Monday, August 24, 2009

Bear Attacks on man

How to stay safe in bear country

Angry bear
Many people like to enjoy nature closely, by hiking in backcountry and mountainsides. But when you are in bear country, you should be careful and prepared.
Bear Safety Tips:
  • Make lots of noise. Especially important when you are on a trail with restricted visibility, as well as those times when the wind is blowing towards you, meaning that bears will not have the benefit of your scent. What is most important is for the bear to hear your approach long before you are within its personal space.
  • Travel in groups. Groups of people tend to make more noise, therefore reducing the chances of a bear encounter. Largeer groups offer the added benefit of appearing much more threatening and thus less likely to attract a bear attack.
  • Stay alert! Even though you may be making noise, it is still important to stay alert and on the lookout for bears. Most bear attacks occur when the person was not aware of the bear's presence until the bear was less than 50 m (164 ft) away.
  • Always carry bear spray, and make sure that it is quickly accessible. It will be useless if it is buried in your pack. Practice quickly getting it out and preparing to spray. Bear sprays are an effective deterrent in very close range, emergency situations. When you find yourself in a situation where bear spray becomes necessary, you better be able to pull it out and activate it with little or no notice. It should be on your belt, and you should practice drawing it quickly.

If you see a bear, stay calm and give it plenty of room. Do not startle it; detour slowly, keeping upwind if you can, so it will get your scent and know you are there. If you can't detour wait until it moves away from your route before proceeding.

When a bear first detects you, it may stand upright and use all of its senses to determine what and where you are. Once it identifies you it may ignore you, move slowly away, run, or it may charge. A wild bear rarely attacks unless it feels threatened or provoked.

On four legs, a bear may show agitation by swaying its head from side to side, making huffing noises and clacking its teeth.

A charge or retreat may follow. Flattened ears and raised hair on the back of the neck indicate aggressive intent. If a bear runs with a stiff, bouncing gait, it may be a false charge.

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