Originally Posted By: Bingley
What if you encountered a tactical bear?

While your question seems to be tongue-in-cheek, I’ll answer it as though you were serious.
  • Situational awareness is critical to early recognition of potential threats.
  • Avoidance is best whenever possible.
  • Evasion or withdrawal is next best after avoidance, where feasible.
  • De-escalation, depending on circumstances, may work with human aggressors. It’s worked well in at least some cases with bears who were scared or annoyed. With a predatory (“tactical”) bear, my reading leads me to think that de-escalation is very unlikely to give good results.
  • I train my students to use “Alpha Commands” (such as “Stop!” or “Drop it!”) if circumstances both warrant and permit. Admittedly, where I live, ursine aggressors are sufficiently uncommon that it’s never come up in any class I’ve taught or attended.
  • If all else fails, move to a position of advantage if possible, and shoot until the threat is neutralized or gives up. The untrained commonly shoot faster than they can be accurate — it’s critical to make your hits. You cannot miss fast enough to win.

I don’t so much strongly discourage my students from firing warning shots as instruct them sternly to never, ever do so. My assumption is that ursine aggressors are more commonly found in areas where warning shots aren’t so likely to hurt a human or be destructive to property, but I have no idea whether a bear would be indifferent or even angered by them.