Over the last year and especially during the pandemic so many people needed to get out of the house and as a result a lot more Idahoan’s hit the trails and hiking has become more popular. Bear sightings have also become more common, last week bears were spotted at Lucky Peak and recently a man in Island Park was attacked. I’ve heard of bear spray but I don’t own any, if you're like me and have no idea what to do if you’re attacked here are some rules of thumb.

“If you are attacked by a brown/grizzly bear, leave your pack on and PLAY DEAD,” according to the National Park Service’s webpage on bear attacks . “Lay flat on your stomach with your hands clasped behind your neck. Spread your legs to make it harder for the bear to turn you over.”

The trick to reacting accordingly is knowing the difference between a  Black or a Grizzly bear.

“If you are attacked by a black bear, DO NOT PLAY DEAD,” according to the Park Service. “Try to escape to a secure place such as a car or building. If escape is not possible, try to fight back using any object available. Concentrate your kicks and blows on the bear’s face and muzzle.”

whether it’s a grizzly or a black bear: “If any bear attacks you in your tent or stalks you and then attacks, do not play dead — fight back!” Why would you fight back against such a ferocious animal? The Park Service says… “This kind of attack is very rare, but can be serious because it often means the bear is looking for food and sees you as prey.”

I’m thinking hiking isn’t for me because by the time I figured out which type of bear is attacking me, I would be his dinner. I hope this helps you stay safe in the woods.


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