Bear country – and it is closer than you think

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The article cites ways to avoid bear encounters. If you are interested in photographing bears, get a camera with a telephoto lens. If you are in the woods, carry bear spray, or my choice, an air horn – the little ones marketed as mugger protection are good. You only need to carry a weapon – which would need to be a rifle – if you are a game warden. Don’t discharge a weapon to “frighten” an animal. That projectile has to go somewhere. I’ve had a few bear encounters, with black bear, in Maine and Canada. If a black bear gets curious and starts to approach, I spread my feet and wave my arms over my head, and yell, “Hey, bear!” If they continue to approach (I’m not very big) then I slowly back up to keep some distance, or side-step until I’m in cover. It’s my opinion that Maine’s famous Ol’ Woodsman Fly Dope is a bear deterrent. It smells awful. I also pick up some rocks to throw to distract the bear. (Don’t hit the bear with the rocks.)

As human activity encroaches on wild lands and woodlands, we will see more bear encounters. The bears were there first. Show respect.

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