Hiker’s Intense Encounter with Grizzly Caught on Video

Written by Kirstin Harrington
Updated: August 30, 2023
© BlueBarronPhoto/Shutterstock.com
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Key Points:

  • Bluff charges are intended to intimidate or scare individuals, with the bear’s head and ears pointed upward and forward during the rush.
  • The bear will make itself appear larger by inflating its body, often jumping on its front paws, but it will abruptly stop or change direction.
  • After a bluff charge, bears often retreat or vocalize excessively.

When going for a hike, you expect to immerse yourself in nature and enjoy time in the great outdoors. A hiker experienced an intense encounter when a grizzly bear bluff charges at him during a hike in Katmai National Park. 

As the hiker spots the bear and continues walking forward on the trail, the apex predator suddenly bolts toward him before veering off to the side of the trail, into the trees. 

How Can You Stay Safe While Hiking in Bear Country? 

Mother grizzly bear ever vigilant monitoring the whereabouts of her cub.
Grizzly bears stand on their hind legs to get a better view of their surroundings.

©Kelp Grizzly Photography/Shutterstock.com

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Avoid hiking at night or alone. Four or more people usually create more noise, seem more intimidating, and can help one another during an intense encounter with a bear. While bears can be seen at any time, their peak activity hours are dawn, dusk, and night.

Make sure to keep food properly sealed and away from camp to prevent bears from getting too close. You’ll also be safer if you have bear spray on your person. It’s essential to be aware at all times during a hike. Listen for strange sounds and keep in mind that bears can climb trees if needed. 

If you spot a bear before it notices you, quietly and carefully leave the area while keeping a close eye on it. Never get close to a bear you can’t see because you risk shocking it and setting off a reaction. 

What Should You Do If a Grizzly Charges You? 

Young Grizzly bear crossing road in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Bears in parks such as Yellowstone are more familiar with human interaction.

©Don Mammoser/Shutterstock.com

It can be absolutely terrifying if you’re in a situation where a grizzly charges toward you. Bluff charges are used to intimidate or frighten someone. A bear’s head and ears will be pointed upward and forward when it rushes.  

The bear will inflate itself to appear larger during this intense encounter. It may jump toward you while on its front paws, but it is going to stop abruptly or swerve off to the other side. Following a bluff charge bears frequently withdraw or vocalize excessively. 

If you anticipate a bluff charge, gradually retreat while raising your arms above your head and talk calmly to the bear. Keep your cool and stand your ground when the bear approaches. Once the bear has charged, cautiously flee while maintaining eye contact with the animal.

Make it clear to the bear that you are a human and a non-threat. Running amid a bluff charge could prompt the bear to charge at you

Why Do Grizzlies Sometimes Run from Other Bears?

grizzly bears
Grizzly bears usually run from another bear when they are spooked.

©Volodymyr Burdiak/Shutterstock.com

The main reason you’ll ever see a grizzly running from another bear is because it’s spooked. In reality, it’s usually black bears running from grizzlies. Black bears will typically retreat or climb a tree to escape an encounter with grizzlies because of their lesser size. 

Grizzlies outperform black bears and can demand that they leave their territory due to their large stature and higher demand for sustenance.

Check Out The Incredible Footage Below

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About the Author

When she's not busy playing with her several guinea pigs or her cat Finlay Kirstin is writing articles to help other pet owners. She's also a REALTOR® in the Twin Cities and is passionate about social justice. There's nothing that beats a rainy day with a warm cup of tea and Frank Sinatra on vinyl for this millennial.

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