With bear season hitting in Colorado, it’s important to know what to do if you run into one of the creatures, whether it be on a hike or even in your own backyard. Here are seven things not to do if you do run into one:

1. Panic

Remain calm and take a look at your surroundings. You’ll want to know if there’s any babies around that a mama bear might be protecting, and you’ll want to gather people around you if at all possible as bears avoid groups of humans.

2. Run

Don’t run! Bears will only see this as an opportunity to chase you. Instead, remain calm and plant your ground. IF you move away before the bear, keep facing the bear and back away slowly.

3. Make yourself big

Unlike mountain lions, bears will see you trying to scare them away as aggressive and this may cause them to attack. Speak firmly but appeasingly without yelling, and do not make yourself a bigger, more threatening target.

4. Be loud

If a bear hasn’t seen you yet but you’ve seen it, don’t draw attention to yourself. Try to leave the same way you cam without making any noise, especially if the bear is eating or has cubs.

5. Approach it

NEVER approach a bear, no matter how badly you want that candid nature shot. Bears do not appreciate people getting in their territory, and if you’re not leaving, it’s going to assume you’re there for the wrong reasons and try to protect itself.


Kaylee was raised (but not *technically* born) in Colorado. She graduated from Regis University with a bachelor of arts in English. During her time at Regis she worked as a teaching assistant in a freshman classroom setting and in the writing center helping students on a variety of topics. While there, she discovered Cura Personalis, or care for the entire person, leading to her love of feminism and desire for equal rights for all. Kaylee is the managing editor for AboutBoulder, OnDenver, and a key member of the OnMetro team, launching this platform in cities across the United States.