A recent bear attack on a man sleeping outside in Sioux Lookout has some northerners wondering how to deal with surprise encounters with black bears.

  • 1. Remain calm and make casual conversation

Do not run. Stand still and talk to the bear in a calm voice. 

  • 2. Arm your pepper spray

... but don't use it just yet

  • 3.  Wait for the bear to leave.

If the bear gets closer, slowly back away while talking in a quiet, monotone voice. No screaming, or eye contact.

  • 4. If the bear doesn't leave, be persuasive:

Make sure the bear has a clear escape route. Now is the time to yell, make yourself look bigger, wave your arms, throw objects, jingle your bear bells, blow your air horn. 

  • 5. Bear still there, and getting closer?

Time to use your pepper spray if the bear is within 7 metres. 

Source: Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry