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How to Survive Your Next Wildlife Encounter

Wilderness Survival

Do you hear dinner bells?

 OK, so maybe that's not what the bears say to each other when they hear us hiking through.  But you should be prepared for the possibility of a wildlife attack anytime you're out for a hike.

So the question is, are you fully prepared for an encounter with wildlife?

Some common animals you might encounter while hiking are:

  • Wolf
  • Cougar
  • Moose
  • Black Bear
  • Grizzly Bear

It is important to be prepared to handle each one that might cross your path.  Read on to see how you should respond to each animal if you come across it, and if it attacks.

  Check out this infographic on being ready for your next wildlife encounter...
Be Ready For Your Next Wildlife Encounter

From Visually.

 ...Pretty simple right?  Unfortunately many people do the wrong thing, and end up hurt or killed.

So to review what you should do when each animal is encountered:

Wolf Encounter:

  • Maintain eye contact
  • Slowly back away

Wolf Advance:

  • Lunge toward it
  • Make loud noise...yell and clap
  • Throw rocks, sticks, and anything else you might have

Wolf Attack:

  • Stand your ground and fight

Cougar Encounter:

  • Wave arms
  • Maintain eye contact
  • Slowly back away

Cougar Attack:

  • Stand and fight

Moose Encounter:

  • Look for signs that it is about to charge.  These include stomping feet and ears turned back

Moose Attack:

  • Run
  • Take cover
  • Curl up and protect your head

Black Bear Encounter:

  • Wave arms
  • Speak calmly
  • Drop an item to distract the bear
  • Walk away

Black Bear Attack:

  • Stand your grand
  • Use bear spray if you have it

Grizzly Bear Encounter:

  • Slowly back away
  • Climb at least 12 feet up a tree

Grizzly Bear Attack:

  • Lie face down with legs spread, and hands over the back of the neck

It is important to remember that most animals are territorial, and will not attack unless approached.  They can usually be viewed safely from a distance.

After all, isn't that one of the reasons we hike?  

If you have additional tips, we'd love to hear them in the comments below...

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