In my earlier article, I attempted to give information to stay out of trouble with bears. However, I have not discussed your survival, after being confronted and attacked by a bear. There are means of surviving a bear mauling-they are mostly dependent upon your Prayers and memory of steps to protect your vital areas. According to experts, the claws of the bear can cause fatal wounds-the jaws of the bear, will cause more damage more quickly and are the necessary focus of your strategy to survive. Never attempt to ENTER Bear country without each member of your party having the best Pepper Spray device for Bears specifically. Every member of your group has the same chance of being dragged off and killed by a bear. Your ability to come to the aid of an attack victim is the only chance of their survival. Attacks are so sudden and overwhelming-your ability to react in time to prevent injury, is very limited.
You may only walk two steps from the protection of your vehicle,before you are in unimaginable peril! Stepping off the trail for purpose of nature’s call may deliver you into the jaws of death, unless you are extremely careful! The two most important priorities you must choose are those of being as smell free as possible. Perfumes, cologne, yummy food smells, women’s menstrual scents, are irresistible to the keen smell of bears. Elimination of these and other unnatural scents, are critical to avoidance of bear encounters. Bear cubs are curious and capricious. They are also very quick to wail for their Mamas. The squall of a cub near your person is the most important sound to avoid, in bear country. Make so dang much NOISE that the female with young will hear and call her cubs away from you. Hopefully, as I show in my earlier article, you are not between the mother and cubs! In addition to the threat of bears with small cubs, the article also reveals behavior of some young adult cubs stalking humans with their mothers.
Climbing a tree is not your best protection. a) your ability to get up a tree is incomparable to the speed of a climbing bear. b) any tree that cannot be uprooted by the bear, must be strong enough for you-branches that barely hold your weight is critical. Then, the bear may stay at the foot of the tree until you fall asleep and become supper or breakfast. Once more, Bear Spray is your most valuable weapon of defense. I must repeat the caution-it is pointless to attempt outrunning a bear. Jam a stick in its mouth asap! Spray the bear directly in the face and eyes with the spray. You may find spraying first is better in your situation-however, do not let that bear get your body parts into its mouth! That is truly the ‘maw‘ of death! Previously I wrote about the odds of escaping a bear by running. Don’t do this. When hiking with someone you would rather never see again, shoot them in the kneecap-before you run away! Just saying…..Montana Divorces are efficient. Once again a fit of gallows humor-not funny considering how many people murder their family and friends these days!
Checking in at the local ranger station or park headquarters is well worth the effort. They can tell you if bears have been seen in areas used by hikers. Whether they report sightings of bears, or not, you must go ahead as if they are swarming all over the place! They range in large areas and can move about very quickly. In addition to being ready to survive a bear mauling, you must think of your options, if this should happen. Lives have been saved many times, by utilizing compresses on bleeding wounds-pads designed for menstrual cycles are an ideal space-saving compress. Speedy action to avoid loss of blood and shock, are of utmost importance. Ability to respond as an effective team to save the victim’s life and minimize damage is critical. Anyone not able to comprehend and learn the skills necessary for administration of first aid procedures-should not be considering the idea of hiking, biking, camping, or any activity in the ranges of bears.
- How to Not Get Eaten (thedailybeast.com)
- Park Rangers: Bear in Mauling Only Protecting Cubs (abcnews.go.com)
- Yellowstone Officials Won’t Hunt Down Killer Grizzly (newser.com)
- Keeping bears at bay at home or outdoors (cbc.ca)
- ‘Avoid the temptation to run’ from a bear: expert (ctv.ca)
Visit Montana, this summer. There are unending opportunities for exciting outdoor recreation adventures. Have the time of your life! With some precautions, your trip will be relaxing, entertaining , and provide whatever you may be looking for on your travels! When planning your visit, it is critical to discuss the matter of Bears. A serious issue, for those who travel and vacation in the state, or who may decide to make The Big Sky Country, their home . It is truly wonderful, to enjoy the beauties and marvels, of Nature. Before you go there, know that, bears are dangerous territorial rivals, on trails, in Huckleberry patches, and sometimes, on your own doorstep. The worst places, to venture on hiking trails, in the state, are Yellowstone Park and especially, Glacier Park! The Grizzlies in the parks are unafraid of humans, from their constant exposure to human garbage and frankly, stupid behavior. There are female grizzlies, in Glacier Park that are roaming, with their young adult cubs, stalking humans. After all, the easiest prey in the food chain, are humans. If you are in a relatively, remote area, elsewhere, in the state, and meet a Grizzly, it is possibly, one of the Parks’ bad bears, that has been relocated. They have been shot, at least once, with PCP, and are meaner and more dangerous than those bears,who have managed to stay out of trouble in the parks! It is not reasonable, to expect to hike, fish, camp, pack, ride trails or otherwise engage in outdoor activities, without the possibility of being confronted by Ursus Arctos horribilius , or their equally deadly cousins, the smaller, black bear. If you decide to get far away from it all, into the back country, the Bob Marshall Wilderness, for instance, you stand a good chance of meeting either, a Black Bear or Grizzly. If they have cubs, and you are between them and their young, you are in big trouble.
What you Should Never Do, when encountering bear(s). 1) Promptly Lay Down and Play Dead. Do that in Glacier, and you WILL feed the bears, which is against Park rules, anyway. 2) Outrun the Bear. Better to hope the person with you, cannot outrun you. Run downhill, if you have NO other choice. Bears are slower, when running down the hill. A very fine point, when you consider that a male Grizzly can, from a standing start, run up to 25 mph, in 6 seconds. In those 6 seconds, the bear covers 109 yards! A Sow with cubs, will amble along, at a mere 15 mph, much faster than most sedentary people, or World Class athletes. In all likelihood, if you are jumped by a bear, it will happen so fast, you will only, have time to react.
What you Should Do before any Nature outing: The most important priorities for me; when picking berries, wandering trails, or going out in my yard at night 1) .45 Colt semi-auto, or the Latest, Razoo bear spray blaster sold! It is imperative, that you buy one of these, if hiking, fishing, or camping, in Montana. 2) if you’re planning to camp, keep a container, in your tent or RV, bathroom visits are discouraged at night! If in a tent, keep the container outside of the tent, too many smells. A bear can pick up odors from a long distance, however, they can’t see much of anything 3) if you see a bear, Stop, don’t move, …ease around to an area where your scent cannot be picked up by the bear, downwind. Move very slowly, to avoid their attention. Make haste from the area! 4) Many old timers swear that a solid line of lime, in a continuous circle, of your camping area, will keep bears away completely. I have not tried it, myself. But, if camping in a tent, I absolutely would do this. 5) Many people these days, take dogs on their hiking, fishing,….trips. Bears do not like dogs! One of two things could easily happen, the dog could disappear without a trace; OR the dog could bring a bear right up to you, when being chased by one! Neither of these, is an acceptable outcome. Keep your dog, carefully leashed. A dog hasn’t got a snowball’s chance in hell, of winning, or surviving, a fight with a bear!
A little knowledge and preparation, before you start your journey to enjoy the grandeur and unique culture of Montana, will reward your investment of time and research. When on trails, if there are reports of bears in the area, or not, keep your eyes and ears open. Look for fresh bear scat. Don’t be overwhelmed with alarm, if there is a cell phone in it, at least it’s not yours! What if, God forbid, you have been grabbed by a bear and they’re getting busy, mauling you to death? That is when you go limp, like a rag doll. If you seem dead, the bear may lose interest, now, don’t jump up, and try to run away. They are probably nearby, watching. Wait long enough, before you move, for the bear to move on. Unless you have your bear spray handy, and have seen the bear coming, you don’t want to try to escape a bear’s grasp. I know, it’s counter-intuitive, but, if you struggle, or try to run, the bear’s adrenaline will surge. Pop, like a grape, your head should not be, in the mouth of a creature, that can get it in its jaws! Fortunately, most people have GPS cell phones, and are located, if they have been mauled by a bear. However, if you do not use your common sense, pray and whatever else, you must to survive, they will find only your body to ID and ship home. That is, only, if you do not meet the same fate, as the poor schmuck, whose cell phone is in the bear scat!
In future posts, I will share more about Bears, Mountain Lions and about surviving in difficult situations. Survival is a matter of using common sense and preparing, before leaving, for that Nature Walk. Don’t leave home, without your most important tools. Matches, lighter, and small flashlight. Mix dryer lint with wax, in egg cartons. You will have good little tinder packets to get a fire going enough to dry out more kindling. Keep your fire going. Don’t stink up area, by frying bacon, for instance, or your bacon will be fried. Don’t leave the fire, stay put. You will be found, if the fire is burning. Otherwise, the risk of hypothermia, impaired thinking, and panic, is too great. Ladies, perfume is for city excursions. Unless you want to arouse the curiosity and appetite, of a nearby bear. A delicate subject, but important, for women: during menstrual cycle, don’t camp in bear country, or wander about, on the trail, without precautions; such as, the above mentioned, bear spray delivery system. Especially, for those camping in tents, you could become a Bear Sandwich, if you are camped on trails. You look like the easy meal, that you truly are, when bears stroll down the trail, looking for Snacks. Don’t stake your tent by creeks, rivers, or lakes, prime places for bears, at night. Remember, you are in proximity of Wild animals, who only do what their survival requires. Their food sources are being threatened, by Commercial Huckleberry Pickers, as well as human encroachment on their territories. An established territory, is vital to the survival of the species.
I admit, to treating this subject, with a little gallows-humor, please, don’t take my suggestions lightly. I am not trying to scare you away. Too many times, bear maulings, happen to those who are not familiar with bears’ habits and nature. If you vacation, or live in Montana. Becoming a bear mauling statistic, is not desirable.
- Jack Hanna Wards Of Charging Grizzly Bear Cub With Pepper Spray! (popcrunch.com)
- Montana-the big sky country (bloominglibrary.wordpress.com)
- The Bear in my backyard (chutneybynancy.org)
- Photos: Black Bears, Grizzly Bears, and Polar Bears of Alaska (vanityfair.com)
- Fatal black bear attacks mostly likely work of predatory males, study finds (canada.com)
- Deep snowpack, more grizzlies mean more encounters (seattletimes.nwsource.com)