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Bear Safety - Do NOT Run!

New York City, New...
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Bear Safety - Do NOT Run!

A friend of ours just returned from an extensive fishing trip in Alaska where he saw many bears. (They like to fish too, lol!). He told us about an incident that very much impressed upon him the absolute importance of never running or moving quickly in the presence of a bear. Seems that a bear appeared on the opposite bank of the stream where a group of men were fishing. They moved off to a safe distance like sensible people but one of the men accidentally left a newspaper behind. A few minutes later the wind took the newspaper. The bear's reaction to just the quick movement of the newspaper was INSTANT and he immediately charged after it at full (and very impressive) speed. Our friend said it was a lesson he'll never forget - whatever you do, DO NOT RUN!

Mahtomedi, Minnesota
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for Glacier National Park
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1. Re: Bear Safety - Do NOT Run!

Amen to that. Running from a bear is probably instinctive in humans The wife of one of the men that was killed last year reported that is what they did. maybe he would be alive today if he had not run:(

New York City, New...
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2. Re: Bear Safety - Do NOT Run!

You know I was wondering after our friend told that story if most of the fatalities might have been caused by running. Definitely bears and humans have conflicting instincts on this point, unfortunately. It must be VERY hard to remain calm. Our friend also mentioned that the guides and locals he spoke to all spoke of being bluff charged by bears once in awhile as though it were no big deal to them at all. Wow, its all in what you're used to, lol! My mama used to say that you'll get used to anything if you do it long enough.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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3. Re: Bear Safety - Do NOT Run!

This recent post on the AK forum may be of interest to others. In this reported incident, the young lady is alive today because she did what is suggested . . . play dead when a grizzly approaches/attacks: seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2019008621_a… .

Houston, Texas
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for Yellowstone National Park
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4. Re: Bear Safety - Do NOT Run!

One of multiple mistakes that cost a life (and injured wife) in Yellwstone last year. Act like food, you deserve to be food.

New York City, New...
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5. Re: Bear Safety - Do NOT Run!

Wow, she kept her wits about her in a worst case scenario for sure. Looks like she and the bear "surprised" each other due to the foggy conditions. A good thing to take under advisement if there is morning mist or smoky conditions along a trail.

New York City, New...
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6. Re: Bear Safety - Do NOT Run!

Gee, I hope the poor wife doesn't read that comment. Have a heart. We all screw up once in awhile, especially in unfamiliar environments.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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7. Re: Bear Safety - Do NOT Run!

I thought I'd share another Denali, AK story (with photos) from the travel site where I contribute content: igougo.com/story-s1223026-Denali-Stalked_by_… .

This guy was hiking when he came upon a small group of 6 who were frozen in their place with a large grizzly bear on the trail before them. The bear did advance, but then left the humans alone. The lone hiker was able to snap a couple of photos of the encounter, which are shared with his journal report.

New York City, New...
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8. Re: Bear Safety - Do NOT Run!

Now that's one dedicated photographer. Darn, that's not the way grizzly bears are "supposed" to behave is it, lol??? Guess that one didn't get the memo as they say. Maybe there was a carcass in the area or maybe he was just a very curious one. Thanks for the further education. I did not know you were supposed to shout and wave your arms in that situation. I would have thought that the arm waving might provoke them because it qualifies as "quick motion". All good to know. And again, people did what they are supposed to and lived to tell the tale. I found myself hoping there was a "good flush toilet" (Pam!) in that ranger hut cause those hikers must have needed one after THAT.

Mahtomedi, Minnesota
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for Glacier National Park
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9. Re: Bear Safety - Do NOT Run!

I've heard that some Alaskan's aren't keen on carrying bear spray. Did any of these hikers have it? Did you? I ask because if I was that close to an aggressive approaching grizzly, I would have at least had it in my hand with the safety off!

Edited: 01 September 2012, 19:03
Mahtomedi, Minnesota
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for Glacier National Park
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10. Re: Bear Safety - Do NOT Run!

Oh sorry, In my haste to read the entire story , I did not realize you were sharing a story you read. But I would still love to know. I did not see the folks in the photos with bear spray.