I went on a 2.6 mile hike in the woods over the weekend and it felt great. But, in the back of my head I kept thinking, 'what if I crossed paths with a black bear?'

I'm not sure why I kept thinking about it. Perhaps it's because I was not prepared. I knew if that happened, I'd be toast. I also don't hike in the woods a lot, so I didn't know what to expect. My husband assured me it's super rare to see a black bear so close to town. I relaxed a bit and continued on with my walk. I'm happy to report, the walk was black bear free.

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Then, I got home and saw that two black bears were spotted on a walking trail near Alexandria on Thursday. OH MY LANTA!!

According to Voice of Alexandria, a woman named Maureen Boesen and her daughter were out for a walk on the Central Lakes Trail when they saw two ADULT black bears.

I'm not sure what I would do if this were me. Are you supposed to run? Hide? Stay put? Walk away slowly? I assure you, I'd want to scream and run. I'm almost certain I could be outrun by a bear. This would be utterly terrifying.

So, what are you supposed to do if you come face to face with a bear in the woods? If you're smart, you should be prepared by having bear spray. It's like mace for bears.

If that isn't an option for you like it wasn't for me...here's what you should do according to tips from the Humane Society;

  • Don't scream. I know it might be your first instinct but DON'T do it. Instead you should talk to the bear in a calm tone.
  • You want to back up slowly, and head back the way you came. Do NOT run.
  • If the bear starts walking at you, that's when you start making a scene. Make yourself as big as possible by spreading out your arms, yelling and even throwing things at it.
  • It's rare, but if the bear does attack you, DON'T play dead. You're supposed to fight back.

If you're going on a walk in the woods, be safe and carry some bear spray with you. A black bear attack is rare in Minnesota, but it could still happen. Be safe.