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Avoiding Disaster


I was fortunate enough to be taught at (https://www.lionstigersandbears.org) LTB in Alpine, California, how to react when you have a bear or mountain lion loose and running in your direction.

This training served me well, as this did happen to me when I moved to the Sierra Mountains. I saw a bear running in my direction when I was at a coffee shop, the last thing I was expecting to see in a completely public busy place. I could tell by the size and body mass that it was a juvenile bear. The bear was very nervous, the bear’s head was in a low position, and he moved his head in a very quick back and forth motion. He was looking for a way out as something had scared him out of the woods.

A nervous bear is an extra dangerous bear. Never run within sight of an apex predator. Never turn your back and then look back over your shoulder as this is prey behavior. Never lock eyes with a bear or cougar but do keep your eyes on the animal. If you must move back up slowly, making no quick motions, this only agitates the animal more.

I held my ground, I was nervous, but I could hear the person that trained me, saying, “Don’t Move.” The bear took one look at me and got a very comical look on his face, quickly turned around and ran in the direction it had come.

I know for a fact with black bears, yelling works as I had a friend that had a black bear go after her chickens. Banging pots and pans scare them into running away from you instead of towards you. I am not so sure this would work with a more aggressive type of bears like a grizzly.

Black bears come in various colors: blond, cinnamon, brown, blue-grey, and white. If you notice a distinctive hump on the bear’s shoulder area, you are not dealing with a black bear but a grizzly.

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