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Backpacker Magazine – August 2010

New Life List: See a Grizzly

Coming face to face with the biggest predator in North America might just alter your worldview.

by: Michael Lanza


Key Skill: Bear-watch Safely
» Always watch from a distance of at least 300 feet, and never approach bears.

» Go out at dawn or dusk. And ask land managers where bears are feeding, then find an overlook where you can watch from a distance (and preferably downwind). If you find fresh scat, make noise and leave the area, but then move to an overlook to observe that spot.

» If a grizzly stands on hind legs, sniffing, it’s trying to identify you. Back away slowly, avoid eye contact, speak in a low voice, and slowly wave your arms. If it charges, stand your ground without making eye contact or acting aggressively. Hold pepper spray at ready. If it attacks, lie on stomach, legs spread, hands over neck.





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