You probably don't sit back and worry too much about the dangers of being attacked by a bear here in Michigan. If you live in an area such as Detroit, Lansing, Kalamazoo or Grand Rapids, it's not a common threat.

Photo by mana5280 on Unsplash
Photo by mana5280 on Unsplash

Or, is it?

The Likely Hood Of A Bear Attack In Michigan

Here in Michigan, the threat of a bear attacking you is fairly low. However, Michigan does have a population of black bears.

Photo by Bruce Warrington on Unsplash
Photo by Bruce Warrington on Unsplash

Black bears are typically nonaggressive creatures, however, they are still bears and can become aggressive if they associate humans as a food source or if they feel threatened.

How Many Fatal Bear Attacks Have There Been In Michigan?

On record, there have only been three fatal bear attacks in the state of Michigan. Two of which happened in 1948 and 1978.

Read More: Child Eaten by a Bear Still Haunts To This Day: Upper Peninsula 

Others have been recently attacked here in Michigan, but did live to tell the tale. A 12-year-old girl in 2015 was attacked by a bear while walking her dog in Wexford County. Another incident happened in Oscoda County, when a woman was mauled by a bear while walking her dog as well.

How To Avoid Being Attacked By A Bear In Michigan

While the likely hoods are low, it's still not impossible, as seen from above. So, what do you do if you see a bear here in Michigan?

  1. Make Noise: By making noise such as talking, singing, clapping your hands, it alerts bears to your presence and may save you an encounter with them.
  2. Stay Alert: If you're in an area you're unfamiliar with, especially in Northern Michigan, stay vigilant. Look for bear tracks, overturned rocks and evens cat.
  3. Store Food Properly While Camping: While out on the trails, it is rather important to make sure that you're storing your food properly. Not doing so, could lead bears right to you.
  4. Stay Away: If you do encountar a bear while walking, your best bets are to stay away from it. If you'd like to get a glimps of it, use binoculars or your phone and zoom in on it.
  5. Do Not Run: If you choose to run, you could trigger the bear.
  6. Back Away Slowly: Do not turn your back, as it could cause the bear to attack as well as any sudden movements. If you can and are being approached attempt to make yourself seem bigger.
  7. Carry Bear Spray: Learning how to use the spray properly is important, but consider carrying the spray in areas bears are known to be at.
  8. Travel In Groups: Bears will tend to avoid large groups of people. By hiking in a group atmosphere, your chances of being attacked is lower.

Bear Attack in the Upper Peninsula, 1948

Bears in the Trash Dump