What do I do if I encounter a Bear? April 09 2018

What do I do if I encounter a Bear?

First, there’s different types of Bear Encounters. Here’s some advice we put together from various bear experts we work with:  

Defensive Encounter

May occur when a bear is defending something such as cubs, its food source or if the bear is surprised by your presence.           

  • Do not run
  • Ready your bear spray
  • Try to appear non-threatening, avoiding eye contact
  • Talk in a calm voice
  • Slowly move away without turning your back to the bear
  • Use your bear spray if the bear comes within usable range of your bear spray (typically 4-10 m (13-30 feet) depending on wind & weather
  • Spray using both hands, following manufacturers directions
  • Aim directly in front of the bear's head and a little downward
  • If the bear makes contact with you, play dead lying on your stomach with your legs spread apart and your hands interlaced behind your neck to protect it

Non-Defensive or Predatory Encounter

May occur when a bear is aware of your presence but still approaches you, or when a bear makes contact at night.  This behaviour could be considered curious, indifferent, or predatory.

  • Do not run
  • Ready your bear spray
  • Intimidate the bear - make yourself look as big as possible and shout aggressively at the bear
  • Use your bear spray if the bear comes within the usable range of your bear spray, typically 4-10m (13-30 feet) (9-10.5m for Frontiersman/Sabre bear spray depending on wind, weather & canister size)
  • If the bear makes contact, fight back!
  • Attack the eyes, face and nose

Be outdoors, be prepared!

Kodiak Wildlife