In this guest post, Mountain Man Jim “Bucksaw” Hurr provides practical tips on dealing with a jilted grizzly bear based on his 18 years living in Alaska’s bear country.
As a mountain man, I spend most of my time living alone in the wilderness.
Like St. Francis, my time is mostly spent communing with nature and helping injured animals that I find on the trail.
During this time, I’ve befriended arctic foxes, rabbits, a few wolves, and even a depressed, overweight bearded seal on the coast. I’ve had more than a few run-ins with jilted grizzly bears, and I’ll share with you my humane methods of chasing them off without guns or knives.
1. Stare the bear down.
Grizzly bears love a staring contest, and the contest winner sometimes helps determine who will win the physical fight. It’s all about self-confidence and not being intimidated during the stare. Keep your eyes locked on her eyes, and use telepathy to mock her. If you have never been in a staring contest, I recommend practicing on rabbits, dogs, and even small children before attempting a staring contest with a grizzly bear.
2. Identify yourself and then fall down dead.
If your firm stare doesn’t scare her away, tell the bear who you are. Make it very clear why you are on the trail, and why you need to continue moving on. Point to your heart and explain that you need to get back home because you feel you might be having a heart attack. Pretend to get all sick, dizzy, and then drop down dead. Many angry grizzly bears want a fight and will probably just leave when they realize you’re dead already.
3. Tease and laugh at the bear.
If the bear doesn’t leave you alone after playing dead, stand up and just start laughing at her. Point your fingers, laugh, and make sly comments on why her lover probably left. Mention her terrible breath and poor grooming. By teasing and laughing, you’ll tear down her self-confidence. Many bears will run away feeling self-defeated, depressed, and sometime suicidal.
4. Threaten to kill the cubs and use the fur for couch pillows.
As a man of peace, I don’t like making crude threats, but some grizzly bears won’t back down — and that’s when you need to get nasty like them. First, ask her if she knows for certain where the cubs are at that exact moment. Then tell her that you know where they all sleep, and if you’re not left alone — you will slaughter them all. Follow this up, by miming the process of sneaking into her den at night, killing all the little cubs, removing their fur, and making several furry pillows for your couch. Most bears will leave you alone by the time you begin miming the process of adding pillow tassels (which is considered poor taste).
By following these four strategies, you’ll be able to chase off any bear you meet on the trail.