It's 6am at your WMA. It's a weekday, and you are one of three other hunters in the area.
You go to a spot you've checked since spring. You've done your best at the pre-dawn hours to conceal your scent. You carry a climbing stand, a bow w/ quiver, a hunting knife, a backpack or fanny pack with other essentials.
Moving quietly, almost still hunting to your stand location, you recall the last time you spooked deer from your area. Your head lamp is dim and tilted down.
You observe sign, not too fresh scat but promise that you are heading in the right direction.
The tracks of animals are obscurred by vegetation.
You come across what looks to be bear tracks and seemingly fresh bear scat.
A tree looks as if a buck may have rubbed his antlers on it but a closer inspection reveals claw marks.
<sweat> You re-think: "should I walk on; the stand location is only about a quater mile from where you are. Do you walk back the way you came and go to another location that you had scouted?"
During this brief contemplation - a rustling in the thick to your immediate right tells you that you are not alone - a growl and snapping is heard top close for comfort. Confrontation is imminent.
a. Shout and make your presence known and hope the bear does what the anti-s say she will do.
If it works - the bear goes away and so does every deer within 5 miles of you!
b. Walk slowly back the way you came but prepared with bear spray.
c. walk slowly back with an arrow knocked because you don't own bear spray.
d. Ignore it and go on to your stand brandishing either bear spray or knocked arrow.
After I shart my pants, Im going to take out the bear spray that I "dont carry" and Im going to talk calmly to let the bear know I am a human.
I will also SLOWLY back up, and avoid eye contact if the bear can see me.
Ive actually had close encounters similar to this. Once with an easy 500+ pound bear at about 5 yards. Another was with a 250'sh pound bear at 10 yards. Yet another was with a 300'sh pound bear at about 8 yards.I never had anything more than a bow. This was before I invested in bear spray. Which of course I DONT CARRY in NJ...[down]