When it all becomes a blur!
Hunting or camping Alaska, Canada or any location that sustains a bear population should be done with respect to the areas predator population mountain Lions, wolves, coyotes, jaguar of the extreme south can be a threat, but bears can be the greatest threat. You're more likely to experience a bear in counter, than you are any of the mentioned. Whenever your hunting or camping within their domain give them the respectful right of way, doing all you can to prevent an encounter, by making noise as you hike, and keeping a food free camp.
Hunters you can't expect to have a successful hunt if you're making noise during stealthy approach on a game trail or undercover of thick shrubs, grass, alpine forest while stalking your intended prey. For this, you must be very aware that you may very well turn to find yourself face to face with the bear. It could be a young cub, a sow (female bear) or boar (male bear) a female with cubs can prove to be the most problematic, due to their natural instinct in protecting their young.
Surprising a sow with cubs will likely produce a charge, this attack posture is in defense of their cubs and could be a mock charge, meaning a forward motion to you that can be a simple jump towards you or several feet to within 10 yards or a full blown attack, the problem with either is that you don't know!
How do you handle such a situation, first don't run, stand your ground and hope it's just a mock charge, in both situations have your pepper spray at the ready, or as a very last resort, have your handgun or rifle in a ready position, if needed fire a warning shot...if the bear continues to charge, shoot to kill! But be advised shooting a moving target can extremely difficult and if you wound the animal it will likely continue to attack.
Pay the consequences of killing a bear in self-defense
The laws may vary from state to state, when killing a charging bear in self defense. Many states will complete a full investigation of the circumstances of this unfortunate event. You will find your self answering a few question, was it provoked, was the bear attracted to your sloppy camp practices, the list goes on? If you're found to be at fault you can be fined thousands of dollars, your hunting equipment could be confiscated or both.
Just so you know - Alaska requires you to take the cape and head of the animal and that you report it immediately, after which you're likely making a trip back to the kill site.
Bottom Line Is
Do your best to not put yourself in such a situation. Below are a few tips on how to prevent such a situation, in addition you'll find information on game meat care in bear country.
YOUR HARVESTED GAME MEAT IN BEAR COUNTRY - USE THE FOLLOWING PRECAUTIONS
Hunting in bear country can be a dangerous proposition, and in no way are we guaranteeing that taking any of these preventive measures will guarantee your Safety, or prevent the meat from being taken by a bear or any other predator. Some bears may ignore most precautions, but your scent and preventive measures will be a strong deterrent. "KEEPING PREDATORS AWAY" While afield there is no true safeguard against predators making a claim to your meat there are only preventive measures. Here are a few precautions to take while in bear country! More often than not a hunter is likely to shoot their animal late in the day then find themselves having to work late into the night and early morning hours.
If you gut and leave the carcass for the next day’s chore odds are you will not have your harvested animal the next day! Wolf and bear will surely zone in on the carcass and make their claim. Be sure to at least quarter and remove all edible portions of meat. Bag the meat and relocate the bagged meat, no closer than 100 yards from the gut pile.
Scarecrows: The Wall, Human Scent
Meat Pole: Place your meat pole in a relatively open place. If your meat pole is in a brushy area, you're providing a hidden avenue for a bear to approach it. Make sure the meat is visible from camp. This will allow you to keep predators at bay.
Around camp tie plastic bags to branches about head high, at camp perimeter. Tie the bags at the very end of the open end of the bag, this will allow air to make the bag sway in the breeze during the day and night hours.
Five feet back or so with branches or shrubs between the meat and the wall take a large piece of plastic or tarp and tie the top corners good and tight. Do not tie the bottoms! The bottom should be allowed to move in the breeze or wind-making lots of movement and noise discouraging encroachment of predators.
Human Scent (Body Odor)
Around the perimeter of camp and by meat pole (hanging meat) about head high hang a couple of your soiled (smelly) shirts.
Human Scent (urine)
An added deterrent is to urinate on the brush at all the trails coming in the vicinity of the meat and or camp. Human scent may help deter bears from entering the camp or meat perimeter.
RESPECT IS THE KEY WORD IN BEAR COUNTRY
They can be cute - Don't be fooled!
Game Meat Care In Bear Country