Yes! The Northwoods has Bears

Tips for avoiding a bear:

• Hike in groups — the more the merrier!

• Make noise. Bear bells, clapping, singing and general chit-chat will notify the bear of your presence allowing them ample opportunity to run away.

• Move with the wind at your back — this allows a bear to smell you.

• Always be aware of your surroundings.

• Carry a deterrent — bear spray is very effective in close-range situations.

If you do happen to come into close contact with a black bear, here are a few suggestions to keep the situation from getting out of hand:

• Avoid direct eye contact — this is a challenge to the bear.

• Stay calm and identify yourself as human by waving your arms and talking to the bear — DON’T RUN (bears can out run you!)

• If you can, slowly walk back in the direction you came from. Never take your eyes off the bear and don’t turn your back.

• If you cannot walk away, and the bear is not fleeing, try to scare the bear by yelling and clapping your hands. Throwing objects may also be useful.

• If the bear charges, use your deterrent. If you have no deterrent and the bear attacks, fight back. Use whatever you can (hands, feet, sharp objects) and direct them at the bear’s face. As a last resort, rollover on your stomach protecting your face with your hands and play dead.