bearWhat to do if you see a Bear?

What do you do if you come across a bear while hiking or for that matter while at the cabin?  First and foremost it is illegal to be within 50 yards of a bear in the wild.  It is illegal to even bother or change his behavior.  Basically,  they don’t want you close enough for the bear to even know you’re there.  And lastly, it is illegal to feed wild animals of any kind.  Now, what do you do if you happen upon a bear in the woods?  Well,  here is what the official web site recommend that you do.

“Bears in the park are wild and their behavior is sometimes unpredictable. Although extremely rare, attacks on humans have occurred, inflicting serious injuries and death. Treat bear encounters with extreme caution and follow these guidelines:

If you see a bear remain watchful. Do not approach it. If your presence causes the bear to change its behavior (stops feeding, changes its travel direction, watches you, etc.)-you’re too close. Being too close may promote aggressive behavior from the bear such as running toward you, making loud noises, or swatting the ground. The bear is demanding more space. Don’t run, but slowly back away, watching the bear. Try to increase the distance between you and the bear. The bear will probably do the same.

If a bear persistently follows or approaches you, without vocalizing, or paw swatting, try changing your direction. If the bear continues to follow you, stand your ground. If the bear gets closer, talk loudly or shout at it. Act aggressively and try to intimidate the bear. Act together as a group if you have companions. Make yourselves look as large as possible (for example, move to higher ground). Throw non-food objects such as rocks at the bear. Use a deterrent such as a stout stick. Don’t run and don’t turn away from the bear. Don’t leave food for the bear; this encourages further problems.

Most injuries from black bear attacks are minor and result from a bear attempting to get at people’s food. If the bear’s behavior indicates that it is after your food and you’re physically attacked, separate yourself from the food and slowly back away.

If the bear shows no interest in your food and you’re physically attacked, fight back aggressively with any available object–the bear may consider you as prey! Help protect others, report all bear incidents to a park ranger immediately. Above all, keep your distance from bears!”

So there you have it.  Not all that reassuring I’ll give you that.  However,  I do think it is important to have some knowledge about the do’s and don’ts.  I believe the worst possible situation would be if you found yourself between a mother and her cubs.  Keep in mind that at 30 miles an hour your not going to be able to outrun a bear.  I like the idea of the best defence is a good offence.  But there you have it!  What to do if you run into a bear in the woods!

Questions should be directed to the park rangers at 865-436-1200.  Brought to you by the people who care aboutchya – Smoky Mountain Golden Cabins!