Wednesday, September 3, 2014


Speaking as someone who has stared down an angry black bear, whatever formal training you have received has a high degree of flying out the window at the same velocity of turds exiting your butt-hole. I’m not saying that formal training is useless, far from it. Train for everything. But if you train only for surviving a dark alley, then you will be prey in an open field. Carry a gun in the “bad part of town” but leave it at home on the family camping trip? No bueno.

From my own experience and current homestead choice,  I face a greater chance of facing another angry black bear than any other human who would provoke me to a level of lethal self defense.

Allow your “enemy” to dictate your training needs, with the small caveat that you have anticipated their aggression.  When approached by another human in the wild, anticipate talking about the local weather. When approached by a predator animal, learn to think on their terms.

Sometimes the key to life is not performing tasks you have learned but in the act of unlearning bad or stupid habits. As a human type person, we are taught it’s polite to look others in the eye and smile when greeting. This is about the worst thing you can do when coming across a predatory animal. Looking into the eyes and showing your teeth is not going to convey the same message as it does to aunty Ester.

Most confrontations with animals will and can be avoided with no action on your part; they’ll carry the load, but they are in the area. Study their behavior, learn what their tracks look like, keep photos of their poop in your cell phone. This is always awkward in the age of social network sharing and with intimate partners who borrow or use your device, but a good poop picture is always great at parties. The point is that we have the opportunity to study them at a distance. They can only study us when they feel cornered and unable to escape.

Become them. Respect their language.

It just may save your life.

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