Offgrid Preparation Infographic: Safety Tips for Bear Country
We spoke with series Executive Producer Grant Kahler regarding the...
Humans often feel as though we've mastered the animal kingdom. After all, most animals are either domesticated and friendly towards us, or have learned to run and hide the moment they spot us. Also, the bigger and stronger animals don't seem so scary when they're at a zoo behind several inches of solid plexiglass, or displayed on TV in some nature documentary. Nevertheless, there are still a handful of predator species that can show us how feeble we really are — especially when we're all caught off guard in their natural environment.
Bears are one such species. If you run into one in the backcountry and aren't prepared to deal with it, you could end up having a very bad day. If you've got a strong stomach, check out this graphic video clip from Montana resident Todd Orr. He was scouting for elk before a hunt, when a mother grizzly bear charged him at full speed. The side of his head was sliced down to the bone, and his forearm was torn and punctured. Fortunately, he was able to walk back to his truck and call for help after it left him for dead.
Even prepared individuals like Orr can be attacked — he used bear spray, and followed the recommended defensive technique of laying motionless, yet was still severely attacked by the mother grizzly. However, preparing against bear attacks can reduce their severity, or help you avoid them altogether. In Orr's case, his wise choices and determination to escape likely saved his life.
The infographic below from Fix.com shows the recommended steps for defending yourself in bear country. First, it helps identify the differences between black bears and grizzly or brown bears, and illustrates where each type is found in North America. Then it shows how to survive a bear attack, either with bear spray, body language, or defensive posture. Click here to download a full-size version of the graphic.