How to scare away a bear in the forest: behavioral characteristics of the animal, means and devices for scaring away, advice from experienced hunters

  • September 6, 2018
  • Man in the wild
  • Evdokimova Irina

How to scare away a bear in the forest? An encounter with a huge forest predator poses a great danger to humans. The behavior of this animal is often unpredictable; it can attack a person without showing external signs of aggression. How to escape from a bear and make it go away? In this article we will look at different methods of scaring away these animals.

When are bears dangerous?

Bear attacks on humans are rare. Most often, these animals are afraid of humans and avoid close contact with them. Let's consider cases when this predator is especially dangerous:

  1. If the animal is wounded. A predator experiencing pain becomes very aggressive. Bears are extremely hardy animals. Even a seriously wounded animal can attack a person.
  2. If you meet a female with cubs. The she-bear perceives humans as a potential threat to her offspring. In this case, the animal may attack even if you do not approach the cubs.
  3. If there was a collision with a connecting rod bear. Animals awakened from hibernation can be extremely dangerous. Such animals cannot get food for themselves in cold weather and perceive humans as food. Therefore, if you encounter a bear in the forest in winter, you must behave extremely carefully.

Basic rules of conduct in the forest

Don't try to take over territory

It is known who is the true owner of the forest. If you spot a bear even at a great distance, you should not organize a halt in this place, and even more so, set up a tent camp. It’s better to move away a little, adjust the route and choose another section. The same applies to his numerous traces. Without experience, it is difficult to determine whether the animal just passed by or whether it is used to hunting here, feasting on the gifts of nature, and so on. Perhaps this is his path or there are cubs somewhere nearby. Trying to fit in next door won't do you any good.

Stay away

The bear is not just a hermit. He understands that in the forest he has no equal in strength, and he regards any invasion of his territory as a threat to himself personally. If you encounter a bear in the forest, you should walk around it in an arc, keeping it in your field of vision at all times. As a rule, this is enough to disperse peacefully. In such situations, if not provoked, the bear does not attack.

A special warning for those who like to take selfies. Now it is in fashion, and not only among young people. Such “self-photography”, especially against the backdrop of an animal, implies almost close contact with it. There is no point in explaining how this could end. It is unlikely that a bear will appreciate such a “craving for beauty” and will take an active part in it. A clear example of close communication with a predator is a recent incident in one of our zoos, when a lady tried to take a selfie in front of a cage with a tiger. Basically, it’s the same thing – playing with fire.

What dangers await in the forest?

Don't go deep into the bushes

Like any animal, the bear prefers to hide in the thicket. Particular attention to shoots (shrubs, small trees) with fruits. For example, wild raspberries. On a hiking trip, you need to move through open areas of the area, and if we are talking about picking mushrooms and berries, then when moving through the forest you should create more noise, warning its inhabitants in advance about your approach. In an unexpected encounter, a bear may become frightened and rush at a person.

On any hike you need a first aid kit – read how to pack it here.

Don't relax and constantly look around

The forest is not your own apartment. It is full of surprises, so you should not forget about basic precautions.

Peculiarities of animal behavior

Before answering the question: “How to scare away a bear in the forest?”, you need to understand the habits of the predator. When meeting people, this animal can behave differently. There are several types of bear behavior when confronted with a person:

  1. Predatory. In this case, the bear initially perceives the person as possible prey. The beast either slowly approaches people with its ears raised, or appears suddenly. This behavior is typical for connecting rods left without food.
  2. Defensive. The beast perceives a person as a potential threat. The animal growls and with its entire appearance shows obvious excitement and aggression. This is a rather dangerous type of behavior that often ends in an attack. Usually mother bears with cubs behave this way when they accidentally meet a person.
  3. Curious. The bear slowly approaches the person, ears pricked and sniffing. Sometimes the animal stands on its hind legs. This is how animals behave when they smell food. Therefore, experienced hunters do not recommend setting up a food storage area near the tent. This may lure a bear to your site.
  4. Neighborhood. Bears can live in forests located near populated areas. Such animals get used to people and lose their fear of humans. They can get quite close. However, the outwardly peaceful behavior of the animal should not mislead you. The bear often behaves unpredictably. He may perceive a person as an enemy who has entered his territory. In this case, the animal may attack suddenly.

What to do in extreme situations

They can be very different. The most typical cases when meeting a bear in the forest:

  • the animal notices the person, looks in his direction, but does not change its location;
  • the bear is approaching;
  • the meeting occurred unexpectedly, both for the beast and for the man.

How to proceed

  • Walk away slowly, while saying something in a low voice (but not shouting) or humming. And do it calmly, without showing fear. You can even start a “conversation” with the animal, reassuring it that no one is encroaching on its territory. According to experienced commercial hunters, the Russian mat is another reliable remedy against a clubfoot attack. Having felt the person’s confidence, the bear will understand that the potential victim is quite capable of defending himself and is absolutely not afraid of him. Therefore, he will not attack.
  • Stand up to your full height. It is advisable to raise both hands, holding a cap, jacket or something else in one of them. The main thing is to appear as big as possible.
  • Stay calm, no matter how scary it is, don’t panic.
  • Fall down and play dead. This is practiced if close contact with a predator cannot be avoided. In many cases, this ends with the bear, having sniffed the victim, leaving. The best position is flat, pressing your stomach to the ground. There are recommendations that you need to lie on your side, curled up. This is hardly justified, since it is not a fact that the clubfoot will not awaken to simple curiosity and begin to turn the victim over. And he does this with his claws. It’s clear how it will end, even if you don’t make a sound. The bear will leave, but the wounds will be impressive. And it is unlikely that a person will tolerate this. And the loud cries of the beast will only provoke you.

If the bear has left, you cannot immediately begin any active actions. Perhaps he just walked away, hid and watched. Therefore, you should wait a little, carefully look around without making sudden movements, and only then slowly leave this place. Where and how avalanches occur - five reasons

In the event of an obvious attack, when there is no doubt about the bear’s intentions, resist and call for help. Throw whatever is at hand - stones, large branches, earth (preferably in the eyes). Arm yourself with a stick and fight back. Sometimes such a violent rebuff leads to the bear retreating and leaving in search of a weaker victim. The fact is that, as a rule, young, inexperienced and self-confident individuals attack a person. When they feel that they are being “pressed”, they give up further attempts.

Read about first aid for wounds and bleeding here.

What not to do

Very often, people, when faced with a bear, take the wrong actions, which only increase the aggressiveness of the animal. A mistake in such a situation can cost a person his life. When meeting a forest predator, you should never:

  1. Run away. Bears run much faster than humans. Their movement speed reaches 60 km per hour. The beast will definitely go in pursuit. It is important to remember that forest predators perceive a running person as a potential victim.
  2. Turn your back to the predator. The bear uses this moment to unexpectedly attack from behind.
  3. Feed the beast. Often, when a bear approaches, hunters and tourists try to “cajole” it with treats. Under no circumstances should this be done. A fed bear will demand a new portion of food. If he refuses, he may attack a person.
  4. Imitate bear sounds. Under no circumstances should you imitate the roar of an animal. This will only provoke aggression.
  5. Show your fear. Often bears will come close to a person to intimidate him. At the same time, animals do not always have the intention of attacking; they simply want to drive away uninvited guests from their territory. But if a person clearly demonstrates his fear, then an attack cannot be avoided.
  6. Set dogs on the beast. Not every dog ​​can cope with such a large predator. Most often, the bear begins to attack dogs and chase them. Such actions can only provoke the animal’s aggression. Only specially trained dogs trained for bear hunting can stop the attack of the beast.

How to scare away a bear if he catches you fishing? This animal will often attack fishermen. Bears may perceive humans as a rival in obtaining food. You must immediately cut the fishing line and leave the fishing spot. You need to move away from the predator slowly, turning to face it and backing away.

What not to do when meeting a bear

Look the bear straight in the eye

He will take this as a direct challenge and may attack.

Take your dog with you into the forest

Of course, if we are not talking about hunting. If you cannot do without a four-legged pet, it must be kept on a leash, and a short one at that. There are often cases when it was a dog that provoked a bear to attack a person - with its constant barking, or even direct attempts to bite the clubfoot. The beast will not like such an annoying neighborhood, and he will definitely take measures to get rid of uninvited guests.

Stay in the area where the animal is spotted

Even if he moved away, this does not mean that this part of the forest is safe. The bear can change position, secretly approach the victim from the other side, and so on. There are many options. It is better to immediately leave this place and try to get out, if not out of the forest, then into the most open space possible.

Make sudden movements

The bear will regard this as a clear threat to its own safety. And even more so show aggression.

Trying to hide

Firstly, this is a useless exercise, since a bear will detect a person quite quickly, especially if he has already noticed him. Secondly, such actions are a sign of cowardice. The animal will immediately understand that in front of it is easy prey.

Turn your back on the bear

This is for him a signal to attack, because the potential victim has discovered the most unprotected place.

Run away

It makes no sense, considering that over rough terrain an adult bear quickly accelerates to 60 - 65 km/h. By the way, running away is the worst option. The clubfoot by nature is a hunter, and such human actions will only excite him. He will involuntarily give chase, but the result is predictable.

As an exception - the extraordinary physical characteristics of a person. If you have confidence in your abilities, you may be able to escape. The bear needs to be worn down by constantly changing direction. Since its mass is significant, it loses a lot of speed when turning. In addition, he runs well over short distances, but does not last long over long distances. Consequently, with good physical preparation, it becomes possible to escape. It is advisable to choose a direction so as to get closer to people, a road, or a populated area. This will further increase your chances.

How to light a fire without matches in the forest - effective methods and videos

Sneak up on a bear

There are such amateurs - it’s better to look at it, take a photograph, just admire it, observe. The clubfoot has excellent instincts, and besides, he is in “his element” (in nature), so any attempt to deceive him is doomed to failure in advance. He will regard this as preparation for a possible attack, and will respond in kind, and proactively.

Save yourself on a tree

In this case, the chances of salvation are practically reduced to zero. Despite their external clumsiness, bears are distinguished not only by their strength, but also by their agility and ability to climb trees.

The only option is if the trunk is thick and tall enough. Due to its weight, the animal may not reach the upper branches. But how long can a person survive in this situation? But the bear knows how to wait. Therefore, this method of salvation is a last resort.

Walking through the forest in the dark

You shouldn’t even go far from the tent. The explanation is simple. The bear is a predominantly nocturnal hunter, and at this time a person practically does not orient himself. Already there is a clear superiority of the clubfoot.

Getting closer to the cubs

The bear will never leave them alone. If the mother is not visible, this does not mean that she has left, leaving the babies unattended. Well, how any attempts to play with the cubs will end is clear without further explanation.

It is impossible to give recommendations for all cases. But one more piece of advice will not be superfluous. The correct choice of how to resolve a “conflict situation” largely depends on knowledge of the bear’s habits. When going to the forest, it’s a good idea to read something. The psychological aspect is also important. If you understand the motivation for certain actions of the animal (protecting its babies, satisfying hunger, and so on), it is easier to assess the situation and take appropriate measures. Then a walk through the forest will bring true pleasure, and will not become fatal.


Hello, I'm Alexander, the mastermind behind the blog. In terms of career and free time, I connected my life with the forest. How could it be otherwise when you live in Karelia! In this blog, I am responsible for sections dedicated to hunting, hiking and equipment. Welcome to my world!


You can use rocket launchers or bear firecrackers. This method will help if the animal is at a sufficiently large distance from you. The pyrotechnic device must fall between the person and the predator. If a firecracker explodes behind a bear, it may rush at a person out of fear. Pyrotechnics have a double scaring effect; the animal is frightened by both a loud sound and a flash of light.

You can use a pneumatic horn to scare away bears. Just press the button and the device emits a sharp and piercing sound. This product is easy to use and quite effective. In the video below you can see the principle of operation of a pneumatic forge.

The thunder gun is a good sound bear repeller. This is a mechanical or electronic device in the shape of a gun. Liquefied gas burns inside the device, this process is accompanied by loud sounds. A special pipe enhances the sound effect. This product is usually used to scare away birds, but it is also quite applicable when faced with large predators. The radius of action of the thunder gun is about 1 km. This remedy will help drive away the bear, even if it is at a great distance from you.

When to use bear spray?

Scenario A: the bear is nearby (1-2 meters)

Bear spray is not intended to repel bears from a distance. This is an extreme option when the bear rushes at you or is very close. You should start spraying when he is about 2 meters away from you. This scares the bear away before it can hurt you and gives you the opportunity to spray again if the bear gets close.

Scenario B: Bear is within 6 meters

You have to spray down and in front of the bear so that he has to run through the cloud of pepper spray. At closer range, you should aim straight for the face and eyes.

Scenario C: a bear attacks (at you from above)

When the bear is close enough to knock you down, keep spraying as much as you can until you have to curl up to protect yourself during the attack. Studies have shown that close-up nebulization will reduce the severity of an attack.


A flare is suitable for scaring away the animal. This is a signaling device from which, when the string is pulled, a bright torch flies out. It is better to use a red signal. The animals mistake it for fire and run away. In this case, you need to act very quickly. You cannot keep a flare pointed at a bear for a long time. This can only anger the beast.

Pepper spray

If the animal comes close to you, you can scare it off with a can of pepper spray. It is important to remember that sprays should not be used against large animals for self-defense against criminals. Products for people contain a small concentration of gas, which is unlikely to affect a huge beast.

Against bears, you need to use special sprays to repel large animals. They can be purchased at hunting stores or online. Tools such as “Anti-Beast” or “Control-AS” are suitable. They contain red pepper extract and have a fiery effect.

Sprays should be sprayed when the bear comes within 5-6 meters of you. You need to act in such a situation extremely quickly and accurately. It is necessary to get the aerosol into the eyes or nose of the animal. In 92% of cases the bear runs away. However, pepper sprays can only be used in calm weather.

What is not recommended to do

Very often, many people who encounter a bear do the wrong thing. And this behavior only increases the bear’s aggressiveness. Therefore, a mistake in this situation can even cost a person his life. So, a few recommendations on what you should never do when meeting a forest predator:

  • Under no circumstances should you turn your back on the bear. A predator can simply take advantage of this situation and suddenly attack from behind.
  • Running away is also not recommended. This is due to the fact that this animal runs very fast. Their average speed is about 60 km/h. Therefore, if a person starts to run, the animal will immediately follow him. It must be remembered that forest predators perceive a running person as a potential victim.
  • You cannot feed the animal. The mistake many hunters and tourists make when a bear approaches is that they try to appease it with various delicacies. Under no circumstances should you do this. If the animal is fed, it may begin to demand a new portion of food. And if a person refuses him this, then the animal may get on him.
  • Under no circumstances should you show your fear to the animal. There are situations when bears approach people specifically to intimidate them. In such cases, the animal has no intention of attacking a person. They just want to drive them away from their territory. And if a person shows his fear and excitement, the animal may attack him.
  • Under no circumstances should you imitate bear sounds. This may once again provoke the bear's aggression.
  • It is not recommended to set dogs on animals. The bear is a fairly large predator. It must be remembered that not every dog ​​is able to cope with such a beast. Therefore, if a dog starts barking at a bear, the bear may turn its attention to the dog and will chase it. In this case, only specially trained dogs can stop the bear’s aggression.
  • If a person encounters a bear while fishing, the first thing he needs to do is immediately cut the fishing line and leave the fishing spot as quickly as possible. A bear while fishing may perceive a person as some kind of rival. Therefore, it can attack him. It is recommended to move away from the animal slowly; in this case, you should turn to face it and simply back away.

Firearms and air weapons

It is important to remember that a gun should only be used as a last resort if there is a real threat of attack. You should not shoot a bear, especially if you are an inexperienced hunter. A wounded animal is extremely aggressive and immediately attacks a person. Therefore, you need to fire shots close to the animal. The animal will get scared and quickly run away.

Experienced hunters recommend using air guns with flash-noise cartridges. When fired, a white flame and a very loud sound are formed. This effect extends over a long distance. Even a very ferocious animal will be afraid of such a powerful influence.

Handy means

How to scare away a bear in the forest without having special equipment? It is necessary to create as much noise as possible. You can shout, whistle, hit the mug against the pot. Any loud sounds will scare the animal. If you go into a forest where there are bears, you need to move around making noise, this will help prevent you from meeting a predator.

If you don’t have special light deterrents on hand, you can light hunting matches. They can burn for a long time. It is necessary to keep the fire within the bear's line of sight.

If you have made a fire, you can throw burning brands towards the beast. It is also recommended to quickly set fire to tree bark, resin or moss. The bear is afraid of fire, like most animals. As a last resort, you can try to scare the predator with a flashlight with a bright light bulb. Usually the bear will show curiosity about the electric light for the first few seconds and then run away.

other methods

As already mentioned, bears are afraid of the unexpected. There have been cases when predators were frightened by a suddenly opened umbrella. This remedy will help if the animal comes close to you. In this case, the umbrella must be opened towards the bear.

Hunters also recommend raising an object above your head, such as a hat or basket. In the eyes of the animal, you will appear taller, and the bear will perceive you as a larger and more powerful opponent. This is a good psychological technique for scaring away the beast.

Can ultrasound serve as a bear repellent? Such emitters are intended primarily for protection against dogs. Manufacturers of ultrasonic devices do not claim effectiveness against large animals. Therefore, it is better not to rely on emitters; in a critical situation, such means may simply not work.

If the bear has already attacked

You can use various bear repellers only before an attack. In this case, there is a chance to drive the animal away. At the same time, it is very important not to block the predator’s escape route. The bear must be able to escape.

What to do if the beast has already attacked a person? Experienced hunters recommend falling and pretending to be dead when attacked by a predator. You cannot move or make even barely noticeable movements. You need to remain in this position until the animal leaves. Bears usually lose interest in dead prey and stop attacking.

However, this method may not work if attacked by a connecting rod bear. Such animals perceive humans as food. The connecting rod must be scared away immediately, preventing its attack. As a last resort, you can climb a tree.

When going into the forest, be sure to stock up on predator repellents in advance. You must be prepared to use them at all times when confronted by a bear. This precaution will help keep you healthy and alive.

If there are several bears

The possibility of meeting a group of predators cannot be ruled out. This can happen in several cases:

  1. The female raises her young.
  2. The mother drove the young animals away, but they still move in a group.
  3. The rutting period has begun.

In the latter case, the animals fight to the death because they are very aggressive. Both females and males are dangerous.

If you come across a group of young bears, then you have a better chance of being saved. Yes, they have not yet seen people and can attack, but there is a chance to scare them away.

Danger will overtake you if you meet a she-bear and her litter in the forest. If the female thinks that the cubs are in danger, she will fight with anyone. Therefore, when you see a bear cub, hurry up and retreat - its mother is sure to be nearby.

( 1 rating, average 5 out of 5 )
Did you like the article? Share with friends:
For any suggestions regarding the site: [email protected]
Для любых предложений по сайту: [email protected]