Whether you’re planning your next camping trip, going for a hike up a local mountain or going hunting, you want to be prepared for the unexpected. As Benjamin Franklin once said “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”
One of the first, and best things you can possibly do to protect yourself from a bear encounter is avoidance. There are two types of avoidance:
- Initial planning, and
- Site specific
What do we mean by these? Well, your initial planning should consist of creating a bear map to identify that are considered to be high use areas of bears. Then, avoid these areas as much as possible. If you are able, it’s recommended that you perform a helicopter fly over beforehand and work in pairs.
When being site specific, you’ll want to be able to recognize the bear sign and understand the bear behaviour(s), then you can employ your techniques to make sure that your presence is known.
If you see a bear and its unaware of you, this is your best opportunity to still avoid the encounter by quietly leaving. Don’t yell at a bear if it hasn’t given an aggressive signal. This is really important as it could trigger an attack.
In the event of an encounter, do your very best to avoid anything close range and that could be a surprise to the bear. Many people employ the use of bells to alert bears of their presence. Although this is a good idea, these are ineffective when there is high wind or river sounds because they could mask the sound of the bells. Try giving more than one indicator that you are in the area as many animals will wait for a second sensory input prior to feeling.
If you’re planning to be in an area that has the chance of bears being around, we highly recommend taking the time to learn more about bears and their behaviour and signs.
Silvercore’s Online Bear Defence course was created in partnership with James Gary Shelton, the bestselling author on bear behaviour. Many students choose to take this online course to complement their training in conjunction with Silvercore’s Bear Defence Shotgun Course. This in depth online training will lead you through the psychology of a bear and their signs and identification thereof.
You’ll have the opportunity to learn more about encounters and avoidance strategies as well as survival tactics if in the event of an unlucky bear attack. We also lead you through the various bear protection devices including bear spray, firearms and the use of dogs.
Looking for a glimpse of what this course is like? Try our free demo.
Need to be prepared? Get started with the full course!