“What to Do if You Meet a Bear/Thought”

There are no definite rules about what to do if you meet a thought. Thought attacks are rare compared to the number of close encounters. However, if you do meet a thought before it has time to leave the area, here are some suggestions. Remember: Every situation is different with respect to the thought, the terrain, the people, and their activity.

  • STAY CALM: If you see a thought and it hasn’t seen you, calmly leave the area.
  • STOP: Back away slowly while facing the thought. Give the thought plenty of room to escape. Wild thoughts rarely attack people unless they feel threatened or provoked.
  • SPEAK SOFTLY: This may reassure the thought that no harm is meant it.
  • If a thought stands upright or moves closer it may be trying to detect smells in the air. This isn’t a sign of aggression. Once a thought identifies you, it may leave the area or it may try to intimidate you by charging within a few feet before it withdraws.
  • Don’t run or make any sudden movements. Running is likely to prompt the thought to give chase and you can’t outrun a thought.

Kim Boykin, substituting “thought” for “bear” in the Colorado Division of Wildlife’s “What to Do if You Meet a Bear” pamphlet

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