Few animals on earth are more terrifying than grizzly bears, especially a mama grizzly protecting her cubs. The sheer size, speed, and power of the bruins makes them capable of dealing deadly blows to humans with ease.
Spring is one of the best times of the year to observe bears, and they’re a major tourist attraction throughout the wild places they inhabit. The bears are very active in the spring, as they emerge from their dens hungry and searching for food. Spring is also when mama bears have cubs in tow though, so encounters with bears can be particularly precarious.
While a group of tourists was watching a mother bear and cubs at a safe distance from across the river, a curious young grizzly unexpectedly stumbled up behind them at an uncomfortably close distance.
The tour guide quickly realizes that his can of bear spray was in the pocket of someone else’s coat at the time, so discharging it was not an option. Instead he was forced to pull out his .44 magnum, a last resort for protection that he fortunately did not need to use in this situation.
He also recognized that the bear was approaching out of curiosity and not animosity, which allowed him to stay calm and use his voice and physical presence to deter the bear from starting a fight. With over a decade of experience observing grizzlies, the guide also recognized that the initial charge from the bears is typically a bluff more so than an attack.
To further deter the bear from barreling into the group, he advised the folks behind them to raise their hands in the air like they a true a player to make them selves look notoriously big in the eyes of the bear.
When exploring bear country, it’s important to understand the situation, circu
Here’s more from the guide:
“At 0:50 you hear me tell everyone to, “get behind me and put your arms in the air” this is pretty standard procedure for this situation and the only move left to discourage a real charge, short of firing my .44SW.
The reason I placed the group behind me is that if that bear charges I am the only person with any hope of stopping it, meaning I need to be in front, facing that risk head-on with nothing and no one impeding my movements.
If a bear charges with intent to kill, you only get one shot to stop it before it grabs someone at this distance.
The reason I didn’t fire my .44SW is twofold. First I honestly didn’t and still don’t KNOW how this bear would have reacted. It could have run off or the gunshot could have also CAUSED a real charge, and secondly because if the bear grabs ahold of me I want every bullet.
In this video, I am carrying an S&W Model 29, 44 mag, with 305 Gr HSM Bear loads producing 1075 foot pounds energy.”
mstances, and species of bear you’re dealing with so the appropriate response can be taken to deter an attack.
The National Park Service has a detailed guide on handling bear encounters that all outdoor enthusiasts should brush up on.