What to do if You See a Black Bear

Black bears are very powerful and strong. Black bears rarely attack, but it is important to remember that they are able to hurt or kill a human. Learn some things you can do to stay safe if you see a black bear. bear headshot
Never hike or go out alone into black bear habitat. Kids should never go into black bear habitat without an adult. bear peek
Keep a lot of space between you and the black bear.
If you see a bear out in the wild, give it plenty of room to pass, and it usually will.
Bear Distance
Don’t run! If a bear sees you run, it might want to chase you.

You can’t outrun a black bear! Black bears are extremely fast running uphill, downhill, up a tree, or any other direction they decide to go.
Bear Run 2
If you see a bear, but the bear doesn't see you, stay calm and leave the area.

While moving away, talk quietly so the bear will know you are there and so you don't startle it.
Bear Behind Tree
Know when a bear is warning you it may attack.
Warning signs include a steady glare; ears laid back; smacking of the jaws and stomping of the front feet.

When you see these signs, back away and slowly leave the area. Keep you eye on the bear, but don't look directly into its eyes (the bear may see that as a threat.)

Bears will usually try to figure out what you are, and may stand up on their back feet to look at you and sniff the air. This is not a warning sign. Once a bear identifies you, it will usually leave.
Bear Attack
Black bears rarely attack unless they feel threatened or provoked. Some bears have been known to bluff charge to within a few feet. If a black bear acts strangely interested in you or is coming toward you in a aggressive, fast or mean way:

Make yourself look as big as possible, wave your arms and shout.

Raise your arms over your head while holding a jacket or or backpack so you look bigger to the bear. If you are with an adult, have them put you up on their shoulders.
Bear Charge
If the bear attacks, fight back. Use whatever is around you. Throw rocks or hit the bear with a large stick or anything you can pick up around you.

It is smart to have an adult with you carry pepper spray (which stings a bear's eyes).
Remember, stay far away from black bears, so you stay safe and so does the bear.

Help keep Nevada's bears wild.
Bear Wrangler Team