Does Playing Dead Work On Bears? This Is What You Don’t Know!

Do you love camping? If yes, this article is for you! Camping in the forest is very exciting and fun, especially if your friends are with you. However, there are dangers in camping, which you can avoid if you did the right thing. The dangers in camping are insect bites, wild animals like coyotes, wolves, and bears, and dangerous weather. 

One of the dangers we will talk about right now is bears. Bears live in the forest. However, not all countries around the world have bears. So it means that this article is for people that live in a country that has bears. 

Bears can injure or worse, kill you. That is why you have to make sure to execute the safest strategy you know to survive a bear attack. One of the famous strategies they said when you saw a bear is to play dead. However, does playing dead work on bears? Is this a myth? Let us find out!

Does playing dead work on bears? Yes! However, you cannot play dead on all kinds of bears. You can only play dead on grizzly bears and not on black bears and polar bears. Playing dead on grizzly bears works very effectively, which is why many campers use this tactic to escape a grizzly bear. 

However, when campers encounter a black bear, they don’t execute this kind of strategy because it is very dangerous! Black bears and grizzly bears are different from each other. That is why you can’t use the strategy you use when encountering a grizzly bear when you see a black bear. 

Today, I will tell you different things you should do when you see a bear. This article will be short. However, even though this will be short, you will learn a lot from this. You can use the tips I will give when you camp in a dangerous forest or if you encounter a bear in your village which might happen sometimes. If you are ready, let us go!

Do Bears Leave You Alone If You Play Dead?

A grizzly bear will leave you alone if you play dead. However, playing dead on a black bear will not be as effective as playing dead in a grizzly bear. Here, let me tell you the reason why. 

You should never play dead with a black bear. The reason playing dead with grizzlies is generally accepted as a reasonable strategy is that a grizzly bear is more likely to be executing a defensive attack. Grizzly bears attack you to eliminate you as a potential threat to themselves or their cubs. That is why laying down on the ground, burying your face in the dirt, and playing dead are effective on grizzly bears. 

If you do this when you encounter a grizzly bear, the grizzly bear will leave you alone. Grizzly bears will leave you alone once they feel you are no longer a threat to them or their cubs. However, defensive attacks can turn into the grizzly bear thinking: “smells good, maybe it is a good mealâ€, at this point you must change your strategy and fight back. 

Black bears, on the other hand, are less likely to be a threat and are more likely to run away from people. Black bears are pretty timid unless they are around people often. If black bears are threatened, it might charge on you. However, attacks from black bears are rare since they always try to get away from humans. 

A black bear might have stalked you. When a black bear stalks you, it is probably probing for weaknesses to conduct a predatory attack. It thinks that you are a tasty meal. Never play dead on black bears! You should walk back away slowly while making yourself big, talking in low tones, and preparing your bear spray or to fight back. 

If you love camping in a dangerous forest that has bears, you should invest in bear sprays so that you can fight back against bears. Bear sprays are considered effective and no bear spray has ever been reported to kill a bear. You can check out the best bear spray we have found from Amazon here!

What Should You Do When You Saw A Bear?

Once a bear notices you and is looking at you, you must execute some strategies to prevent the situation from escalating. Below are the tips you should do when you see a wild bear in the forest or anywhere.

First, identify yourself calmly so that the bear knows that you are a human and not a prey animal. You must remain still and slowly wave your arms. Help the wild bear to recognize you as a human. They don’t know at first that you are a human so help the wild bear. The bear might come closer to you but don’t be afraid because it is just curious and not threatening. 

Second, you must stay calm. Remember, most bears don’t want to attack you unless you attack them first. Bears usually love to be left alone. Bears may also react defensively by woofing, yawning, salivating, growling, snapping their jaws, and laying their ears back. Talk to the bear in low tones. This will help you stay calmer and won’t threaten the wild bear. 

Third, if you have children with you while camping, pick them up immediately and put them in a safe place. 

Fourth is you must hike and travel in groups. Groups of people are usually noisier and smellier than an alone person. Therefore, bears will become more aware of groups of people at greater distances, and because of their cumulative size, groups are also intimidating to bears. The bears will more likely be afraid when you are with a group of people. 

The other things you can do when you encounter a bear is to make yourself look as large as possible, do not allow the bear to access your food, do no drop your pack, move away and slowly, leave the area or take a detour, and lastly, be cautious if you see a female bear with cubs.

Final Words

To conclude this article, playing dead on bears works but not on every kind of bear. This kind of tactic only works on grizzly bears and not on black bears. However, even though playing dead work on grizzly bears, my advice to you is to still bring bear spray. The reason why is because it might not work even on grizzly bears. Follow my tips above to help you survive a bear attack.

Jake Willhoite
Jake runs and has had cats and dogs his entire life. As a kid his family adopted several dogs from the local shelter which set him down the path of animal rescue.
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