiking in British Columbia. (Black? IDK) Bear followed them awhile, eventually stopped.

I know what NOT to do. Don’t run, don’t climb a tree. What is the right way to handle this?

Keep calm and keep walking.

Make yourself big? That’s only small animals, right? Like, I’m squaring off with Smokey, k?

Play dead. You serous, Clark?

We do hike, often, and it occurs to me I don’t have a clear plan how this confrontation should be handled.

 
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TLEF316

Footballguy
Don't get me wrong...I'd still be very scared. But black bears are VERY rarely aggressive. Nearly all documented "attacks" are defensive (someone getting too close to their cubs or something). For the most part, black bears are scavengers, not aggressive hunters.  Pretty sure its like less than 1 death per year on average since the early 1900's.

Yeah, I guess I'd do what that woman did. Keep calmly walking away and make a lot of noise.

 

Dinsy Ejotuz

Footballguy
Don't get me wrong...I'd still be very scared. But black bears are VERY rarely aggressive. Nearly all documented "attacks" are defensive (someone getting too close to their cubs or something). For the most part, black bears are scavengers, not aggressive hunters.  Pretty sure its like less than 1 death per year on average since the early 1900's.

Yeah, I guess I'd do what that woman did. Keep calmly walking away and make a lot of noise.
Other way around.

Grizzly bears will attack you for getting to close to the cubs, but black bear moms will mostly run up a tree or far away.  The vast majority of black bear attacks are by predatory males.

 
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TLEF316

Footballguy
Other way around.

Grizzly bears will attack you for getting to close to the cubs, but black bear moms will mostly run up a tree or far away.  The vast majority of black bear attacks are by predatory males.
hmm. Ok.  I'm sure you're right.

I just remember a few years back NJ had the first documented black bear death in history. And the speculation was that the victim (a college kid I think) HAD to have done something stupid (like going near cubs)

I had one walk past my window (walkout basement office, so a sliding glass door) while I was on a zoom call a couple of years ago. Scared the absolute crap out of me and everyone the zoom call noticed. :wall:

 
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Dinsy Ejotuz

Footballguy
hmm. Ok.  I'm sure you're right.

I just remember a few years back NJ had the first documented black bear death in history. And the speculation was that the victim (a college kid I think) HAD to have done something stupid (like going near cubs)
I remember that one -- like "New Jersey?!"

I think they did it exactly wrong.  There were four or five of them and instead of staying together and raising hell, they split up and ran.  So in addition to losing the protection from being in a group (I think our guide in Yellowstone said there's never been an attack on 5+ people) they turned themselves into prey.

 

BobbyLayne

Footballguy
The comments there had a lot of references to “this is a black bear in full predatory mode; this is consistent with pre-attack behavior.”

So just walking and shouting. Then sprint the last 90 seconds to your vehicle bc the old dude with you (happy Father’s Day?) can’t keep up. That’s my takeaway.

My son is 23 and likes to hike with me. I still need a better plan.

 

BobbyLayne

Footballguy
What do we do if we see a grizzly?

Stand tall, wave your arms and throw feces at the bear.

Feces?  Where are we going to get feces?

Oh, don't worry about that.
My understanding is if it’s a grizzly and you ain’t been talking to Jesus, NOW would be a good time to start.

 

matuski

Footballguy
Had a mountain lion pop up out of nowhere on a hike in tucson several years back.  We had let my kids bring up the rear.... my youngest (6) just happened to see it.

The thing stalked us back down the trail for 45 minutes.  Thing was godddam huge.

Next day was a story in the newspaper that a grandpa fought off a mountain lion from his grandson.  Same trail.

 

fred_1_15301

Footballguy
Had a mountain lion pop up out of nowhere on a hike in tucson several years back.  We had let my kids bring up the rear.... my youngest (6) just happened to see it.

The thing stalked us back down the trail for 45 minutes.  Thing was godddam huge.

Next day was a story in the newspaper that a grandpa fought off a mountain lion from his grandson.  Same trail.
Now that is an extremely rare encounter.  Glad you made it out ok.  Most animals only attack humans when they’re injured or protecting their cubs.

 

matuski

Footballguy
Now that is an extremely rare encounter.  Glad you made it out ok.  Most animals only attack humans when they’re injured or protecting their cubs.


6 adults picked up sticks and rocks... not a damn thing we could have done if it decided to attack.  Must have been >125 pounds of rippling muscle.

 

fred_1_15301

Footballguy
6 adults picked up sticks and rocks... not a damn thing we could have done if it decided to attack.  Must have been >125 pounds of rippling muscle.
There was a Colorado man (5 ft 5, 150 lbs) who choked and killed an attacking mountain lion.  With 6 grown adults, I think you’re underestimating your chances.

 

fred_1_15301

Footballguy
If it’s black fight back.

Tips on fighting bears? Because I don’t see that going well for me.
As mentioned previously, black bears are extremely timid and very unlikely to attack you.  However, if they do decide to attack, your best course of action is to fight back.  You’re most likely screwed but at least you’ll die knowing that you gave it your best shot!

 

matuski

Footballguy
There was a Colorado man (5 ft 5, 150 lbs) who choked and killed an attacking mountain lion.  With 6 grown adults, I think you’re underestimating your chances.


I mean - if a Pacquiao sized guy can do it..... :shrug:  

eta - Also I considered two of those "adults" to be a severe handicap/hinderance with all the screaming.

 
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krista4

Footballguy
Really?  A black bear?  :lmao:  

They're not aggressive by nature at all.  I've come across them and I feel honored when I've been able to see one.

I know there are people who've done everything wrong (see e.g., some folks in NJ I remember from a few years ago), but otherwise it's silly to worry about a black bear.

Mountain lion/cougar on the other hand terrifies me.  And oddly enough, while no one has ever been killed by a black bear in Washington, someone died by virtue of a damn mountain goat.  I see those a lot more often and give them very wide berths.

 

AAABatteries

Footballguy
If it’s black fight back.

Tips on fighting bears? Because I don’t see that going well for me.
Get big, be loud and yell at it and if you can pick up rocks throw them at him as kind of a last resort.  Honestly, this is if you get close - they will avoid you, so just keep an eye out.  If you see a cub, stay far away.  Do not take your eyes off the bear, walk backwards slowly and if it engages do the above.

When hiking try to have your snacks in ziplock bags.  When camping, use a bear canister or hang your feed bag from a tree a good 100 yards from your tent 20-30 feet in the air. 

 

Manster

Footballguy
Good time to be packin some heat.  Personally, I don't take my fam in the woods without packin.......99.9% of the time no worries, but you just never know what you might run into out there......two legged or four legged.

 

Manster

Footballguy
Had a mountain lion pop up out of nowhere on a hike in tucson several years back.  We had let my kids bring up the rear.... my youngest (6) just happened to see it.

The thing stalked us back down the trail for 45 minutes.  Thing was godddam huge.

Next day was a story in the newspaper that a grandpa fought off a mountain lion from his grandson.  Same trail.
Mountain lions are very territorial with eachother.  Dominant animals will kill intruding cats caught in their home range, which is very large.  I believe cats that attack humans are desperate......like one year olds who have set out on their own to find their own territory......or maybe older starving cats........Normally, cats will shy away from humans, which is why you don't see em that often in the woods.  If they wanted to, they could ambush you, and you'd be hosed before you knew what hit you.

 
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steelerfan1

Footballguy
I agree with the bear spray and or a 357 revolver or possibly 10mm hand gun for hiking in area with bear. If grizzly I think you’d need a 45 70 rifle so bear spray probably best if you don’t want be lugging something around.

 

Ron Swanson

Footballguy
Seriously?  I thought this was common knowledge.  “If it’s black, fight back.  If it’s brown, lay down.  If it’s white, good night.”

And if you’re hiking anywhere in bear country, carry some damn bear spray.
The bear spray suggestions are the right answer. I wore it the entire time I was in Montana visiting my brother and did not have a single bear encounter. Great stuff.

 

Skipdog77

Footballguy
This is why I always carry an emergency  jar of honey around with me.  Sure people may look at me a little strange in Target, but I ain't been eaten yet. 

 

brun

Footballguy
Since you want appear as large as possible. I'm thinking it might a good idea to carry a really long overcoat and big Indian head dress. One person could sit on the other person's shoulders while wearing the head dress and long overcoat.  You'd look like a strange 10 foot tall creature and the bear would certainly get scared and run away. 

 

Tom Servo

Nittany Beavers
BobbyLayne said:
Weather Channel IG

Spoiler: it ends well

Canadian family with 2 small boys was hiking in British Columbia. (Black? IDK) Bear followed them awhile, eventually stopped.

I know what NOT to do. Don’t run, don’t climb a tree. What is the right way to handle this?

Keep calm and keep walking.

Make yourself big? That’s only small animals, right? Like, I’m squaring off with Smokey, k?

Play dead. You serous, Clark?

We do hike, often, and it occurs to me I don’t have a clear plan how this confrontation should be handled.
How-to

 

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