Runner Meet Bear

Spend enough time running through the forest and eventually you’ll have a moment like this:

(WARNING: profanity alert!)

I’ve run into a bunch of bears while out running.  And while I probably reacted like the guy in the video, it’s important to remember that most bears are total scaredy cats.  (Of course, I live in Ontario, Canada, where we have Black Bears, not Grizzlies.) 

What I’ve learned: when running through the forest, you should make as much noise as possible.  Wear bells or a whistle, make noise, and the bears will probably keep out of your way.

Me, I keep up a steady chatter.  Being a radio guy, I usually do the audio technician talk:  “CHECK ONE TWO THREE!  ONE TWO ONE TWO!  SIBILENCE!  SIBILENCE! HEY CHECK ONE TWO THREE!”

Sometimes I sing.  Jay-Z, Muse, Lady Gaga, it’s all good.

In spite of my awful singing voice I sometimes still run into bears in the woods.  One time I rounded a bend in the trail, and came across a little bear cub, chowing down on a patch of raspberries bushes.  I was running pretty fast, and neither the bear nor I noticed each other until I was ten feet away.  The bear looked up, spun around, and darted up the hill and into the forest, CHUFF-CHUFF-CHUFFING as he went.  The whole encounter lasted maybe 3 seconds.  My heart hammered for a few minutes after that, and I probably swore like the guy in the video.  But in the end, everything happened just the way it was supposed to, i.e. THE BEAR RAN AWAY!

Still – if you’re running in the forest, it’s best to do so with a partner.  And be sure to tell someone where you’re going.  And carry a phone if at all possible!

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