Know How To Take Action with Bears In Wyoming Wilderness
If you've spent any time outdoors in Wyoming, you've more than likely thought about what to do if you come in contact with a bear. Obviously you shouldn't be going out looking to get into an encounter with a bear, but if you're out enjoying nature and happen across one, it's really important to be able to identify the type and know what to do.
America's State Parks.org recommends that you always be aware of your surroundings, especially if you're out hiking or camping in bear country.
I can remember being out squirrel hunting with my dad as a kid and him setting the keep the noise down rules before we left the truck...in the case of being in bear country, that goes out the window. Make noise! If you're hiking with friends or family, talking and natural group noises will probably be enough to spook off a bear. If You're out by yourself, go during the middle of the day and whistle, play music or sing while you hike to let yourself be known.
Be careful with any food you have with you, you don't want to advertise to the bear that you're having a snack. If you do, you may have an unwanted dinner guest. If you're camping, keep your food in sealed containers and inside a bear box that can resist a bears advances. If you're out backpacking or tent camping tie your food 15 feet about the ground.
The National Park Service says to remember a few key things if you do have a bear encounter...
Let the bear know you're a human and not a prey animal. It sounds weird, but waving your hands, making yourself look bigger and talking to the bear are good ways to let them know you're not dinner.
Backpacker.com recommends you get creative with your conversation. Try telling these phrases...
'I am also a bear'
'You better have my money bear'
'What's that over there'
'I'm calling to inform you about your car's warranty'
'You shall not pass'
Whatever you say to the bear, say it calmly but with authority!
Another important reminder is to NOT freak out. Bears will do a number of different things to try and scare you off the same way you're trying to scare them off. They may grunt, growl, bluff charge, or snap at you, screaming or sudden movements may cause the bear to actually come at you. If you're bear country, be prepared. Have your bear spray, know how to use it and don't be afraid to use it if a bear is threatening you!!!
If you cross paths with a black bear, experts say to make lots of noise, throw small rocks at the bear, bang items you may have handy and (if possible) retreat to your car or a building. The black bear is less aggressive than a Grizzly or Brown Bear,
If it's a grizzly or brown bear, PLAY DEAD! Leave your pack on and lay on your stomach, hands behind your neck and keep your legs open wide. If you fight back, it could make it a worse situation and hopefully the bear will go away. If not, THAT is when you fight back. The face and nose are the most sensitive part of the bear.
YouTube is a pretty interesting place to find videos about what to do in the event of a bear encounter. User Yellowstone Life witnessed a couple park employees using bear spray to shoo a group of bears away from a congregating crowd, after the bear bluff charges twice.