1. Standing bears are not preparing to charge, they're trying to identify scents and sight. Charging bears remain on all fours with the heads down and perform a series of mock attacks before usually running off in order to put distance between both parties.
2. Bears sense of smell is greater than our K9 friends; they will likely know you're around before you see them, making the bear more elusive if they get the chance.
3. If you see a bear, don't run to a tree, Black Bears are as much at home in a tree as they are on the ground. First stand still then slowly back away while facing the bear, increasing your distance moderately. Do not run or panic, panicking scares the bear more than the bear scares you. When hiking, making a moderate amount of noise will let a bear know how close you are to them. Bears are naturally afraid of humans and prefer to be left alone. Normally they are eating, traveling, hanging around or resting. Bears are territorial and protective of their food source and young cubs. They will often demonstrate a false charge or verbal groans telling you to move on. Don't think you can sneak in on a mother bear or her cub for a rare photo; mother bears will become aggressive like any good mother would when their cubs are involved.
4. The chances of seeing a bear in the wild is less than likely due to proper trash containers in the national parks, national forest and state parks. Seeing a black bear in the wild is privilege you must respect and a safety concern for both the bear and human.
5. Black bears can run up to 30-miles an hour coming out of a dead stop, they have four legs you only have two.
6. Bears like all species of animal and human kind want food. Food odors attract bears, so don't be careless by leaving out food to draw bears into plain sight, an action that is just cruel and damaging to the bears, plus it's illegal. Food baiting can lead to injury both to bears and/or humans and possible destruction of property.
7. At home or when staying in a vacation rental property, leave garbage stored indoors or in bear resistant garbage cans. Take your garbage to the dump often for your sake and the bears. Don't leave pet food outside, and when barbecuing, do not leave the grill unattended, also clean food residue off of the grates in the grill. Bears are not only attracted to bird feeders, they are attracted to compost piles if you dispose fruits or other heavy scented items in them, so it is better to have proper compost containers.
8. When hiking, be aware of bear signs, overturned rocks, berry patches and nut-bearing trees. Large rotted log, rock overhangs and shallow caves can be possible dens. Bears are normally quiet and may be close by; unlike most humans, they don't make a lot of noise unless confronted.
7. When camping, be aware of your surroundings, wild berries and nut producing trees and natural beehives attract bears. Keep all food hung in a tree away from tree trunks and away from your tents and gear. Food smells from cook fires can leave odors on your belongings attracting a bear's curiosity. Any gear or utensils not stored in a tent should also be hung up or stored in a nearby vehicle. Also sleep in your tent, camper, trailer or RV and do not sleep under the stars. If you wake up startled by a furry one's curiosity, your awakening will startle the bear as well. Plus the dewfall in these semi-rainforest mountains makes for a very uncomfortable nights sleep under the stars.
8. Black bears are beautiful creatures and not pets. If they seem friendly, they're just looking for a handout...tactfully and gently let them know they're not welcome. From a safe distance, inoffensively raise your arms over your head and wave them, and make some noise. Being too aggressive might intimidate some bears so exercise caution. If you just stand still with your arms over your head, the bear might think it's some kind of a stick up and move in for the bounty.
9. Bear pictures and bear-related stories are fun and enjoyable to experience...bear confrontations are not and are potentially dangerous to all parties involved.
Cabins, Rental Properties or Residential Homes
1. Use bear proof bird feeders that are out of reach of bears with spill pans to prevent seeds from reaching the ground.
2. Bear-proof beehives, compost piles and gardens with electric or chain-link fence.
3. Don not leave food as bait for any animals or leave food scraps on the ground.
4. If a bear approaches, move your family and any food indoors immediately, wild bears may be cute but I assure you their not cuddly.
1. Hang food and anything with strong odors (toothpaste, bug repellent, soap, etc.) at least 10 feet off the ground and 4 feet from a limb, or use special food storage boxes and cable systems when available.
2. If a bear approaches, frighten it by yelling, banging pans together, or throwing rocks, do not charge the bear.
3. Do respect and admire them from a distance, this is their home you just a tolerated guest to them.
4. Pack trash out, don't bury it, bears will find it and dig it up.
Campgrounds and Picnic Areas
1. Keep a clean site by properly disposing of:
All garbage, including fruit rinds and cores.
Aluminum foil (even from grills) that has been used to cook or store food.
Plastic wrap and bags that have been used to store food.
Cans and jars that are empty.
2. Pick up food scraps around your site and any charred food scraps left in campfires.
3. Never leave food or coolers unattended (unless they are inside a vehicle or hard-sided camper.)
4. Wipe down tabletops before vacating your site, porous wood on picnic tables retain orders and flavor.
5. If a bear approaches your site, pack up your food and trash immediately. If the bear is persistent, move away slowly to your vehicle or another secure area.
Anytime you See a Bear
1. Do not feed or toss food to a bear or any wild animal.
2. Keep children close at hand.
3. Keep pets indoors or in a vehicle or camper, for K9 safety keep your pet on a lease, dogs will confront bears and may get serious injuries due to the bear's strength, long claws and sharp teeth.
4. Do not approach a bear at anytime they are dangerous and unpredictable. If a bear changes its natural behavior (feeding, foraging, or movement) because of your presence, you are too close and the bear is going to respond.
5. Never surround or corner a bear.
6. Never run from a bear, slowly back away and make lots of noise, bears understand oral confrontation and will often use their own oral abilities to voice their disapproval.
7. Encourage others to follow all safety instructions when they are in your presence.
8. Be responsible. Improper behavior on your part may cause the bear to die or a human to be seriously injured.
9. In the extreme case that you are attacked by a black bear, try to fight back by using any object available. Act aggressively and intimidate the bear by yelling and waving your arms. Playing dead is not appropriate.