A Grizzly or Brown Bear can be distinguished from its Polar and Black Bear cousins by its distinctive muscular shoulder hump and large curved front claws. If you see a bear and it hasn’t seen you, quickly and calmly leave the area.

An Encounter

Consider the following:
  • Talk calmly and firmly to the bear,
  • Do not show fear,
  • Pick up children – prevent them from running or screaming,
  • 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 give chase, and you can’t outrun a bear,
  • If the bear stands up – it’s not going to attack, but is curious and wants a better sniff or view,
  • If you climb a tree – keep in mind that a Grizzly can reach 3 metres up a tree while standing, and although not good climbers, they have been known to ascend an odd tree,
  • If the bear makes puffing or chomping sounds, slaps the ground or brush – it likely feels threatened,
  • Be sure to avoid getting close to any cubs or a fresh kill.

The Bear Becomes Aggressive

Consider the following:
  • Stand your ground,
  • Make yourself as large as possible,
  • Prepare to use a bear deterrent – pepper sprays, noisemakers and flares,
  • The bear may attempt a bluff charge  and veer away or stop at the last moment – 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:
  • Play dead – curl into a ball on your side, with your hands clasped behind your head, pulling your knees toward your face to protect your vital organs,
  • Lay still and try not to scream or fight back,
  • The attack should stop if the bear no longer perceives you as a threat,
  • If the bear is still in the area – continue to play dead.
  • When the bear has left the area – quickly leave the area,
  • If the mauling continues – this is likely a predatory attack and you have been selected as dinner  – so fight back.  Launch a strong counterattack and fight for your life! Kick, punch and hit the bear with whatever weapon is available. Concentrate your attack on the face, eyes and nose.


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