I can already feel that grave getting deeper, but I will continue on for the sake of my readers. I'd hate to deprive you of my humorous post, even if it comes at the risk of my backside. So noble of me, I know.
First of all, don't be fooled by the cute ones. A bear is a bear and can be very dangerous. One should always approach with extreme caution. The one on the left, it looks like it might be nice, right? One wrong move and you won't be thinking that for long.
Here are some facts about bears:
-The sound made by a bear is referred to as a growl. Who hasn't heard a top growl?
- Many of the species hibernate for 3-5 months. Tops like their rest. Ever wake one up unexpectedly? CRANKY.
- Territory marked by clawing, biting, and rubbing trees. There's nothing about smacking in there, but close enough.
-Size can be between 5 and 7 feet. I've yet to meet a 7 footer. Think Yao Ming is a spanko?
-Bears hear very well. Ever mutter around a top? They always hear you.
- Remain a respectful distance from the bear. Everyone likes their personal space.
- Stay in your vehicle! Your best shot is a getaway car, don't let yourself be cornered!
If the bear retreats or seems to ignore you:
- Take pictures, watch for a few moments, and then move on. I don't even know what to say to that... Lol.
- Never feed a bear. Once you provide them with beer and Oreos, you'll never be rid of them.
- If the bear approaches your vehicle, leave immediately. 'Nuff said.
- Stay alert. Keep an eye out for bears so you can give them plenty of room. Look for recent bear signs such as tracks, fresh diggings, or tree scratches. If there are loose switches lying around, be especially cautious.
- Travel in groups. Bottoms should always stick together!
- Choose routes with good visibility when possible. Never let a top sneak up on you.
- Make noise when approaching, such as loud talking or singing. Who doesn't like being serenaded? If a bear hears you coming it will probably leave the area. I'm not so sure about that.
- If you encounter a bear, remain calm and avoid sudden movements. That could prove difficult.
- Throw something onto the ground, like your camera, if a bear pursues you. It may be distracted by this and allow you to escape. Create a distraction, got it!
- Never run from a bear! They will chase you and can run faster than 30 mph. They always catch you in the end. Resistance is futile, but we still try.
- Play dead! Some tops don't like the lack of reaction.
- Once the bear backs off, stay quiet and still for as long as you can. Bears will often watch from a distance and come back if they see movement. Me, quiet? No can do.
If all else fails, carry some of this and never get within arm's reach!