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How We Stop: Oregon's Defense, and How to Survive an Encounter with a Bear

Oregon's defense has a number of questions entering Saturday's game against Missouri State. How much more playing time will Kiko Alonso and Cliff Harris see? Will Michael Clay's ankle injury get true frosh Rodney Hardrick his first game action this season? Will Brandon Hanna stop intercepting passes and start acting like the defensive end that he is? But the game plan for Saturday is simple: limit mistakes. When good teams lose to bad teams, it is because they aren't mentally focused and prepared to play, and make errors that lead to points or turnovers. If the Ducks avoid making a more than a few major mistakes, they will win easily.

But with the Missouri State Bears coming to Autzen, this seems like a good week for How We Stop to examine a real-life scenario. And so Addicted to Quack proudly presents: How we stop...a bear from mauling and eating us.

The easiest way to avoid a bear attack is to not be deep in the woods. I have not been camping in over fifteen years; this lifestyle has kept me safe from bear attacks. I sleep in a bed, behind a locked door, up a staircase, in the middle of a major metropolitan area. It's a bear-free zone. Bears have been known to enter towns, but for the 99% of Americans and 6% of Canadians who don't live right next door to a bear habitat, you may live your lives safe from the oppression of bears, as long as you stay at home. Do a crossword puzzle, make a phone call, cook some risotto. I can promise a bear will not interrupt any of those activities by tearing out your voicebox with his or her five-inch claws. 

If you absolutely must head out into the bear-infested wilderness - whether it's because you hate the smell of exhaust, have given up your worldy possessions to live off the land,  or you got a gift card to REI and feel obligated to actually use the stuff you bought with it - your first step to preventing a bear attack is getting yourself some bear spray. Bear spray is simply pepper spray that has been amped up in volume in order to confuse and deter a bear in the event that it charges you. 

Bears attack for a number of reasons: they attack when they feel threatened, they attack to protect their cubs, and they can attack because they're beyond hungry and need something to eat to keep from starving. They can also attack if they are startled. That's why many survivalists recommend you make noise. While out hiking, you can sing, whistle, or wear a bell. Any of those options alert a bear to your presence, and will allow them to avoid you. My personal recommendation? Bring a boombox, and blast some Ke$ha. I know that'd get me to stay the hell away from you.

If you do come into contact with a bear, don't run. Bears can run up to thirty miles per hour. You can not. You know what runs away from bears? Prey. Stand your ground, and let the bear see you aren't a threat. Keep making noise; now would be a good time to sing some Alanis Morrisette or Nickelback to it. 

If, despite all I've already told you, you find yourself in the woods with a bear hauling ass in your direction, spray your bear spray. Spray lots of it, making a wall of stinging capsaicin between you and the bear. That should get the animal to run off, giving you time to head back to civilization and find a fresh pair of underwear. If the bear spray doesn't work, or you don't have any because you're stupid, your next move depends on the type of bear you're dealing with. 


  • if it's a grizzly bear, play dead - curl up in the fetal position, protect your neck, and don't move. Grizzlies attack because they feel threatened, and stop when the threat goes away. However, be prepared for a harrowing twenty or so minutes. The bear is going to poke with you with sharp claws because it wants to figure out why you suddenly fell to the ground and stopped moving. The bear will probably sniff you, putting his enormous jaws inches from your flesh. Don't. Move. If you freak out and move, it'll be like in a horror movie when the main character kills the bad guy and goes over to inspect the body, only the killer jumps up with a last attempt at murder before our hero puts another six rounds in their chest. Imagine that, only you're the villain, and instead of bullets you get six hundred pounds of jacked-up bear rage. So don't effing move. 
  • If it's a black bear, fight it - the play dead trick doesn't work on black bears; they see through the bullshit. Luckily, black bears are more timid than grizzlies, and can be scared off. Yell and scream a bunch, which shouldn't be hard considering you're in a fight with a bear, and try to punch it in the nose or poke it in the eyes. If you've got a stick or a hunting knife, even better. 
  • If it's a polar bear, you're probably screwed - Polar bears are the world's largest land carnivore. A fully grown male polar bear can weigh up to three-quarters of a ton. They can swim up to 200 miles out to sea, their paws are strong enough to kill a person with a single blow, and they are invisible to infrared photography. Simply put, polar bears are scary as hell. If one sees you, you will be standing on snow or ice, and there won't be anywhere to hide. You can use bear spray, poke it in the eyes, or even try and mount it and ride it, in the hopes that it will let you. But more likely than not, if it wants to, it's gonna eat you. 
I hope this helps. Now let's go out there and not get killed by bears!

As for football, here are some arbitrary predictions for Saturday.

- Ifo Ekpre-Olomu will either intercept a pass or recover a fumble.
- The Ducks will force four turnovers, but won't return any for touchdowns. 
- Derrick Malone will record a sack.
- Kiko Alonso will remind Duck fans that he's really good at football.
- Cliff Harris will play in the first half, but won't do anything noteworthy.
- The Ducks will allow exactly one scoring drive.