Bears normally avoid humans and bikes, but horse back riders are less threatening to them and the bear may not move much or at all, so AVOID the bear…go WAY around.
Here are the BEAR RULES:
Rule #1 – DON’T RUN!!!
Never run from a bear. NEVER. This triggers its predatory chase instinct. At one moment you may be just another creature in the woods, but when you start running, you’re suddenly very interesting! It will chase you down, and this will not end well for you. A bear can run at 30 miles per hour.
2: There’s Safety in Numbers
It’s very rare for a bear to attack a group of people together on foot. Makes sense… would you initiate a bar fight if you were outnumbered five to one? Neither would a bear.
3: Sing a Song and MAYBE Bear Bells don't work
Make a lot of noise in areas with poor visibility. This way you’ll alert a potential bear of your presence, and you won’t surprise it. Your own human voice is the most effective thing to identify yourself. So sing a song or just say, “Hey bear” periodically. Studies have shown that bear bells are ineffective and blend in with other natural sounds like songbirds.
4: Give a Bear Plenty of Space and Clear the Area
It may sound obvious, but if you see a bear, don’t approach it for a picture. But if you’d like to take a “selfie,” well, that’s fine… the gene pool could use fewer people like you.
5: If a Bear Charges You, Stand Your Ground
When a bear comes running at you, you must stand there and meet your fate (See Rule #1, don’t run!).
Wave your arms over head, use your voice as calmly as possible, and try to look big. Looking big helps deter an actual attack, so hold on to your hiking poles as you wave your arms. The swinging of your arms also helps identify you as human, because we’re the only big mammals that can make that sort of a movement. The more that you can do to quickly prove that you’re a human, the better.
If you can, go ahead take a few steps backwards while still facing the bear, as slowly and calmly as possible.
Hopefully it’s a bluff charge, and you’ll have a great story to tell for the rest of your life.
6: If a Black Bear Attacks You, Fight Back!
Most black bear sightings are the same story – a fleeting view of the bear’s rear end, rumbling to and fro as it runs away from you. Bears (Like wild deer and other large mammals) also tend to have a natural distrust and fear of humans.
So if a black bear actually attacks you, then it’s probably starving and really, really desperate… or just plain psychotic. If you play dead you will certainly be eaten, so you must fight. Yell, scream, stick your hiking pole up its nose, stab its eyes out, and let your wild alter-ego have at it with everything you’ve got. Fight for your life.
Black bears tend to be so timid that most experienced hikers develop a false sense of security about them.
7: Never Let a Bear Have Your Food
Imagine you’re a black bear, roaming through the woods. You eat roots, leaves, berries, and bugs… all day, every day. Sometimes you’re lucky and get some honey, or maybe a rabbit. Then one day a hiker leaves a smelly bag of food unattended, and it’s the most amazing thing you’ve ever tasted! You want more, but you can never have it again.
Or can you? You’re not stupid, you know it’s the two-legged hikers that have the good stuff. You’re obsessed, you want more. So you start to follow them around. You hang out where they sleep, hoping to get in between them and their rapturous food. If you’re really brave, maybe you’ll even bluff charge a hiker, hoping to scare her into dropping her food.
Never let a wild animal have your food.