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Bobcats, cougars, moose, coyotes, bears, and raccoons are examples of animals you may encounter while hiking or camping. Defense tactics against bears aren't quite the same as against cougars, so you should know how to protect yourself from each type of animal you could encounter in the area.
You can reduce the risk of attracting animals to your camp by keeping food stored in a locking container, wrapping it in rope, and hanging the container seven feet above the ground. This seems like a lot of effort, but food is one of the biggest reasons that wild animals visit a person's campsite. Also, never bring food inside your tent. Wild animals can and will find it. Another option is to place the trash bags in the trunk of your car. A lot of wild animals hate the smell of fabric softener sheets. Place fabric softener sheets in your tent, sleeping bag, backpacks, and cooler to help deter animals.
No matter what type of wild animal you're dealing with, you shouldn't immediately attack it. Give the animal a chance to leave on its own as many will. Research what animals live in the hiking or camping area and how to correctly handle encounters with them. For example, if you see a bear, don't make fast movements. Stand your ground, and talk in a calm, monotone voice. It's normal for bears to grunt and to stand while investigating, so don't misunderstand those behaviors as aggression.
If the animal attacks you, follow the advice you learned through your research to effectively protect yourself. One option is to bring bear spray to help deter a bear without having to use your gun. Bear spray is 92% effective, so it is worth considering. Another option is bring a gun with you. When it comes to carrying a gun, the holster you choose is important. Before selecting a holster for travel, you should ask yourself a few questions to make sure it’s right for you. What type of handgun is most effective against the animals you could face in the area? How durable is the holster? What type of carry do you feel most comfortable with?
Always be prepared to defend yourself when you go hiking or camping. Although it's rare that you'll have to fight off an attacking animal, it's still a possibility. Make sure you know the right way to handle an approach from each type of wild animal in the area. Maintain a clean campsite.
Ready to take on the wild? Don’t forget to wear the proper attire.
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