Close Call: Black bear charges, frightens forestry crew

Safety Alert Type: 
Planning and Engineering
East Kootenays (North Mather Creek, Purcells)
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Company Name: 
Sebben Forestry
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A layout crew working in the field was charged by a black bear. The bear charged directly at one person as he turned and headed for cover, trying to find his bear spray.

While this was happening, the other person ran in between his partner and the bear with his arms up and bear spray ready, screaming at the bear. The bear stopped less than 5 metres away, stood up first then circled the crew twice, who still had their arms up, yelling at the bear.

The bear slowly left the site. The crew was pretty scared especially the one that the bear charged at. No injuries were reported. The person who did the aggressive yelling with arms up to look big said if he had a defender he would of used it because that’s how close the bear came.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

• Crew members should hold their ground with Bear spray present. Make sure bear spray is very easy to retrieve from vest.

• Try and find a large tree or rock for protection from charging bear while you spray it.

• As for yelling and looking big using arms to the sky; if it works, do it.

• Once the bear leaves the site and all is safe, radio contact all crews in area ASAP and explain the situation.

• Write up a hazard report on aggressive bear in that particular area and distribute it to other crews that may be working in that area at any future time.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

For more information: Sebben Forestry (250) 417-9757

File attachments
Black bear charges, frightens forestry crew.pdf
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