If you’re out camping or alone in the woods, you might run into an animal or two. But what if it’s a grizzly bear and not a small bunny? A mountain lion and not a mouse? Most people would drop to the ground and play dead, but that’s not always the case. People can’t just survive in animal attacks, but they can avoid one.
You have to think and act differently when encountering a grizzly and a black bear. The former species is more dangerous, while the latter is “considered benign,” though, it may take offense as well.
When you’ve encountered with a grizzly bear:
- Be calm and submissive.
- Never turn your back or look into its eyes. Those are signs of aggression to the bear.
- Lie down and pretend that you’re dead.
- If bear claws you, then, prepare to attack the animal with a knife or rocks. Give all you can to stop the bear from hurting you.
- Running won’t help, but if that’s the case, find a safe place or anything that can take off its smell on you.
Meanwhile, if you see a black bear:
- Move slowly
- Try to scare the bear by waving your arms and shouting
- If you have something to bang with like pots or other metal equipment, then do so.
- Never run or come close to it. It’s a sign of aggression to the bear.
Did you see the difference? It’s the same species, but their traits are different. That’s why you have to think fast and conceive an idea on how to prevent it from clawing you. Black bears often come to you because they smell food. So, keep your basecamp clean and odor-free.
One may think it’s alright to approach a herd of deer because they look innocent. It was never the case. Your presence might threaten these animals, and they will go for an attack. Often in these cases, people will go near the animals to give them food. Usually, the baby deer will come right at you, but the mother will perceive you as a threat to her youngling. When you have angered the mama, here’s what to do:
- Scare the animal by appearing much larger. You can achieve this by waving your arms or yelling at them.
- If they get scared, then good for you. If they want to counterattack, run and climb a tree. It’s never best to run, but if it starts attacking, you have step away from it.
- If you have no options, curl and protect yourself from them knocking you. You can use your jacket, a couple of leaves, stones, and boulders. They will leave you after a few minutes.
The scariest thing is when you encounter a stag. They have massive antlers that can pierce you. So, do your best to avoid these situations by practicing the tip we gave below.
You might encounter a lion if you’re hiking in rocky areas. These creatures will attack you if you step into their territory. It’s best to travel in groups because it won’t be as much as aggressive as it is because you move in numbers. If you’re alone, that’s another story.
- Scare the animal and throw a rock at it.
- Never run and do your best not to fall on your feet.
- The best defense is a good offense. Fight for your life.
- If you’re alone, have a handy weapon with you like a knife or gun.
If you’re in a rocky area and you plan to go backpacking alone, always ask a ranger about the vicinity and what animals reside in it. If there are mountain lions, you might as well cancel that hiking of yours unless you come prepared.
Avoiding Animals in Your Base or Trail
You’re off to a good start by doing these practices. These small things can prevent an animal from going near you and your family and friends.
- Avoid feeding the animals. They will swarm to your place when you least know it.
- If you’re grilling steak, make sure to minimize the smoke and odor. At least pack the food you want to eat and have it reheated at the camp. Additionally, take off the smell of any cloth or items, like your clothes and plates. Animals can sniff it from afar.
- Have a map. Never trail on places that are considered off the charts.
- Seal leftover food in a container when you’re done. Don’t throw chicken or pork bones away. It can attract the furry creatures around you.
- Bring protective tools and equipment with you like a knife, machete, spray, fire starter, or hunting rifle.
By keeping these in mind, you may prevent an animal from attacking you. However, if these don’t work, and you’re all alone to fend yourself with wild creatures, then here are some guides. It may not work, but it’s one of those rules you have to do in case you encounter animals.
Also, be mindful and don’t lie that you killed an animal for defense sake. Injuring a wild mammal that didn’t hurt or threaten you is a criminal offense in some states. The Utah Governing Board deemed it as a violation of that code.
We could never stress out that when you want to go to the wild, come prepared.