Exit Strategy or Escape Route

I went on a hike up in the mountains, (no, not that one, Hanging Lake, another one) and as I proceeded along the trail, my friend and I encountered two women watching something that was making a very strange noise. Turns out it was a baby bear about 30 feet away that was stuck in a tree. Eventually it made it way down, and fortunately we did not encounter a protective mamma bear.

I was fairly preoccupied and didn’t think too much about it, until we reached our destination and were heading back down the trail, when I asked my friend, “Do you know what to do if we encounter a bear?” (I did not!) It turns out, neither did she. We cautiously returned to the car, and of course promptly googled what to do if you encounter a bear! It made me remember that whether you are meeting a bear, or running a business, you need an exit strategy or escape route.

For inquiring minds that want to know:


  1. NEVER RUN. Running can make a bear chase you.
  2. Keep your distance. Back slowly away facing the bear. Avoid direct eye contact.
  3. Slowly and calmly leave the area. Talk aloud so the bear will become aware of you.
  4. Be extra careful around a female with cubs. Never approach a cub.
  5. NEVER throw food to distract a bear. This teaches a bear to approach people for food.
  6. Fight back if attacked. Black bears have been driven away when people fight with rocks, sticks, binoculars, or even bare hands.
  7. DON’T LITTER Please dispose of all litter in bear-proof trash cans when you are in bear habitat. Remove it from the area if trash cans are full. Your consideration could save a bear’s life!
  8. Report Sightings – follow the link under Black Bears and Mountain Lions or call 303-441-3440. This helps us keep both you and the bear safe. Call 911 if it’s an emergency.
Jan McCarthyComment