Unconventional Bear Defense Techniques
We’ve heard about using pepper spray, loud noise and aggressive
posturing when confronted by bears in the wild, but here are some
examples of unorthodox bruin defense.
Black Belt Beats Brown Bear
A Canadian man attending a Bible retreat in Alberta says he thanks
both God and his martial arts training after he kicked a charging
grizzly bear in the nose– and survived.
Lyle Simpson, 32, was among a group of hikers enjoying a remote
wilderness retreat west of Calgary when he did exactly what you’re
not supposed to do when approached by a grizzly bear–he began
Later, while recalling the incident, all Simpson says he can
remember is that the hikers scattered and the bear was chasing
“I think I was thinking perhaps that I should play dead or climb a
tree, but all I could do is run,” he told Canadian Television
And run he did–that is, until he tripped and fell to the
“I put my arm up as the bear was coming on down toward me. The bear
tried to bite my arm.”
That’s when Simpson’s years of martial arts training instincts took
over and he swiftly kicked the bear squarely in the nose. Though
his quick action was not enough to injure the sow grizzly, it was
enough to turn her away while he escaped with only a few
The fortunate Simpson received six stitches to his arm and hip, but
thanks to his quick thinking and even quicker kicking, his injuries
Bear Buster: I’m No Hero
Non-custodial dad Chris Everhart spent Father’s Day weekend camping
with his three young sons at Georgia’s Chattahoochee National
Forest. About 9:30 Saturday night, as the foursome roasted
marshmallows over the campfire, a large black bear entered their
campsite and began tugging the ice chest containing food.
As Everhart banged some pots and pans to frighten away the bruin,
his 6-year-old, Logan, grabbed a shovel and charged the
“Once the bear saw Logan, he dropped the cooler and started coming
at (him),” Everhart told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “(The
bear) was growling.”
Instinctively knowing it was time for action, the ex-Marine grabbed
the first thing he could get his hands on–a hefty piece of
firewood. (He said his handgun and hunting knife were packed away
inside his Jeep.) He hurled the chuck of wood with everything he
had, hitting the bruin squarely in the head.
The 300-pound camp invader fell in its tracks, lifeless.
Everhart later attributed his deadeye log-tossing ability to his
proficiency with a firearm.
“I’m a pistol shooter,” he said. “The hand-eye coordination is all
the same thing.”
Asked about his heroism, the modest dad said he was merely
protecting his boys from potential harm.
“I was doing what any parent would do,” he said. “Heroes are
firefighters jumping out of burning buildings. I just got
Canuck KOs Bear
A Canadian logger credits his baseball experience as a youngster
for the perfect, one-pitch game he threw against a charging black
bear, stunning the aggressive bruin in its tracks with a rock
between the eyes at ten feet.
Jesse Mengler was alone while assessing timber in British Columbia
when he suddenly found himself faced by a charging black
Armed with neither pepper spray nor a sidearm, Mengler had to think
fast. He reached to the ground, grabbed a softball-sized rock and
reverted to the skills he once used as a baseball pitcher.
“…He’s ten feet away. I reached back and just threw the rock and
struck it right between the eyes,” Mengler later recalled. “It was
like I shot it. Knocked it right out!”
Was it a slider or a curve? It doesn’t matter. The bear obviously
had its sights set on Jesse.
“It had one intention and that intention was me,” Mengler told CBC
News. He said he doesn’t know what happened to his weapon of
choice, or the bear, for that matter.
The experienced woodsman said he has encountered many black bears
while working in the Western Canadian back country, but not one
that moved as quickly and aggressively as this one.
“Two inches to the left or right,” he said, “I might not be here
telling you the story.”