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If I'm out hiking, and I come around a corner and stumble upon a bear, what's the best course of action to take to minimize the chance the bear will act aggressively?

Do different types of bear (grizzly, black bear, sun bear, etc) warrant a different approach?

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Run the hell away. But remember, you don't have to outrun the bear, just the guy next to you. –  Kevin Jan 28 '12 at 23:24
@Kevin LOL! That's good! I guess you're right! –  wyocalboy Jan 28 '12 at 23:26
@studiohack I think that ought to be "what precautions should I have taken" –  Kevin Jan 28 '12 at 23:27
Bears run 30 to 40 mph up hill!! So good luck out running any bear. Your best bets is talk to the bear with friendly louder voice and while facing it keep your hands in front of you and back away with same speed the bear is approaching you. If the bear takes you for pray you are done. –  user-87 Jan 28 '12 at 23:39
Voting to close since so much depends on the circumstances. What practical, answerable question is faced here? There are great guidelines for specific bear/human interactions - especially if the bear species / geography are nailed down to make this more useful than an armchair discussion of the most general case. –  bmike Feb 6 '12 at 19:47

2 Answers 2

up vote 15 down vote accepted

Back away calmly. Be SURE not to separate a mother from her cubs. Other than that, the bear probably won't be too interested in you. (Except a polar bear, which may consider you food.)

If you see bear cubs, look for the mother and stay away.

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First of all the odds that you startle a bear in this way are quite low. There is a good chance that it would have heard or smelled you before you get that close.

That said, if you encounter a bear in the wilderness, your reaction depends on how the bear is acting. In most cases, the bear will be defensive. In this case you should stay calm, talk calmly to the bear, make yourself look big and slowly move away facing the bear, always facing it.

However, if the bear is aggressive, or is approaching you, your reaction should be different. A good guide of what to do in these situations can be found at parks canada's website.

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+1 for the great link –  Danubian Sailor Jun 18 '12 at 13:49

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