Encountering a Black Bear

Black bear frequent the Shawano area. Are you and your family “bear wise”? Some encounters may be more dangerous than others, so it is important to recognize the signs and know what to do to do and protect yourself.

Know the language of black bears: If you encounter a black bear it may:

  • stand on its hind legs to get a better look at you
  • salivate excessively, exhale loudly, and make huffing, moaning, clacking and popping sounds with its mouth, teeth and jaws
  • lower its head with its ears drawn back while facing you
  • charge forward and may swat the ground with its paws. This is known as a bluff charge. Generally the noisier the bear is, the less dangerous it is provided you don’t approach the bear.

These are all warning signals black bears give to let you know you are too close. When bears are caught off guard they are stressed and usually what to flee.

What to do during Surprise and Close Encounters:

  • Remain clam. Do not run. Stand still and talk to the bear in a calm voice
  • Arm your pepper spray
  • Do not try to get closer to the bear
  • If the bear does not get closer to you, slowly back away, talking to the bear in a quiet monotone voice. Do not scream or turn your back on the bear and run, kneel down or make direct eye contact.
  • Watch the bear and wait for it to leave.

To Report Bear problems or additional information contact “The Bear Reporting Line at 1-866-514-2327 or 705-945-7641. In a life-threatening emergency call the Madoc Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police at 911.

Here is a helpful link: Prevent bear encounters (Bear Wise)


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