This past weekend, I saw a bear while hunting. Nothing came of it, but I am now a certified bear expert of sorts. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Some of you are going, “That doesn’t qualify you for anything” and “Wasn’t it just a cub?” Well, you can hit the bricks nerds. The rest of you have to be thinking, “How do I protect myself in the woods and grow up to be big and strong like you?” Well, I’d be remiss if I didn’t share my knowledge with other hunters and woodland enthusiasts.
Now let’s start with a scenario. You are walking through the woods. This time of year, you should be wearing at least some orange. It’s a safe choice, as the bear’s keenest sense is fashion. Such an unorthodox look will camouflage you.
Egad! You must have made too much noise because there is a big, fat, ol’ mama bear standing in front of you! You’ll want to identify the color. You’ve maybe heard the old rhyme, “If it’s brown, lay down; if it’s black, fight back.” Let’s see if we can expand on this idea.
Imagine it from the brown bear’s perspective. Say you’re mugging someone and they just lay down on the ground without a word. It’s very uncomfortable to do any sort of stabbing or beating. They just kinda planked out of nowhere, and you can’t make heads or tails of it. That’s what the brown bear is experiencing. It will likely opt to leave and check back in 15.
Now the black bear is a different story. While physically strong, it is emotionally weak. When it roars at you, shout back with something that cuts deep. I suggest, “Your coat has no sheen!” or “Eat a Tic Tac, salmon breath!” Nine times out of the 10 the bear will crumble in place. Be careful with this method, as you will be leaving a piece of your soul in those woods.
If the bear isn’t backing down, it might be because she’s got cubs. Mother bears are incredibly protective of their young. You need to show her that you respect her kids. Give them an ice cream cone and maybe take them to a ballgame (maybe a Cubs game, eh?). Ask any single man in his 40s, win the kids and you win the mother.
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