Surviving a bear attack

Discussion in 'Wilderness' started by Arboreal, Jun 13, 2016.

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  1. Arboreal

    Arboreal Active Member
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    The best tip is, of course, to avoid it in the first place - bears usually don't really care about attacking people, so if you know there are some in your area, you need to keep making noise when travelling through the woods. If they can hear you approach, they'll likely get away on their own. If you come across a bear anyway, you should reatreat immediately, but do not run or make sudden moves - it may scare the animal (Yes, they can be easily scared of humans, and for a good reason - they can't tell if you are armed or not), and you won't outrun the bear anyway, as they can run faster than humans - up to 50 kilometers per hour on short distances. Also, make sure there are no bear cubs around, getting between them and their mother can be a fatal mistake as she will consider it as an attack on her offspring.

    When you are being attacked, you can still avoid worst injuries if you lay on the ground and cover your head. Your backpack, if you have one, will provide additional cover. If you have a firearm, you will likely want to defend yourself, but I can't give advice on this - bears are big, sturdy animals and it takes more than a single bullet to incapacate them, unless you shoot at a vital organ. I think forum memebers more experienced in hutning can comment on this, but rememebr, if you merely wound the bear, it will just make it angrier and more aggressive (Source: talked with a guy working in a national park in Tatry several times ;) and stupid tourists provoking bears are a regular occurence there).
     
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  2. Corzhens

    Corzhens Master Survivalist
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    This thread is amusing to me because we do not have bears here. But I cannot discount an encounter since it is not impossible for me to go countries where there are bears because I am a jet setter of sorts - I travel 3 times a year. From what I know, a bear can easily kill a person with its brute strength and the usual advice is to be still for a moving target makes the bear more excited while a non-moving target can be mistaken for something else because the bear is near-sighted. One defense that I know is fire. If there is a torch, it would be a good weapon to scare away the bear so a bonfire, I think, will make you quite safe in the woods.

    A single bullet can definitely stymie a bear but depending on the size of the bullet, the bear would survive. It's good if the bear is scared of the sound of gunfire.
     
  3. Endure

    Endure Expert Member
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    After that bear scene in Revenant, pop culture already saw how brutal is a bear attack. Intimidation is the best way to get unscathed after a bear encounter, some people yell at charging bears to startle them and forcing a retreat.
     
  4. Arboreal

    Arboreal Active Member
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    Once you draw blood they're more scared of running away than of continuing the attack. AFAIK shooting is good only if you can quickly kill the bear, they're really sturdy and hen can still maul a human even after fatally wounded.
    True, it sounds silly but's supposed to work most times (on brown bears, grizzly bears might be different, I don't know much about this species). Normally they don't want to interact with people, when they hear you scream they realise you're not breakfast and should give up the attack.
     
  5. joshposh

    joshposh Expert Member
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    I've actually seen that on a documentary. The cameraman was in his tent and the grizzlies he was filming approached his tent. Out of desperation, he ran out of the tent yelling and screaming and charged the bears. The bears took off. So yes, they will get startled and take off if you catch them off guard.

    This video is not the one I'm talking about, but same effect.

     
  6. OfTheEarth

    OfTheEarth Member
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    Just a quick question, is common military-grade mace that you can buy in home depot, etc as good against bears as common bear mace? I figured mace would be a good non-lethal tool to have in addition to a firearm, and you'd probably need less accuracy - some bears will just get pissed off if you shoot em with your handy .22, you know? I'm tryna f*** up this bears eyeballs for a little bit and then send him on his way and make him scared of me, I'd prefer to let him live if I'm not sure if he's aggressive or not
     
  7. Arboreal

    Arboreal Active Member
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    I don't even know about Home Depot products since I don't live in the US, but bear spray is the same product as pepper spray, just with higher concentration of the active chemical. This means they can work, they're just less effective. If you search on the Web, it seems that in the US, bear spray is actually more effective to defend from bears than firearms.
     
  8. Toast

    Toast New Member
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    I think that avoiding it is indeed the best strategy available, and that goes for most wild animal attacks. And honestly, a lot of the bad things that could happen in the wilderness in general, that are negative of course. I think that thing about acting big works, does it not? If you get up as tall as you can, the bear will be scared off? I hope that's right. I believe acting dead doesn't really work with a lot of animals, and I know you can't outrun them. That's why we have to outsmart them. We have to use strategies that are known to work, and be quick and smart thinkers. I'm sure there's also products you can buy to keep you prepared. But I do think avoidance is just the best option. Knowing where the bears tend to be, knowing when they're around and hiding. Not alerting them or setting them off. It's truly the best strategy, and the one that puts you in the least amount of danger.
     
  9. OfTheEarth

    OfTheEarth Member
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    Awesome, thanks for that. I didn't realize it was considered more effective, I just don't want to have to have a bigass weapon at all times to deal with a bear if I could just have a can of something that just ruins his day for a few hours. Home depot just is a retailer, they have police/military(?) grade mace in front of the cash registers along with like, lazer pointers and tape measures
     
  10. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    not a problem in the UK unless one escapes from a zoo.
     
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  11. John Snort

    John Snort Well-Known Member
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    I saw a video of a cat which scared off a bear that had come sniffing around someone's front porch. Proof that if you are brave enough and don't run off when you see a bear approaching there's no reason why that encounter should be brutal.

    Air horns are also recommended for scaring off bears when someone is hiking or camping.
     
  12. Arboreal

    Arboreal Active Member
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    My pleasure, I like to share knowledge :p Interesting what kind of stuff you can buy in an ordinary shop in the US, here in Poland you van only buy mace in special weapons/self-defence shops.

    Not really, I've enevr heard that bears react to changes in human posture (and if anything, wouldn't they consider standing tall as a signal of impeding attack?). The guy in the video uploaded by joshposh actually bends slightly. The key is screaming and making as much noise as you can, so the get that you're a human, not a weird type of deer. Most of time this will cause the ebar to retreat, since 99% of time they want to stay away from humans.
     
  13. explorerx7

    explorerx7 Expert Member
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    It's unwise to turn and run from an advancing bear, you would definitely meat be dead meat. The thing to do, even though it would not be easy is to make yourself as large and intimidating as much as possible while making loud noises, this could possibly serve to scare the bear and save your life
     
  14. hades_leae

    hades_leae Active Member
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    I'm very glad that you posted this because I watched "The Revenant". with Leonardo Dicaprio, and when he got in between the mother bear and her cubs, I had no clue as to what was about to happen, I did not know bears were that defensive. The bear attack was so realistic, I was glued to my seat with my eyes wide open, I felt like I was there. That bear destroyed his body, literally, and when he shot it in the neck with his shotgun, the bear just got madder and the following attack was worse than the first one.

    I will study defense against the biggest and wildest animals because after watching that, I told myself that if I cannot out run it, fight it, or whatever else, then what do I do in order to survive a bear attack, or prevent an imminent attack. He knew the bear was around as soon as he saw the baby cubs.
     
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