April 10, 2020

One Simple Tip on Dealing With Attacking Bears

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On the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (hat tip to Critter News) website, I was directed to the “dos and don’ts” about bears. In particular this absolute charmer:

If you come in close contact with a bear:

Stay calm and avoid direct eye contact, which could elicit a charge. Try to stay upwind and identify yourself as a human by standing up, talking and waving your hands above your head.

It’s easy to tell people to “stay calm.” Does anybody who makes up these tips ever experience the realities of life? Nobody is going to stay calm when they “come in close contact” with a bear.

Supposing you do stay calm enough and can remember all the other nonsensical advice; “avoid direct eye contact.” What human being is going to WANT to have DIRECT eye contact with a bear at close contact? By the way, what is close contact?

So, while I’m staying calm, looking over at the blooming Queen Anne’s lace, so as not to make direct eye contact, I wet my pointer finger and cast it to the wind in an attempt to determine the direction of the wind – so I can “stay upwind.” I demand the bear stays where he is while I maneuver around so he can smell me. (Note: This might actually be good advice. Seeing the bear, in close contact of course, you have just shit yourself. What bear would want to hang around and whiff that odor?)

“Identify yourself as a human.” “Hello, there. I’m Tom. Are you new to the neighborhood?” Oh, wait. There’s a bit more to that isn’t there – “standing up, talking and waving your hands above your head.”

Evidently when I first encountered this bear at “close contact,” I was down on the ground looking at the Queen Anne’s lace. Maybe I was having a picnic, eating a can of sardines or a tuna fish sandwich. Now I can stand up, remain calm, while still admiring the bountiful crop of lace, testing the wind, introducing myself, and waving my hands above my head. Dang! I forget to remember to stay calm.

And then I hope?

But, if I begin waving my arms, I might spill my sardines and drop my sandwich. And there is no step here of what I need to do with my cellphone. You do realize there is extreme danger and risk at dropping your cellphone if you begin waving your arms above your head?

I’m still texting. It’s next to impossible to stop texting. Do I text somebody, calmly of course, and tell them that you are testing the wind, avoiding eye contact? Or take a picture or shoot some video. It could go “viral” and you would be a giant Youtube/Facebook/Twitter/Snapchat LOSER!

Tip number one and the ONLY tip should be: Do not, under any circumstances, allow any damned bear to get your cellphone.

That should be about it. Anybody who thinks a bear is about to mess with their cellphone probably would kill the friggin’ bear.

Now wasn’t that easy?

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