If we lived in a perfect world we would not have to worry about things like predators. We DO NOT LIVE IN A PERFECT WORLD! There are things in this world that want to hurt us, or worse, they want to steal the fish we caught. The outdoors is home to all manner of creatures that are not friendly to us. Some have a natural fear of us but big ol BEARS and Wolves and Cougars and other Apex predators are used to being the biggest thing on the block and fear is not something you can rely on to keep them away.
You might have to know how to deal with predators to make your way through the wild places of the world. It doesn’t hurt to know how to deal with predators in the rest of the world either. The rules are mostly the same. Predator, Bully, whatever you want to call them, the way they think is pretty much the same. If they see something that looks like an easy meal, they get lazy and try and steal it.
A little knowledge can go a long way in keeping you safe and living to enjoy the wild places and the rest of the world too.
Just imagine being out on a hike and you come over a hill and the first thing you see is an enormous bear. He sees you and starts to charge. As fear tries to get a stranglehold on your senses you have to come up with a plan on what to do and you have to do it quickly. What’s your plan?
That’s what some people will tell you the best course of action is. If you lie there motionless like you are dead, he will lose interest in you and go away. He might bite or claw, but you are still supposed to act dead.
For one thing a hungry bear isn’t going to pass up a free meal. They eat a lot of dead things. Bears are not picky. Most predators in the wild aren’t. Food is usually hard to get out there and one that doesn’t run away is going to look like a free buffet. We might not be on the menu most of the time, but a free meal is still a free meal. Them just taking a taste is going to put a HUGE damper in any of your immediate and long-term plans. Then you are stuck laying thee until the next thing comes by to have a taste.
There is also the fact that once adrenaline kicks in, lying motionless and doing nothing might not be possible at all. Most of us have flight or fight instincts that kick in when we are confronted by danger.
Most people will probably run, some people will fight. Hardly anyone can lay there motionless.
PLAYING DEAD IS NOT THE WAY!
When that surge of adrenaline kicks in and our instincts take over most people will want to RUN! Somewhere in their mind is a voice that is YELLING “We can get away by RUNNING!” Then the signal hits their legs and without thinking they are moving at what they think is an amazing speed. It might even be a top speed for a person, and that’s where the flaw in the logic is. Most predators are faster than we are.
If predators didn’t run faster than the food they eat, they would starve. They also have an instinct to chase when something runs from them. The only time this works is if you are in a group. You don’t have to be the fastest, just not the slowest. I don't have the mentality for this part. I'm usually a pretty nice guy. Usually.
I don't exactly have the flight instinct anyway.
I think the whole flight or fight instinct in us has more to do with encounters with other people than anything that keeps us safe from predators. WE can outrun some people, especially if our life depends on it. Wolves and bears are just going to run us down then it’s back to the play dead scenario which doesn’t work either.
At one point in time, and unfortunately it still happens in our world, people were not kind. Strangers were to be feared more than predators. Running kept us safe from them. It had to or our world would have been ruled by more of THEM then it is now.
There was another way we learned to deal with THEM.
For most intents and purposes those people are predators. You do have a choice with people not creatures.
RUNNING IS NOT AN OPTION WITH CREATURES!
The other instinct we have is FIGHT. This can be a way to deal with predators. CAN BE A WAY. There are a whole lot of factors to consider before making an attempt to fight a bear. Do I have a weapon? This should be the first question you ask. Animals have natural weapons, we don’t.
Interesting fact: most people said they actually think they could win a fight with a bear if they had a knife or something similar. I would love to know who these people are and what kind of bear they thought they would be fighting. Sounds like a cute little teddy to me. Have they seen grizzly bears? Have they seen a mad black bear? Some fights aren’t worth the trouble unless your life depends on it.
You're still probably not coming out of it unscathed either. I have enough scars; I don’t need to add to them just to say I took on a bear. Some people are weird though, some are just crazy. I like living, I like life, for the most part. Thank you, Jesus, for not testing my love of the outdoors with a bear fight.
Since animals have natural weapons and we don't, you will need one to fight ANY WILD ANIMAL!
ANY WILD ANIMAL CAN BE DANGEROUS IF PROVOKED!
Just watch the goose verses man video and imagine if it had been a bear. That was a goose, there not even predators and that guy got his rump beaten.
Most people nowadays carry bear spray. It’s like mace for bears. It comes in a spray can like wasp spray. You point and spray and pray it works. Most of the time it will. If it doesn’t refer to the list and see if you have any other options still available. You should be leaving the area as quickly and safely as possible anyway. Bears do not like being sprayed. He won't be nice after it hits him. LEAVE!
The spray should work on most predators that attack alone. Wolves are different and I do not know how it would work against packs. In theory it should work, as long as you have enough spray to hit them all. Wolves can’t climb trees though, other predators can. You can climb a tree and then spray them from your safe position. A combination of running up a tree and fighting from a safe place seems like a good strategy for a pack of wolves. Bears run up trees from packs of wolves. YOU SHOULD TOO! One wolf, spray him away.
The easiest, and probably next one is a GUN. I’m not really a hunter so I don’t know a lot about guns. I can shoot a pistol but the rest of them aren’t anything I’m interested in learning.
I’m not against guns, I’m against idiots, crazy people, and criminals owning them. If I am going into some places in the wild, I will carry one. NO ONE NEEDS a gun on their side to be safe around people. If you have to have a gun to go near some people, stay away from those people. You need to learn to be strong in faith and in YOU not a GUN.
Most of the time you don’t even have to shoot a bear, just shoot the gun and the noise will scare it off. I still don’t know why we don’t have loud bang bear deterrents. Like a firecracker but instant and louder. Maybe that’s my next million-dollar idea. HHMMMMMM! I posted it so intellectual rights apply. We’ll see how that works for me.
What’s funny is that it would probably work with people too. People hear a loud noise that sounds like a gun, and they scatter. That’s how conditioned people have become to guns and how much they expect other people to have them. In the places I live a lot of people own guns, but they are for the creatures and not for the people. In the places I live the rules are pretty simple with dealing with other people, we try to keep it simple and let God handle most of it. It would be a much better world if more people did live Christian lives, better for everyone. More than they know.
If you are going to carry a gun, learn to use it properly. I do believe that anyone attempting to buy a gun should have to take a class in gun safety and learn to shoot properly. To get a hunting license you have to do this so I’m not sure why you don’t have to do this to buy a handgun or any other gun yet. It’s almost like the legislation is made to make you fail: You can buy any weapon you want, and nobody cares if you know how to use it, unless you plan on using it to shoot something and eat it. As long as you just want to shoot it, or for your protection, it’s OK and you don’t even have to know how. There is definitely a problem in this methodology. I try not to get too focused on the ways of the world but occasionally I do point out the ironies in their ways of thinking. I pray often! Jesus will take control over it all one day and as a Christian I will live to see that day. Thank you, Jesus.
Give Them EVERYTHING!
The Bible says that if someone steals our shirt to give them our cloak too. None of it is worth our life. Jesus will repay us and THEM in kind. This rule also applies to encounters with PREDATORS in the outdoors.
If I am fishing and a bear wants my fish, he is more than welcome to them. Not just one, but I will show him the whole catch, place it on the ground for him, and easily back away as he makes a meal of my catch.
Bon Appetite, Mr. Bear, Sir.
I don’t fish where there are bears but if I did this is exactly what I would do. If he wanted more, I would throw him my lunch, candy, anything in my pockets, point out some berries growing, heck he can even have my rod and reel, but from what I have seen bears are better fishermen than I am.
Same thing applies to sharks. If a shark wants my fish, it's HIS! I have actually had this happen. Surf fishing with a stringer of fish floating behind me and it started getting tugged. Looked back and saw a fin and TEETH. I quickly untied it and headed to shore as quickly but quietly as I could.
Sharks are attracted to noise so being quiet was a must. I made it on shore without missing any of me, so either he liked my fish or didn’t notice me. I’m not that stealthy or quiet so he must have really liked the fish. I was glad to give them away.
Bon Appetite, Mr. Shark, Sir.
Spear fishermen have this happen to them too. They spear a fish, it struggles, it triggers a shark to eat, and they lose the fish. Better the fish than them. I don’t do that much spear fishing, so I don’t have an encounter like this to go on. I would like to learn to spear fish, but I think fresh water might be safer. I know sharks are in the water when I am in it but once they start eating, I don’t want to be there anymore.
I have also brought in a lot of fish heads. Somewhere down there was a hungry shark who wanted the fish more than me. No problem. I’ll catch more.
The same thing applies to people too. Give them what they want and move on. Nothing you carry or own is worth your life. The only exception to this is when others are in danger. My life is less important than someone I care about, but I think that’s just a guy thing and for me only applies to women or children. I’m not risking my life for a man. Sorry to any out there but that’s how I am, I don’t even have male friends, I acquaint myself with them in passing. God made Adam and Eve and didn’t say anything about Adam's buddies. I try to live my life by the model God and Jesus have given us. I am still learning though, we all are.
Stand Your Ground
The thing that has worked for most people when encountering a predator is: STANDING YOUR GROUND!
That doesn’t mean just stand there and act like business as usual. You have to make an effort to look threatening. Stand tall and put your hands up to make you look bigger than you really are. Make some loud threatening noises. Believe in yourself and draw a line in the sand.
This method has worked on bears and other mammals for most people. I don’t know if it’s that we look that threatening to them or they just don’t know what to think of us acting like that, but it works. Most of the time. There are exceptions.
If it doesn’t seem to slow them down at first give it, one more chance and then quickly change to another tactic. It won’t take long to tell if you are scary to the creature.
This is usually a good approach to people predators too. Most of them are just bullies with egos. They are used to people being afraid of them and walk around like they own the place. If you stand up to them most will leave you alone. If you look like more trouble than you will be worth it usually deterrers them. You might also have to have a backup tactic ready for them too but for the most part they aren’t very courageous unless they are in a group. Not a lot of bullies out there act alone. Take out the main one and the rest usually run. People are usually easier to deal with than bears. Stay clear of sharks. Just give them what they want and get out of the water. Something about them I just don’t trust. Maybe it’s my previous encounters of them stealing the fish I caught. I did the work, but they got the reward. That’s not right. I’ll keep giving them the fish if I have to but it’s still not right. They won’t be in Heaven fishing with me and Jesus. They’ll have to catch their own then.
Don’t Be there in the First Place
The number one way to deal with predators is: DON’T BE THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE! If you are worried about predators just don’t go. There are plenty of ways to enjoy the outdoors without getting in harm's way. The national parks are all pretty safe. Except maybe a buffalo here and there in Yellowstone. Nobody has been attacked by one that I know of.
For the most part they try to avoid encounters with people. They are more afraid of us than we are of them. Except sharks, sharks are not afraid of us. We don’t belong in their environment, and they might know it, or they just don’t have the fear in them mammals do.
If you are going somewhere that might have predators check with the locals and guides to find out what to bring and what you CAN bring. Some places it’s mandatory to carry a gun, if you don’t want to do this please don’t go there. There is probably a reason for it.
You can have a safe and great time outdoors; you just need to take precautions. The “probably won’t but could happens” will happen. They always do. Be prepared. People are what you have to worry about more than wildlife. Except sharks. That’s just not right.