Black bear populations are thriving across the country from the South to the North to the West.  Many bears live near humans and the sight of a hunter or hiker no longer strikes fear into them.  In the past year, I’ve interviewed two hunters who were attacked by a black bear, an experience that has given me a healthy respect for these large creatures and their habitat.

An Increasing Danger

Unlike grizzly bear attacks, “playing dead” doesn’t work.

My home turf is Western Maryland and most archers who head into the mountains now carry a side arm for protection.   Our hunting camp is just a few miles from town, yet we have trail camera pictures of a bear that stands more than seven-feet tall.  A hunter would have little chance if attacked by a bear of that size.

Fight to the Death

Many bruin encounters occur when a human wonders into a sow with cubs, but that’s not always the case as you will see in this YouTube video.  In this case, the black bear clearly knows its rival is a human and the hunter shows great restraint during the encounter.

Unlike brown or grizzly attacks, “playing dead” doesn’t work on black bears.  Numerous reports of humans being eaten by blackies have occurred over the years.

Things Happen Fast

The decision to shoot in self defense can be a problem.  As you will see in this video, the hunter could have shot the bear, but chose not to.  If you must defend yourself, be prepared to do it all over again from Game & Fish officials who will investigate the matter.  Also, its doubtful you will be able to keep the meat or hide from a bruin shot in self defense.

This could happen to you.  Watch and listen to all the things this hunter did right.