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Surfing the internets, I found this video of an elderly couple in Pasadena locking up tight before they head out for the day. And diligent though they were in locking their door, they missed a bear, a real life bear, sitting on their front porch . . .

ABC reports that said elderly couple got some physical contact with said FULLY GROWN BROWN BEAR [emphasis mine].

A surveillance camera in the same neighborhood captured footage of Bob and Irene McKeown — who are visiting from overseas — leaving a home without even noticing that the bear was right next to them.

“I felt something brushing against my leg. Once I closed the door, I turned around, I shout, ‘It’s a bear! It’s a bear!'” said Bob McKeown. He suffered just a small nick on his leg.

I’m not saying that I do a full perimeter sweep before I leave the house everyday, but I feel confident in my ability to make it out the door with my head on enough of a swivel to notice a bear.

What’s this mean for you? As always, home carry, and make sure you’re carrying on the way out the door. But more importantly, keep your head on a swivel. It might not always be a tweaker on your front poor looking to score off an easy target. It could be a full sized bear looking for a meal.

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52 Responses to Self-Defense Tip: Some Days the Bear Chases You

  1. Hard to tell from the image, but I would bet it’s a black bear, and it appears by its size to be a juvenile.

    Still pretty scary. And +1 to your assertion that we should be armed and alert.

    • Yes it is a black bear. This was reported elsewhere as a black bear. I think it has been quite some time since Ursus arctos has been in CA.

    • What other type bear could it be? A panda bear? A gummy bear? Brown bears haven’t roamed California in almost 100 years. Of course it’s a black bear.

  2. Pasadena, CA? Brown Bear? Unless it walked away from a zoo or rehab, not likely. But yeah, head, swivel. And remember, you only have to outrun your wife, not the bear.

  3. A good lesson indeed, one ingrained at an early age for me.

    We used to leave food out for our barn cats right in front of the door. Opening said door especially at night you would often be greeted by something other than a cat having a little snack. Possum, skunks, raccoons, coyotes, fox, and an occasional bear.

    • “Don’t Feed the Wildlife” has applications far beyond the boundaries of national parks.

      It always makes me chuckle to hear about city n00bs moving to the country, leaving food and/or trash around and then OMG!!ing when they have critter problems.

      Please don’t shoot the bear just ’cause he’s on your front porch – just like any responsible firearm use, no threat, no shot. Call animal control. We humans have moved into the critter’s territory, not the other way around.

        • That’s a tougher issue. I say hit him with some birdshot to ensure proper fear of humans, tranq the sucker and move him back out in the woods, then spend the extra $5 per dumpster so that he can’t eat out of McD’s trash can.

          Just think of the bear arteries!

          Of course, I’ve had a bear in my folks backyard when I was a kid, lived in a suburban town called ‘whitest bread you know’, and all we had to do is be patient and keep the dogs inside. He wandered off after (thankfully not entirely) destroying my neighbors heirloom raspberry bushes. Nobody blamed teh bear – we all used to sneak some of those berries every now and again.

  4. whether it was a brown or a black bear it’s most certainly a juvenile. Definitely not a fully grown bear on their porch, aww he just wanted to go for a ride folks.

  5. Yup if these 80 year old Scottish tourists can’t carry their weight in the urban battlefield then let them be lunch. They should have been carrying ARs and pouches of 30 rounders. If you ain’t up to SEAL standards be gone.

    • Black bears generally don’t want to have anything to do with people. Just don’t back them into a corner and they usually run off… looking over their shoulder of course making sure you’re not one of the idiots that thinks feeding them is a great idea.

      • 100%, where I live black bears are a common sight/ annoying trash can f@#$er-upers. Just yell at them and they usually run. Though sometimes you have to be big and extra aggressive.

        • Buy some of the bear-proof kind, if possible. Yeah, more expensive, but then you won’t have to replace the cans (again!) and you won’t have to shoot the bear who decides that scavenging human waste is way easier than actually hunting for food. Win-win

  6. I hereby demand that Pasadena enact a zero tolerance policy regarding these ANIMALS by posting “Notice! Bear Free Zone” signs, backed by heavy fines for violators.

  7. Pasadena police say be aware that the bear could still be out in the neighborhood. They’ll be back Friday to patrol the streets and watch for that bear.

    Right, god forbid the county Sheriff should allow CA residents permits. Bear spray, definitely. hmm. what handgun though?

    • Tyler, you are obviously a Texas boy . . . juvenile black bear. Then again spending much time in northern climes you start to get used to seeing these animals on a semi-regular basis.

      Honestly, if I saw that when I stepped out on my porch, I’d just have a Chevy Chase “roll-em-up” reaction. Just calmly step back inside and leave the bear alone. Black bears usually want nothing to do with you, so if you give them space they will just go away. Though you might have to replace your trash can. This one in particular couldn’t care less, he’s just curious. If you don’t freak out you’ll be fine, just back away and find someplace to get out of its way. In most cases shooting them should be an absolute last resort. Even larger juveniles can shrug off most handgun-caliber rounds if motivated, at least long enough to turn you into cat food, which is the period of time that you care about. In general, a body shot (assuming a self-defense level of accuracy, I’m not talking about a hunter with a properly-placed shot) with anything less than a 12-gauge slug is unlikely to stop them quickly enough to escape harm. You’re far better off just backing away and finding some solid cover unless you have absolutely no other option. Hikers should carry bear spray, as it generally makes bears want to flee rather than fight.

  8. Most people are in condition white. Watch how these people have no clue that the person they were talking to has changed. There are other videos like this out there but it shows how unobservant people are.

  9. Pasadena will be going into full lockdown mode. All citizens ordered to “shelter in place” and remain inside. Full local and state SWAT teams, with armored assault vehicles will patrol.

    Anyone caught disobeying the order to stay inside will be arrested and jailed. LEO anticipates search for bear will take 48 to 72 hours.

    When bear is sighted, LEO will immediately engage with semi-automatic pistols and rifles.

    Bear will probably be engaged by up to 50 LEO’s. Chances of survival? Excellent!! (Based on recorded ability of LEO nationwide to hit anything except a family pet, tied to a doghouse).

    • Its much more likely that a school mascot or singing bear telegram is going to get riddles with bullets while driving to work.

      • Yes, you are mostly correct. Another consequence is that 1 Dachshund,, 3 poodles, and a orange cat will be shot, when LEO’s “mistake” them for the bear.

  10. I always have to keep my head on swivel at my place, I live out in the sticks, lots of little critters roaming around that need shooting- raccoon, armadillos, possums, trick or treaters. You know, the usual stuff.

  11. Intelligence officer: Bear? What bear? Only four of 35 indicators of bear activity are currently active. We assess the potential for bear activity as LOW.

    Military Intelligence, S-2: Reports to ground troops that bear is a non-combatant. Six Infantry wounded. MI states that if the ground forces would have read the nesting diagram provided in the 24 page enemy intel report, they would have known the bear was a possible threat.

    Embed Main-Stream-Media Reporter: Decides bear is patriotic nationalist agrarian reformer being molested by imperialist U.S. forces, asks bear for directions to nearest bar. If bitten by bear, charges U.S. troops with neglect of duty to protect freedom of the press.

    (Modified from the Differential Theory of Military Operations (Snake Model))

    http://www.blackfive.net/main/2013/10/the_differentia.html

  12. This was in my neck of the woods. Do you think we have the right to deal with such an intruder – if it threatens us – in an effective and definitive way?

    • Tough call Doc.
      Though, after thinking, yes. I think. I was trying to place myself back down there.
      An attorney friend told me that the farther away you are from large populations, the more conservative things get.
      Though you could make an argument that you were defending yourself, the animal rights folks would just cry that you “murdered” that poor bear.
      Another third of the jury would be aghast that you had a gun. And used it.
      The last third,…. Hmmmm

  13. This juvenile bear was not threatening. Certainly you should not be taking your eyes off of it. But I don’t know if I’d cower in my home and call 911. I might just lock my door and go to my car and go about my business, and depending on my area call the authorities on my way to let them know there’s a bear at my apartment so that they can relocate it or whatever. Depending on my area: I would in a city but it wouldn’t make sense to if I lived in or next to woodland where bears lived. What would you do if you saw a baby bear in the woods, freak out and empty the magazine of your Glock into it? The proper thing to do when you see a bear is to not approach or make a scene but just walk on by, Condition Orange.

    These folks were apparently oblivious, but I might have reacted the same way for different reasons and appeared to ignore the bear in the camera footage. You don’t want to freak the animal out nor make your wife hysterical and shrieking if she’s prone to that kind of behavior. Remain calm.

  14. That was a very polite bear who didn’t want any trouble. Notice how he stops when the LOL exits, and he waits for the two of them to move off before he resumes his wanderings. Not a threat. Funny thing, I’ve lived in bear country for 26 years, there have been bear cubs by the kids school, and I have yet to see one in the wild. That may change if this drought gets worse–they and the rattlers will come down out of the hills looking for water.

  15. That’s not a full grown bear… just a small cinnamon colored black bear. Probably a juvenile as pointed out above. That makes some of them more dangerous though – like people, they’ve got curiosity but no judgement to even it out. I saw the original report and the bear ended up chasing the couple off camera.

    Definitely good to stay aware.

      • Even small ones can be dangerous. A lot of problem bears are younger ones that don’t know better than to generally avoid people yet. And even a small bear is a very powerful animal.

  16. They say that you should never run from a bear because it could trigger the bear’s predatory instincts. However, depending on the situation, running may be very “instinctual” as well. I’ve had a couple of occasions where I looked down by my feet just in time to see poisonous snake (a rattlesnake in Zion Nat. Park, and a water moccasin in Caney Creek Arkansas), and both times I jumped in the air as a pure reflex. Luckily, I didn’t get bit either time. Not sure what I would do if I saw a juvenile black bear 5 feet away.

  17. To all of you bear experts out there I’ve got news for you. First, you are never in greater danger of a bear attack than when you spot a juvenile bear. Why? Because the mother is certainly close and if she perceives a threat to her cubs I assure you she will attack. Second, the size of the bear is not a good indication of its potential danger. Young bears, like young people, are notoriously unpredictable. We just had a woman in Orlando get her face ripped off by a 180 pound black bear while walking her dogs in the suburbs. Happened December 2 I think. The bear weighed less than me and nearly killed the woman. Apparently the dogs got between her and her 3 cubs.

    • All the better reason to leave it the heck alone unless there’s a very compelling reason to do otherwise. No one’s saying go up and pet the thing, just that the idea of shooting it is at best unnecessary and at worst will actually precipitate an attack.

      • I didn’t mean to imply that the bear should be shot. I like bears and when I see one in the wild I’m glad to have witnessed it. My point was simply that bears are unpredictable and incredibly strong for their size. They can out fight you, out run you, and (at least for some) out think you. They nearly always know you’re there before you know about them. Their sense of smell is something like 40-50 times better than a bloodhound. They also exhibit human like curiosity and often times have no ill intention whatsoever.

    • That was down the street from my parents in Longwood. Sadly they killed the wrong bear a few days later. People don’t realize how many bears we have in Central Florida. This is my yard only about 10 miles from where the attack happened. [IMG]http://i.imgur.com/gLv66lB.jpg[/IMG]

      • I know. The 1st bear they trapped was a 300 pounder that was euthanized. Then a few days later they catch a 250 pounder and down it goes. Then the DNA test finally arrive and they realize they still haven’t caught the bear that attacked her. Finally a week later they nabbed the 180 pound sow and 2 of her cubs. The 3rd cub was run over by a car trying to flee. Now the sow and 2 cubs are at Busch Gardens. Uh….ok….sad ending, to a weird story, with a f-upped conclusion. Two beautiful bruins put down that had never attacked anyone and a dead bear cub. Not to mention the seriously injured woman. It is truly a heartbreaking story. You are correct that Central Florida has a big bear population. That wouldn’t be a problem except for the big biped population. Cool pix!

    • Sadly, a .44 Magnum probably isn’t a realistic option for Scottish tourists in California.
      And if it were, being mauled by the bear may be preferable to the consequences of touching off a couple .44 Mag rounds in Pasadena.

  18. This is an outrage. I’m sick of the media portrayal of bears in our society. The FACT about this bear is that it had actually been out there on a hunger strike for THREE DAYS. Its only demand was a hug. I would have hugged that bear, and so would you. That’s what this is about and I am kinda shocked you would post this alarmist propaganda. Bears are for HUGS.

  19. Black bears can be any color, black, brown, blond, cinnamon, albino, even with a blue cast. Some of these comments make my head spin. If you shoot a small black bear with a handgun you will have the fight of your life, and you will loose. Most of the time they do not pose a threat. Rangers still carry bear spray for a very good reason. Ask any ranger in Yellowstone what they are afraid of and they will tell you; Bison. Not black bears, not brown bears. People who let their semi-feral dogs run free pose a much larger threat to people. Check the stats. Theres just no media coverage because they are not bears, sharks, alligators or bigfoots. Awareness trumps weapons.

  20. I had a young bear run right past my legs. It was a blur it moved so fast. It wasn’t out to hurt me & I didn’t hurt it, Randy

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