Even with a gun in hand that kind of proximity to a bear will get the heart racing a bit.
Bears are just so unpredictable, it’s almost comical to watch them in nature… especially when they stumble upon some human interaction. The only thing predictable about them is the fact that they will eat as much as they can.
They will do whatever it takes to get fed and they will fight off anything they think is gonna get in their way of food.
Black bears can weigh up to 600 pounds. It takes a lot of food to sustain an animal that can get that big, and when they’re getting ready to hibernate, they can eat as much as 20,000 calories in a single day.
Typically, they stay well clear off people. But if they are used to seeing people, or are defending a food source or young, those fear instincts go out the window.
Hunting black bears involves bait in many areas, as does hunting deer. A constant bait site draws the bears in on a schedule and makes them huntable in otherwise not huntable areas. This gets the bears very accustomed to the food source and area and sometimes even to used to the people that hunt it.
This black bear is seen making his way right up this hunter’s ladder. The hunter talks to it and tells to go away as he keeps his rifle pointed straight down at it.
The bear just keeps on coming and chews right on the gun.
The hunter finally then starts waving around and scares him off in a far calmer fashion then most people would be able to hold.
That was a close one.
It seems like the hunter may have been looking to fill a deer tag, so it was that curious bear’s lucky day.
Black Bear Climbs Right Up Deer Hunter’s Ladder Stand, Stares Him Down
I’m not sure how this hunter stayed so calm as they were staring “death by black bear” right in the face, but maybe how they reacted was actually the best way the encounter could have gone down.
If you run into a bear out in the wild, there are a number of tried and true methods you can utilize to try to get through the meeting alive. One of the most famous ones is making yourself appear larger to the bear, standing up on your tippy toes with your arms stretched as high as possible.
You are also supposed to yell “hey bear” in the deepest voice you can muster, while either staying put or slowly moving away. Any sudden movement could invoke the bear to attack, so you have to follow all those guidelines to a tee, like this family did, in order to get away in one piece.
There’s also the lesser known K.Y.A.G. method, which seems to expedite the process in some instances. If you were to turn a corner on a hiking trail and come face to face with a bear, you simply remember the acronym and go through the steps.
First, you want to plant your feet nice and wide, similar to how you might do it when you are trying to appear “larger” to the bear in the first defense mechanism we were talking about. Once your feet are farther than shoulder width apart, you begin to slowly lean down (not to disturb the bear) and place your head in between your legs.
Then you finish with the most important step of the process, and the reason why it’s called the K.Y.A.G. method in the first place: you kiss your ass goodbye. Like I said, might not work as well as the first thing I was talking about, but it does make the whole thing go by a lot faster.
And you might be saying “those are great, but what happens if I’m hunting and a bear starts to climb up the ladder of my tree stand?” Well, to that I would first say “that’s pretty specific,” but then I would probably direct you towards this TikTok video. I’m not sure what this hunter decided to do to make sure they didn’t die a gruesome death while strapped into their tree stand, though whatever they did seemed to work really well.
As the bear is walking through the woods, it spots what sounds like two hunters up in the tree stand. Somehow it immediately knows to go over to the ladder of the stand, and sure enough, it starts to climb up the damn thing.
If I were in that stand, I would probably be reciting the Lord’s Prayer at this point, but the two hunters seem cool and collected and act like this kind of thing happens all the time. Apparently the trick to stopping a bear from killing you in your tree stand is laughing, making jokes, and ordering the bear to get down in plain English.
The hunter says to the bear in the video:
“Bears do not climb ladders. Hey! Get down. Get down, nobody wants you up here.
Listen, do we need to have this talk? There’s not enough room up here for you. Your ass is too big.”
Somehow, the words seemed to be getting through to the bear, who looks more occupied with how fun the ladder is rather than the hunters sitting at the top of it. At one point the bear grabs onto the ladder with its teeth and lets its lower half swing, and also almost gets stuck in the ladder itself multiple times.
The interaction lasts over six minutes before the bear finally gives up and carefully climbs back down the ladder. A couple of encouraging “good boys” are said out loud by the hunter as the bear traverses back down to the ground.
The big black bear appears to get jammed in the ladder a couple of times here and there, but eventually makes its way all the way down and leaves the hunters alone.
Again, I have no idea how the people in the tree stand stayed so calm, but I guess I would recommend doing as they did if you ever found yourself in the same situation (don’t hold me to that, I’m not a bear expert).
Take a look at the heart-pounding yet hilarious black bear interaction below: