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Avoiding An Encounter With A Black Bear

Bears are a common sight in many areas of North America. You can find these large, powerful animals in the forests and mountains of Alaska, Canada, Montana, Washington state, and California. It’s important to know how to avoid black bear encounters because they will attack humans when provoked or if they feel threatened. Here are ten tips for avoiding an encounter with a black bear.


Don’t Climb A Tree

Bears can climb trees faster than most humans and will pull you down. Stay calm and don’t make eye contact with the bear. Back up slowly to keep your distance from the bear while making sure it has a clear path out of the area as well (bears like their privacy). Make yourself look larger by holding something or standing on top of something that allows you to be taller; do NOT hold your arms over your head because this appears submissive and is considered weak behavior in bears! Hike in groups instead of alone – black bears tend to avoid people so they won’t attack unless they feel outnumbered cornered by one person.

Don’t Carry Food With You.

Don’t carry food with you because it may cause the bear to think they can obtain their food from humans. This can result in them approaching people thinking they are looking for an easy meal (which is rare). Never approach a black bear; if one approaches you, back away slowly and maintain your distance until the animal has left the area. 

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Know The Difference Between Black And Brown Bears

Black bears are typically smaller than brown bears on average, with less fur covering their bodies which means they can’t tolerate colder temperatures as well (brown bears have more hair to keep them warm). Their snouts are also pointier, while the snout of a brown bear is more block-shaped. Black bears have long, curved claws, while the claws of a brown bear are straighter and shorter with squared-off tips. Lastly, black bears do not have shoulder humps like their larger cousins! Black bears are also typically not as aggressive (brown bears rarely attack people).

Bear Spray Is A Better Solution Than Guns!

You should only use guns if you have previous experience with them because it can result in serious injury or death. It’s best to use bear spray instead, which is an effective deterrent for black and brown bears while being less lethal than guns on average. The goal is to scare off animals, not shoot them!

The number one reason humans get attacked by wild animals is when they feel threatened, so personal safety comes into play. Make sure your area is free of food sources that may attract these hungry beasts, including bird feeders, improperly stored garbage, pet food left out overnight, etc. Don’t ever run away from a bear because they are likely to chase you down and attack!

Don’t Run Away From Bears!

If you happen to encounter a bear alone in the wild, make sure that it is aware of your presence by shouting at them. If the bear continues walking towards you slowly, then back away slowly while also making yourself appear bigger than usual. Don’t turn around, though, because this may cause the animal to feel threatened and attack, so always keep facing forward if they begin closing distance on you. Stay calm but be prepared for an altercation just in case – don’t ever run or climb up a tree unless there’s no other option left! 


In conclusion, it’s best to avoid black bears whenever possible but if you do happen to come upon one in the wild, then make sure they are aware of your presence by shouting at them. Always try to remain calm and remember these tips. Stay safe out there in the wild!