General Question

Jude's avatar

What exactly are you supposed to do if/when you encounter a black bear?

Asked by Jude (32098points) September 3rd, 2011

Tinyfaery, her wife, my g/f and myself were up in North, Michigan, last weekend and my g/f got talking about black bears. She said to me that you’re supposed to fight them when you come across one.

We were joking about running from the bear (her and I), because I am way faster (the way that she runs = “twinkle toes”), so, she’d get eaten because she’s so slow. ;) And, I’ve heard that you’re not supposed to run from them.

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27 Answers

incendiary_dan's avatar

Black bears you can scare easily. They’re relatively timid for a bear.

And delicious.

jrpowell's avatar

Bear Mace.. I was sprayed with the shit at a New Years Eve Party. I was blind for hours.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Make yourself look as big as possible. If you’re with other people group up together, wave your arms in the air and shoot as loud as possible. They will almost always run off. If it comes down to it, a black bear is one you can fight, though bear mace is something nice to have. Dont run. Food runs away. You dont want to confuse the bear now do you? lol

What to do with a Grizzly Bear? Pray to your creator lol

Ive never seen a grown black bear in the wild before. Only a cub and I gotta tell you seeing a lone cub was far more scary than seeing an adult lol.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I have seen them in Northern Michigan enough times and they are fast.If you can outrun them,then you are a record breaking sprinter.
I have read that if they come for you,and you cannot intimidate them,get ready to fight….or just make sure you have much slower company with you. ;)

redfeather's avatar

I heard you talk in a loud voice and back away… or punch it in it’s damn throat.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@redfeather I believe you’re supposed to punch em in the dick
its been far too long since ive seen that mentioned on fluther…

Cruiser's avatar

Put a pork-chop necklace around your MIL and run like hell in the opposite direction.

El_Cadejo's avatar

lol I said shoot above instead of shout >_<

El_Cadejo's avatar

Oh I forgot to mention above sometimes a bear will charge you but not actually attack. Its trying to intimidate you. You need to hold your ground here and just be ready in case it does actually attack. The teacher I had for the survival class I took told us a story about how a black bear once charged at him three times coming quite close each time but never actually attacked. He held his ground and yelled and it eventually went away.

CWOTUS's avatar

Since you posted the question in General and appear to want a serious answer, here you go.

Keep in mind that since their ranges may overlap a bit and you may not be able to tell a black bear from a grizzly (brown bear) by color alone, it’s best to avoid them as much as possible, don’t surprise them (make noise in the woods) and absolutely do not come between a mother bear and her cubs, no matter what kind of bear you encounter and no matter what anyone tells you about black bear docility and timidity.

XOIIO's avatar

If its a black bear, a fat white woman should keep him busy

shameful lol

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Look for the cubs. Make sure you’re not between her and them.Maximize your size as much as you can. Although you’re a munchkin. You’re screwed.

rpm_pseud0name's avatar

For some reason I remember being told not to make yourself look big, for that may cause the bear to go into attack mode even sooner. I was told to slowly back away while taking off articles of clothing & laying them down. The bear will [hopefully] stop to pick up & sniff each piece of clothing which will put some distance between you & the bear. I have never encountered a bear, but this technique seemed pretty logical to me.

Nullo's avatar

Make yourself look big, be as noisy as you can. If possible, have someone get on your shoulders. Stand your ground. Chemical deterrents are good, failing which I suppose that a wallop or two ought to communicate your desire to be left alone.

everephebe's avatar

Punch ‘em in their cute little bear nose. Statim

Brian1946's avatar

I think I read that some bears (which might include blacks) can run over 30 MPH, which is about 2 MPH faster than the world’s fastest human.

I also heard that scree really slows them down.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Brian1946 Im sure scree does but its not like itd do you much good because im sure you’re not exactly moving quickly over the scree yourself.

Brian1946's avatar


I’ve seen people, including my ex-wife, move quite well over screed. I’ve never seen a bear try to move on scree, and as I said, that’s what I heard. I wasn’t claiming that as a fact, and I wasn’t making any claims about how well bears move over screed in comparison to humans.

I can’t say how much good it would do, but if it provides any advantage and there’s no other resort, it would be worth a try in such a situation.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Brian1946 good point. I guess I was thinking of just how much more horribly things could go if you went for the oh shit run away from bear up scree attempt and fell since you were fleeing and scared. You’re right though it’s not a bad idea at all as a last resort though.

mattbrowne's avatar

Follow the advice of the world’s top black bear expert Professor Lynn Rogers from Minnesota. Watch the related BBC documentary

A lot of the common knowledge circling around for decades is actually wrong.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Ive watched a documentary with him before. That guy is crazy. I mean its very obvious he knows what he’s doing, I just mean I’d never have the balls to just casually hit bears with a stick and say shoo lol

Edit: Nevermind I was thinking of a different guy. They kinda looked similar from my initial google search.

mattbrowne's avatar

@uberbatman – I didn’t mean to copy his behavior, but listening to him as an expert can still give non-experts useful hints about the behavior of black bears.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@mattbrowne Oh, no, I know. But still guys got some fuckin balls.

poseyclaudia8316's avatar

Stand there; find out if the bear has seen you yet. If not then don’t let it, and walk slowly away. If it has seen you, still slowly back away. Bears are very smart and smell fear, DON’T freak out at all. They won’t harm you unless you try to harm them.

tacres's avatar

K my only up close experiance with a brown bear was with 3 dogs & a goat down in my back field. We inadvertently got within feet of a cub with mom about 15 ft. behind us on the trail. Thankfully my dogs were used to other critters & remained quiet. The goat paid no attention. I got every one past mom & baby & all was well. There were 5 of us for her to be worried about so safety in numbers. Browns are pretty nonaggressive unless cornered or protecting young. Best thing is to whistle or carry coins taped in a pop can to jingle. A little noise lets a bear know you’re about & you won’t run into one another unexpectedly. Any other time I’ve seen bears I just quietly go in a different direction & so do they. Biggest saftey tip Don’t feed bears!!!!! That is where so many tragedies begin for both human & ursine.

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