One summer, shortly after my wife and I wed, when I took my family on a typical summer camping trip, only this time, I had an encounter with a large black bear.
It was evening. I looked out the trailer window and he was right outside.
I reacted instantly. I picked up my 12 GA, and threw the door open. The noise must have startled him because he took off. As he took off, I fired into the ground behind him. He only ran off about 60 feet, turned to face me and pretty soon he took a step towards me.
I started yelling loudly like a moron. He stopped but still wouldn’t leave, even after I fired into the tree over his head.As we stood looking at each other, I finally fired (yes, I had shoved in more shells in the interim) to one side of him at the ground. I must have stung him with gravel because he flinched and took off.
I am glad to say I have wised up and have not encountered any bears since that night. My point in sharing this story is to illustrate how real animal encounters are, and how important it is to prepare for any creatures you might meet in the wilderness.
During and after a disaster, it’s likely you could be temporarily displaced from your home, and forced to be outdoors, at the mercy of the local creatures.
You would be foolish to think, even if you live in a city, the only attack you need to be concerned about is the kind that arrives on two legs.
It’s not even just wild animals you should be wary of. In cities, feral dogs are already a dangerous issue which has led to deaths, and the problem is only growing worse as more and more people abandon their pets. How many people do you think will abandon their pets during a catastrophe?
Demonstrably, Detroit has recently received major media coverage for packs of wild dogs running loose and causing havoc. It does no good to play the denial game.
The best way to avoid problems with animals is to use common sense. Be aware of what’s around you, what kind of animals you are likely to encounter, and the danger they pose.
In the event of a disaster where you are forced out into the wild, avoidance of potential threats is the best defense. Keep your distance, and take steps to prevent attracting animals into your camp. I will share with you the safety tips I have learned since my fateful encounter with that bear which have kept my family safe and bear-free over the last several summers.
Food garbage is attractive to animals, so keep a clean camp. Thoroughly wash all cooking utensils after use. Seal uneaten food in airtight containers stored in bear-proof canisters, or suspend it from a bear wire away from sleeping areas. And, treat your garbage just as you would treat food — either store it in bear canisters (which are required by law in some parks anyway) or hang it from a high wire away from the campsite until you can remove it from the area.
Never, ever take food into your tent or trailer where you sleep. It doesn’t just attract ants. Also, do not sleep in the same clothes you cooked dinner in. In fact, don’t even take those clothes into the tent with you.
If you are camping with your dog or other pets, remove pet food from the area. Pet food attracts all manner of predators, and can also draw the small wildlife they prey on. On this note as well, never feed wild animals such as deer, raccoons or squirrels that can attract larger killers.
Even after you do all this be prepared for whatever might happen.
Together We Can Survive Anything,
P.S. I didn’t handle that bear encounter very tactically at all, and I shudder to think what might have happened had I not been armed!
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