Friday, September 08, 2006

Bear tracks, bear tracks, coming after me...

The Asheville Citizen Times reports that black bear to human interactions are likely to rise due to a dwindling food supply caused by a smaller than average mast crop. Most outdoorsmen and women know that the last place you want to be is between a hungry bear and its meal. Aside from the usual common sense precautions with food and garbage the article has some tips to help you avoid injury (remember these tips apply to black bear).

• Do not approach.
• You’re too close if the bear stops eating, heads in a different direction, or watches you.
• Being too close might make the bear aggressive. It could run toward you or swat the ground.
• Don’t run, but slowly back away.
• If a bear persistently follows without vocalizing or paw swatting, try changing your direction.
• If the bear continues to follow, 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. Throw nonfood 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.
SOURCE: Great Smoky Mountains National Park

(the tip for this article came from the Southeast Fly Fishing Forum)

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