When defending yourself from a charging brown bear, the best weapon is always whatever is closest to hand. That might be a handgun, a can of bear spray, or even an ice axe. Or, in the case of a video that was recently shared to social media, it could be something that’s just plain loud—like the engine on your dirt bike.
The short clip, which was posted on the BusyWild Facebook page yesterday, shows what happens after a rider wrecks his dirt bike next to a bear’s den in the woods. With his riding partner filming the scene using a helmet-mounted GoPro, the rider stands up just as a large brown bear emerges from the hole in the ground. The bear roars and goes straight for the rider as he turns and runs away.
With the pissed-off bear only a few feet away and closing, the rider with the camera twists the throttle and revs his engine. The harsh revving sound is enough to spook the bear, which is already swatting at the crashed motorcycle. The bear then spins and runs away, while the rider with the camera twists the throttle a few more times for good measure.
It’s unclear from the post who recorded the video and where, but most commenters have pointed out that the noise of the engine revving likely saved the one rider’s life. At the very least, it kept the bear from getting close enough to attack.
“If [his] buddy didn’t rev that 2 stroke, this might be a completely different video,” one commenter wrote. “Quick thinking at its finest.”
Most experts agree that making loud noises in bear country is one of the best ways to alert bears to your presence, which can help prevent surprise encounters. Some manufacturers even sell bear-specific air horns for this exact purpose. These air horns make better deterrents than repellants, however, and they aren’t as useful when an aggressive bear is already charging. In these scenarios, you’re much better off carrying one of the best bear defense handguns and having the confidence to use it when the time comes.
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