A story from Montana about a young man named Chase Dellwo who was out bow hunting for elk and came across a bear. The frightened or startled bear attacked Dellwo by biting his head, leg and tossing him around. As the bear charged for the last time, Dellwo states he recalled advices he read years ago.
‘I remembered an article that my grandmother gave me a long time ago that said large animals have bad gag reflexes,’ he said. ‘So I shoved my right arm down his throat.’
Apparently, shoving his arm down the bear’s throat worked, the bear took off. Dellwo survived the attack and had stitches applied to his head, face and leg.
Here are some of the more conventional “bear attack survival” tactics
1. Identify the bear quickly upon your encounter – Knowing your bear has some bearing on how to approach an attack.
2. Try to quickly assess whether the bear before you is behaving defensively or is attacking you to clear her path to food (predatory). – This is helpful for knowing how far you can rely on trying to convince the bear you’re not a threat so she will leave you alone (by, for example, increasing your size, being noisy, playing dead, etc.).
3. Regardless of whether you’re being attacked for predatory or defensive reasons, a bear is dangerous when he decides to attack. However, the number one coping mechanism is to keep a clear head, so above all, don’t panic.
4. Deal with a bear charge as calmly as possible. – Some charges are tests or bluffs to see what you’ll do, if anything.
5. Know when it’s okay to play dead and when it’s not. – If the bear maintains too much interest in potentially or actually attacking you, playing dead may be an option if you’re confronted by a brown bear or a grizzly.
6. Exploit possible bear weaknesses. – There are a few things that you can try to do that might lessen the bear’s chances of successfully attacking you.
7. Fight with whatever you have. – If you’ve tried everything else and the bear is still bearing down on you, your life is in severe danger and you’ll need to do whatever you can to survive.
8. Pull out your pepper spray and use it. – This step is set apart from the previous one because you may not have any spray and also because you do need to know how to use it properly for it to be effective.
9. Escape as soon as it’s safe to do so. As stated earlier, don’t ever run. – If you’ve wounded a bear enough to stop her in her tracks temporarily, walk away as fast as you can, heading in a direction away from her and toward safety.
Story by Russ Chastain & WikiHow Revised by CalSportsman