The black bear is much smaller than the grizzly bear and doesn’t have the muscular shoulder hump and large curved front claws of the grizzly. Although the black bear is generally black, their coat can also be shades of brown and in extremely rare cases – even white. If you see any bear and it hasn’t seen you, quickly and calmly leave the area.

An Encounter

Consider the following:

  • Talk calmly and quietly to the bear,
  • Do not show fear,
  • Pick up children to prevent them from running,
  • Restrain your dog,
  • Back away slowly while facing the bear,
  • Avoid direct eye contact – bears may perceive this as a threat,
  • Give the bear plenty of room to escape,
  • Do not run – running could provoke the bear to chase, and you can’t outrun a bear,
  • Do not climb a tree – black bears are skilled climbers and you will only trap yourself,
  • Do not play dead – playing dead might deter a grizzly, but it won’t work on a black bear,
  • When the bear stands up, it’s not going to attack, it is curious and wants a better sniff or view,
  • When the bear makes puffing and chomping sounds or slaps the ground or brush – it likely feels threatened,
  • Be sure to avoid getting close to any cubs or a fresh kill.

Bear Becomes Aggressive

Consider the following:

  • Stand your ground,
  • Make yourself as large as possible,
  • If you are in a group – join together and raise your arms,
  • The bear may attempt a bluff charge, and veer away or stop at the last moment,
  • Prepare to use a bear deterrent – pepper spray, noisemakers and flares,
  • Use your bear deterrent!
  • Bear sprays are most effective at close range – aim at the face of the bear.

The Bear Attacks

Consider the following: 

  • They may back off if you launch a strong counterattack – fight for your life!
  • Kick, punch or hit the bear with whatever weapon is available,
  • Concentrate your attack on the face, eyes and nose,
  • Don’t play dead,
  • Black bears don’t want to fight for a meal – if you are too much trouble, they will move on!


No responses yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *





Many of our adventures and random thoughts are captured with video and available on our YouTube channel


Don’t miss anything, 
Subscribe to our newsletter today.