Bear & Snake Dangers in the Wild

Most of us look at hiking, camping and hunting in the woods as “a walk in the park.”   However, if you run into a hungry bear or angry snake, you need to know how to handle yourself!

Tips for Staying Alive Around … Bears                           

Bears don’t require engraved invitations to cause you grief!  Bears have learned that man travels with many things that will satisfy the bears’ love of sweets & natural curiosity.

You Should…

  • Keep your campsite clean.
  • Bears have learned to follow man because a meal is “such easy pickings” at dirty campsites, near refuse cans and trash dumps, etc.
  • Be cautious near berry patches.
  • Bears are especially fond of streams and lakes.

Things That May Cause Bears to Attack

  • Being startled;
  • Wanting food;
  • Being wounded;
  • Having their cubs in tow.

How You Can Stay Safe

If you are a hunter, hiker or camper in bear country, avoid putting out the “welcome mat” by:

  • Keeping your camp clean;
  • Hanging food or “sweet-smelling items” at a distance from your tents and camp. *

Other Ways to Stay Safe

  • If you’re not hunting, make noise while moving
  • Stay away from their feeding areas, and
  • Never get close to bear cubs!

When A Bear Seems Ready to Attack

  • Stop, then move slowly away
  • Talk quietly
  • Do NOT make eye contact
  • If the bear attacks, fall to the ground, curl up and protect vital organs
  • Yelling, hitting and kicking are your (poorest choices and) last option

* Take a look at a great article – “Hanging Food & Bear Camping Tips


Staying Alive Around … Snakes with Venom

Any snake worth his venom would rather run than bite!

You Should…

  • Keep your eyes OPEN in the woods.
  • Snakes can be sunning themselves or hiding or hibernating.
  • Watch for them in woodpiles, rock piles, in areas with dead, rotting leaves, trees, etc. **
  • They lie in grassy regions, around rim-rock, in shallow water and in woody areas near water. In other words, they’re just about anywhere!

Things That May Cause Snakes to Attack

  • Startling a snake
  • Bothering a snake
  • Not allowing a snake to escape

How You Can Stay Safe

  • Make noise as you walk, if you aren’t hunting
  • Use a walking stick
  • Wear snake leggings or tall leather boots

When A Snake Seems Ready to Attack

  • Stop and allow the snake to slither away.
  • Walk around the snake

If Bitten … Get medical attention ASAP.


** Try my “snake finding” test: Be Careful – Surprise in the Leaves!


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