What people need to know about bears
In general, the bear avoids humans. If he has a chance to avoid the human, the bear will do the same. Therefore, you should consider the encounter with a bear in the wild as an extraordinary event.
Remember, bears do not like surprises. If you are out and about in the bear’s natural habitat, you should give the bear a chance to hear you come. Whether you sing, speak, make loud noises or even have a bear bells on your backpack, the bear will take note of your presence. It is therefore advisable to also hike in groups, as bears can perceive the louder group much earlier. Bears, though they look and hear almost as well as humans, rely more on their sense of smell. If you are running in regions that you are unfamiliar with, you should, if possible, move with a tailwind. Generally, avoid areas where it smells of decay. The cadavers may be the prey of a bear.
Do not be surprised if bears meet you on trails and roads. Even the bears seem to love the easier ways. When camping in nature, be sure to set up your tent off the lanes and roads. Give bears enough space in their territory. A bear that is cornered and thus threatened will react accordingly aggressively.
See bear cub, you should reverse immediately. The risk of getting between the kittens and the mother is high. As soon as the mother sees a danger to her young, she will attack. For this reason, you should use a camera with a correspondingly long telephoto lens to photograph in the land of the bears. So you’re not tempted to get closer to the animals.
Do you open your camp in the wild? Basically, there are also some points to note. Store all food items away from your store, either in airtight containers or high up in trees. Prepare your food at a distance from your storage area. Clean your dishes immediately after use. Avoid your clothes smelling of food. Odor-intensive foods such as smoked sausage and fish, ham and the like smell delicious even for bears. Do not leave any food and waste leftovers. The burying of leftovers is pointless, as bears perceive the smell of leftovers through the earth. If you are fishing in nature and a bear discovers you, you should put the fishing rod in the water very gently without injecting. It may well be that the bear recognizes the possibility of a light fish meal when approaching the angler. Then the bear will always come back to capture even more.
By following these rules, bears do not get used to the fact that it can be easy to find food close to human beings. Bears are looking for food for about 6 months each year. During this time, bears must build up their fat reserves for the winter. So why hunt prey when civilization provides it?
You encounter a bear
First, you should keep calm. Bears rarely attack. Bears are interested in food, their young and their territory. If a bear does not feel threatened, it will move away.
You have to get acquainted with a bear as a human being. If he can not recognize what he has in front of him, he will stand on his hind legs. So he can better absorb the weather. Standing on the hind legs shows more of curiosity than aggression. Talk to the bear in normal pitch. Move your arms up and down. So the bear has a better chance to perceive you as a human. Move slowly, facing the bear. Follow the bear, stop.
Running away is not recommended because the bear can catch up with you at any time. The bear is used to having to catch its prey that runs away. Bears approach to simulate an attack, your counterpart up to 2 to 3 meters, but without touching it. Keep moving your arms up and down, keep talking about the bear. If he moves on, talk more aggressively to the bear. Clatter with camping utensils, pots, pans and the like. Do not imitate bearish sounds and avoid shrill cries.
A bear is attacking you
Should this almost unlikely event occur and the bear attack you, surrender? Drop yourself to the ground and stand dead. You should lie flat on your stomach or curl up. Place your hands on your neck for protection and keep still. The bear will surely end his attack since for him the danger seems to be dispelled. Stay motionless, otherwise, the bear will see danger again through the eyes and ears.
In the rarest cases, a bear considers humans as food. This can happen especially in attacks against black bears. If the bear attacks you, even though you have been in the protective position for a long time, it is very likely that he regards you as food. In that case, you have to defend yourself with all your might. Remember, the nose and eyes are the most sensitive areas on the bear’s face.
On guided bear watching tours, the leader often carries a firearm that is only used in extreme emergencies. If you are unguided, you should get a bear repellent spray on site. The best effect of these sprays on distances of 5 to 8 meters. When using Bärenabwehrspray, make sure that you do not spray against the wind and damage yourself. Read the instructions carefully before starting your adventure in the land of the bears. Keep the spray handy.
At a glance
- Make noises
- Respect the bears’ territory, do not corner the bears
- Avoid careless handling of food and waste
- Identify yourself as a human, stay calm.
In most cases, bears are no danger to you! Bring the necessary respect for these wild animals and you will be delighted to observe these majestic animals in their natural habitat.