Bear Safety Tips Be prepared
BEFORE you explore the great outdoors!
Watch Video Of A Real Bear Charge
Bear attacks happen as fast as
lightning!!! Most situations
where you will need to use your UDAP
Bear Spray will be in a close
Practice, at least seven times going
for your spray, or until you can
reach it in a split secondís time
when needed. You may want to
practice actually shooting from your
holster with one of our inert cans.
These cans have the same spraying
power as our regular sprays without
the hot pepper. For training
purposes only, inert cans be
purchased at half the price of our
regular spray, we suggest also using
outdated cans for this purpose. In a
bear attack situation, we do know
this: you willpanic
if you have not been trained ahead
how you will think and react.
Practice what you need to do in
different attack situations. Rehearse, with
friends or family various situations in
order to be prepared in a real life
Traveling in bear
country can be quite exhilarating. Although
most bear attacks can be avoided,
there is always a chance of encountering a
bear. The following is a compilation of the
latest information collected from various
wildlife specialists, bear encounters,
and articles featuring bear encounters.
Although nothing is 100% guaranteed
here are some tips that might prove to be
useful in an encounter.
ALERT IN BEAR COUNTRY
Pepper Spray in its holster ready
for immediate use. Donít bury it in your
ē Be alert where recent bear activity has
been documented by park officials, Fish and
Game, Forest Service, and other public
service people. Some common areas where
bears like to frequent are: avalanche
chutes, stream beds, dense edge cover and,
in late summer, berry patches.
ē Use extreme caution
when traveling on trails at night or at
either end of day.
ē Be careful with food smells - never cook
close to camp. Store all foods in plastic
away from camp at night and when camp is
unattended. We suggest at least 100 yards
from camp and at least 14 feet up a tree
hung 4 feet away from the trunk.
ē Watch for fresh bear sign (scat or bear
tracks) on the trail or near possible camp
ē If possible, make plenty of noise on the
trail, especially on blind curves, in dense
vegetation or areas with limited vision.
conscious of the wind - bears have an
excellent sense of smell. If the wind is at
your back, chances are a bear will smell you
and leave the area well before you reach it.
If the wind is blowing in your face, your
chances of an encounter greatly increase.
Also, in high wind situations or along
creeks and streams, a bear might not hear
you coming oryou might not hearit.
ē Dead animal carcass - If you come upon a
dead animal carcass, immediately leave the
area. Bears will often feed on a carcass for
days and also stay in the area to protect
ē Bear cubs - If
you see a bear cub, chances
are the sow is not far away. Female bears
will fiercely defend their young, so it is
best you leave the area and find an
ē Keep dogs under control - dogs can lead an
angry bear back to you.
ē We advise not to travel alone in bear
country. Invite a friend. It is always safer
to travel in groups if possible.
areas that bears like and you can reduce
your chances of an encounter. If you canít
avoid these areas, be extra cautious and
alert when traveling through them. Bears
like to travel on saddles, ridges, game
trails and along water. Theyíll eat dead
animal carcasses wherever they can find
them. They feed on green grasses and also
vegetation that grows in wet areas. They
often rest in cool, dark, thick forests.
Grizzly bears are typically, but not
exclusively active during the dawn, dusk,
and nighttime hours.
In spring and early summer, bears are often
found in lower elevations along rivers and
streams. They love to catch fish when the
spawning runs are going. They will also
search for winter killed animals in these
In the summer, bears usually spend time at
higher elevations, often in park like areas.
Theyíll eat wild berries when they are ripe.
If you like to go out wild berry picking, be
extra careful, make lots of noise and keep
children near you at all times.
In the fall, bears are often found in white
bark pine stands eating pine nuts. Sometimes
a bear will dig around a tree to try to
locate a squirrels cache of nuts. Bears also
dig for roots in mid-elevation meadows,
especially in years when there are fewer
BE AWARE OF
RECENT GRIZZLY BEAR ACTIVITY
Always check with park officials, rangers,
or other authorities regarding the area you
intend to travel for possible bear activity.
Always make sure others know where you are
going to be in the back country. Learn to
identify the signs of bear activity and
avoid using these areas. Typical signs of
grizzly bear use include: fresh tracks a
grizzlies claw marks extend farther away
from pads than black bears), scat greater
than 2 inches in diameter (most likely a
grizzly's), areas where the ground may be
tore up from bears scavenging, and partially
consumed or buried animal carcasses.
seem to experience moods much like we do;
they can be shy, curious, pushy, or
aggressive, and can possess other attributes
that we can identify as humanlike. Each time
you get close to a bear, you encounter a
specific individual that
may behave differently
from any other individual you have ever met
before or will ever meet again.
Grizzly attack victims are often not aware
of why they were attacked. Many attacks are
caused by close encounters, where the bear
has been surprised and feels threatened by
human presence. A female with cubs will be
especially aggressive and will defend her
cubs from any possible threat. Many attacks
can be avoided if the bear sees a way out of
Bears are basically solitary animals. Each
has its zone of danger, or personal space,
which varies from animal to animal. If
something or someone penetrates this zone, a
response in the form of a bluff charge,
bodily contact, or outright attack may
result. Often times grizzly bears will
essentially ignore people until a person
enters into a bear's "personal space". Even
groups as large as 100 people have been
ignored by grizzly bears until one of the
group gets too close. Most bears are timid
enough to flee a possible encounter if they
sense the presence of something or someone
soon enough to leave the area undetected. On
the other hand, when a bear is surprised,
the bear may see you as a threat, forcing an
A person who runs when frightened by a bear
may trigger a chase response. One bear will
even chase another if it runs. Bears that
stand their ground when confronted by other
bears usually arenít attacked, and bears
that behave submissively have a lower
incidence of being attacked as well. A
grizzly bear rarely wants to kill a human.
Considering the damage a grizzly is capable
of inflicting on a human, wounds resulting
from bear attacks are often nothing more
than superficial bites, scrapes, and
lacerations. The evidence is very clear that
grizzlies do no t try to kill a human as a
result of a close encounter, they simply try
to remove a perceived threat. The injuries
that occur are more a function of what the
human does to resist, rather than what the
bear is capable of doing. Of course, a
grizzly entering a tent represents a
predatory event which is behaviorally very
different than a close encounter situation.
Young grizzlies can
pose another danger. Often these bears have
just left their mother and rank low on the
hierarchical scale. Larger, more dominant
bears often push these juveniles into
marginal habitat. To survive, young bears do
a lot of exploring. If these bears start
using campgrounds as foraging areas, they
may quickly become dangerous to people
camping in them. In extremely rare
instances, young grizzlies will even key
onto people as potential prey.
Black bears seem to rely more on sheer
bluffing than on charging and mauling. Those
rare instances in which a black bear presses
an attack can probably be grouped into two
categories: First, a female protecting her
cubs, particularly if she is also habituated
and food-conditioned; or second, a bear that
has no experience with humans and may regard
them as possible prey.
bear that stands on its hind feet is usually
just trying to get a better look and smell
by sniffing the air. This is not an
aggressive posture in of itself. It simply
means that the bear is unsure of what is in
front of him, but still could drop on all
fours and charge.
A bear that swings its head from side to
side, or turns sideways from you, is
expressing a reluctance to charge and is
looking for a way out of the situation.
If a bear looks you in the eyes directly and
has its ears back, itís warning that you are
too close and feels threatened. A bear may
also make barking, woofing or moaning sounds
to indicate this.
If a bear "pops" its
jaws, it is very agitated and most often
will charge. Charges are often a test to
resolve a situation and are often "bluff
charges" where the bear stops short of you,
veers off and runs right past you. A bear
might bluff charge many times before
leaving. A bear may also bluff charge a few
times and then come at you at a different
A bear that does charge, and knocks you
down, is attempting to remove a threat. The
bear will use as much force as it believes
is necessary to remove that threat.
A bear can instantly reach speeds of 30 to
35 miles per hour in a matter of a split
second. Never try to outrun a bear,
it will only make matters worse.
ENCOUNTERS ON THE TRAIL
Stop, stay calm and quiet, and make no
ē Break eye contact - do not stare in the
bearís eyes, as this is a sign of
ē Stand your ground - do not turn your back
on the bear - sometimes a bear will bluff
charge several times. Have your UDAP Bear
Deterrent Pepper Spray ready, but do not
spray unless you are sure the bear is close
enough to spray in the face.
ē Look for signs of agitation and aggression
- When a bear is standing on its hind legs,
it is usually just trying to get a better
look and smell of you. When a bear is upset
it may have itís ears back- it may lower
itís head and swing it from side to side- it
may paw at the ground- it may make huffing
or woofing noises- it may snap itís teeth-
or not show any signs at all, and just drop
and charge with no warning.
ē Back away slowly, speaking in a calming,
monotone voice - you want to show the bear
that you are being submissive and want to
get out of "Itís" territory. Do not turn
your back and always have your Pepper Power
ē If the bear comes at you - spray the UDAP
Bear Deterrent Pepper Spray aiming for the
bearís face or spray a fog out that the bear
has to run through to get to you.
Being close to
a sow with cubs is always a dangerous
ē Keep a cool head -
Try to stay calm, do not yell or scream.
ē Some bears, even
grizzlies, will climb trees after you. Also
a grizzly can reach 10 feet up a tree while
standing on the ground.
Right before a grizzly bear makes contact in
a surprise attack at close range (and you
donít have pepper spray), roll into a ball
or lie face down, try to protect your neck
an face, and pray. Don't stick your arm out,
kick, scream, or fight. Try to protect the
vulnerable parts of your body while
remaining as still as possible, this will
actively be helping the bear remove the
perceived threat. Surprising a territorial
male bear or a sow with cubs will almost
always be a threatening situation.
ē Some bears, mostly
young bears unfamiliar with the dangers of
human contact, have been known to actually
stalk humans. If you believe this is the
situation you are in, and have not just
surprised the bear, it is recommended that
you defend yourself aggressively.
ē If the bear mauls
you continuously, despite yourself being
passive, you may have to fight back. Try
using any available weapon - a knife, rock,
fist - and concentrate on hitting the bearís
head, eyes and nostrils.
ENCOUNTERS IN CAMP
The situation of a
bear that enters your camp is to be handled
differently than a bear surprised on the
trail. They might not have any fear of
humans and have probably become used to
eating human food and garbage. These bears
are dangerous, and are no longer fearful of
being in close proximity to humans. Make
sure that you store your food properly. A
bear that finds no food in camp is more
likely to become disinterested and move on
to better pickings.
Try to remain calm,
avoid making direct eye contact and speak
softly to the bear. If the bear is within 10
to 15 feet, spray the bear with your UDAP
Bear Deterrent Pepper Spray. If it is safe
to do so, try slowly backing out of the area
while looking for suitable trees to climb.
Make sure you have enough time to climb a
tree before attempting it. Make sure you can
be up the tree at least 14 feet before the
bear reaches you. Climb as high as you can
and stay there until the bear is gone. Be
aware that some grizzlies can climb trees
and all black bears can.
you are attacked by a bear in camp, it may
be a predatory attack or could also just be
a bear seeing your camp as it's food source.
The bear may have made a conscious choice to
attack you, or may see you as a threat to
it's food supply. Playing dead may not work
depending on the situation. Spray the bear
with your UDAP Bear Deterrent Pepper Spray.
Fight the attack by punching, slapping or
using any object available as a weapon. Try
to evade the bear by climbing up a tree or
onto a boulder.
Sleep in tents
large enough to stack gear between you and
the tent wall. If a bear gets within 10 to
15 feet of your tent, or attempts to enter
it, spray the bear with your UDAP Bear
Deterrent Pepper Spray and fight back.
Report the incident as soon as possible,
even if the bear simply walks through the
camp. We do not recommend that you remain in
that particular campsite another night.
camp from bears!
IF A BEAR
COMES INTO YOUR CAMP AT NIGHT
Get your UDAP Bear
Deterrent Spray ready, and then, look out of
the tent and check out the bear with your
flash light. First, make sure itís a bear,
not one of your hiking partners or other
harmless animal wandering in the night.
you can identify it as a black bear, the
situation is usually not as serious as a
grizzly coming into camp. Spray the bear if
it is within 10 to 15 feet with your UDAP
Bear Deterrent Pepper Spray. This will not
permanently harm the bear but will let it
know that it is an unwelcome guest and it
will probably not return. If you have time
to get to your escape tree, do it, but donít
leave the tent if you arenít sure you have
time. If the bear (black or grizzly) is
hanging around the cooking area because of
the food smell, make lots of noise and try
to scare the bear away.
IF A BEAR
COMES INTO YOUR TENT
This is the worst
possible situation. It very rarely happens,
but there are a few documented cases. At
night attack usually comes from a predatory
bear. If you act like prey, you become prey.
Once more, donít
panic, run, or scream, but donít remain
calm. Instead, fight back with everything
you have. Donít lie still in your sleeping
bag. Donít play dead. Use the UDAP Bear
Deterrent Pepper Spray. Make loud metallic
noise. Use an air horn. Shine lights in the
bears eyes. Temporarily blind the bear with
the flash of your camera. Use any deterrent
you brought with you. Unload on the bear
with everything you have. Anything goes. Use
whatever physical resistance you can.
WHAT CAUSES A
BEAR TO ATTACK?
Bears attack other
bears, other animals, and people because
they have genetically programmed types of
aggressive behaviors that pertain to
population regulation, survival defense, and
predatory aggression. This doesn't mean that
there aren't other factors involved in some
attacks, or that people don't contribute to
Though we have
established the fact that bears are
unpredictable, there are four situations
that are most likely to cause a bear to
attack. By knowing what they are we can work
to avoid getting into these types of
1. When a person
encounters a protective sow with cubs. An
average of 78% of all attacks are related to
2. When a bear is
surprised, or startled.
3. When a human gets
too close to a bear's food supply.
4. Predatory Bear
(When the bear intends to eat you).
Regardless of the
situation, surprise is one of the leading
causes of bear attacks. A surly solitary
bear, who is startled by a hiker on a trail,
may run away or aggressively confront the
hiker. Most injury encounters with bears
occur when the person gets within 55 yards
before the bear is aware of his presence.
Mark's experience changed his life. Since
then, he has dedicated himself to improving
a product designed to safeguard people
against maulings, and to help them better
coexist with wildlife. In a short time, his
225 - 260 gram
Pepper Spray cans have
generated numerous testimonials from
grateful customers like the following:See
WHAT ABOUT HUNTING IN
who harvest big game animals in grizzly
country, should be aware that the sound of a
gun shot might sound like a dinner bell to a
wandering grizzly. Some hunters, tracking
down their "trophy elk", can be quite
surprised when they find a grizzly has beat
them to it. Hunters who make a kill in
grizzly country should make lots of noise as
they carefully approach the carcass. They
should also try to view the carcass from a
distance to see if a grizzly is guarding it.
The blood and gore at a kill site may
attract a keen-nosed, opportunistic grizzly.
Many hunters who have killed animals and
returned the next morning to pack out the
meat, have been suddenly confronted by an
aggressive bear who had claimed the kill
overnight. If a kill site appears disturbed,
but no bear is seen, itís best to back off
because the bear may be lying in cover
nearby. A bear on a kill may refuse to back
off, even when shots are fired into the
ground nearby, and many sportsmen have been
forced to relinquish their harvested game
animal to a protective bear guarding its
food supply. Smart sportsmen who harvest big
game animals in grizzly country try to pack
out the meat the same day of the kill, or
they carry the quartered carcass to a safe
spot a few hundred yards from the bloody
kill site and then hang the quarters high in
Inc. would like to thank the following for
their input on "Bear Safety Tips" web page &
booklet. We value your expertise.
Barrie K. Gilbert
Behavior/Wildlife Management - Utah State
Dr. Steven Herrero
- Bear Behavioral
Studies - University of Calgary
(Author of "Bear Attacks" , Lyons & Bruford
Administrator, Conservation Education
Division - Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks
Steven P. French,
M.D. - Yellowstone
Kevin Frey -
Management Specialist, Yellowstone Ecosystem
- Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks
James Gore -
Bear Habitat Coordinator - Forest Service
Kerry A. Gunther -
Specialist - Yellowstone National Park
- Owner and Chief
instructor - Survival Consultant Group
Dave Lockman -
Supervisor - Wyoming Game and Fish
Dave Moody -
Wyoming Game and
Chris Queen -
Wyoming Game and
Self Defense for
by Mike Lapinski Stoneydale
($12.95 + S&H)
Mark of the
by Scott McMillion Falcon
by Stephen Herrero Lyons &
by Kathy Etling Safari Press,
by Bill Schneider
Falcon Publishing, Inc.
Bear Attacksby Stoney Wolf Productions
UDAP Industries 1-800-232-7941
part of this site including all text, illustrations, photographs,
pictures or any other item contained in the pages of this site
may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written
permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in
articles and reviews.
and all violators will be prosecuted to the full extent of