How to Handle a Grizzly Bear Encounter

It is important for readers to remember that Grizzly bears are wild animals and should be considered extremely dangerous, so it is important to take precautions to avoid encountering one in the first place. Here are some tips for what to do if you do encounter a grizzly bear while hiking in the wilderness:

  1. Stay calm and try not to startle the bear. Avoid making direct eye contact with the bear, as this can be perceived as a threat.
  2. Slowly back away from the bear, keeping an eye on it at all times. Do not run, as this may trigger the bear’s natural predatory instincts.
  3. If the bear is not acting aggressively, try to put distance between you and the bear by slowly and calmly moving away.
  4. If the bear is acting aggressively or appears to be threatening you, try to make yourself look larger by raising your arms above your head or holding a jacket or other object above your head. Make noise by shouting or clapping your hands to try to deter the bear.
  5. If the bear charges you, try to use bear pepper spray if you have it. Otherwise, use a loud whistle or other noisemaker if you have one.
  6. If the bear attacks you, fight back using any available objects as weapons, such as rocks or sticks. Aim for the bear’s face and eyes.

It is important to remember that bears are wild animals and can be unpredictable, so it is always best to avoid encounters with bears if possible. If you are planning a hike in bear country, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with bear safety guidelines and to carry bear pepper spray with you.

Grizzly Bear Information Center