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Spot a Bear? Don't Freak

Jennifer Smith

Posted on June 27 2018

Bears are one of the most intimidating wild animals that can be witnessed in the wilderness. When spotting bears, the first instinct is to run (most likely) but this is exactly what you don't want to do. Follow these steps when approached by a bear in the woods:

  • Stand tall and calm so the bear knows that you are not a threatening predatory animal. Never, ever run.
  • Slowly start waving your arms. If the bear comes towards you, don't freak out. Some bears will get on their hind legs out of curiosity.
  • Slowly move away sideways. This will show the bear that you are not looking to harm it.
  • Do not feed the bear - not even a picnic basket.
  • Do not drop your backpack or hiking supplies.
  • If you see a Mama Bear with her cubs, do not toy with the babies.
  • Make noise (gun shots, screaming, air horns)


Bears are most commonly sighted in the summertime with August being the top month of the year for bear attacks. Keep bear spray in a backpack when hiking; and use electric fencing around home properties to rid bears from landscapes.