Disclosure: We may earn commissions if you purchase products after clicking on a link from our site.

Do you know how to survive a wild animal attack? Do you hunt wild animals? Hunting has dangers as wild animals will sometimes attack you if they feel threatened, need to protect their young, or become bold and territorial. All of a sudden you could be confronted by a herd of aggressive wild animals. In this article, we discuss how to survive a wild animal attack.

How To Survive A Wild Animal Attack
How To Survive A Wild Animal Attack

How To Survive a Wild Animal Attack

When hunting, hiking, or taking a walk in the woods, always be aware of your surroundings. Observe how the trees and leaves are used purposefully to create nests. If you spot very large nests, be aware that you may be trespassing on territories of wild animals.

If you are suddenly confronted by wild and aggressive, don’t follow the urge to run; you will never make it. Most of the time, the best option is to give the animal some distance, keep eye contact, make yourself big, and start talking and yelling t it strongly as you slowly walk backward.

Additionally, try to make yourself as big as possible for it to calculate its chances of success or failure
if it attacks you. As it is growling at you, it is also thinking about what will happen if it attacks you. If you be firm, don’t panic and run, but continue to shout and talk firmly to it and back away, it will also realize you are leaving its territory and that is the best option. Animals can also sense fear and if you panic, they will detect that and be emboldened to attack you.

1. How to Survive a Black Bear Attack

Black bears are not the most dangerous bears but they still attack and some of these attacks result in deaths. Black bears will wander into your backyard and reach for the garbage if it is hungry or wanders into your camp if they smelled food. If you stumbled upon bear cubs, get away from them as fast as possible. Most bears become aggressive when they are surprised or feel their cubs are in danger.

What To Do When Attacked By Black Bear

  • Try to make yourself appear large by lifting up your arms.
  • Maintain some distance between you and the bear.
  • Do not turn your back on the bear & run.
  • Slowly retreat backward.
  • Play dead if it makes contact with you.
  • If it starts to injure you, then you have no other option but to defend yourself.

2. How To Survive a Grizzly Bear Attack

A grizzly bear is not known to be fond of regarding humans as a meal. However, it will seriously hurt or kill you. If you think you are in grizzly bear territory, make a lot of noise as you move to make them aware of your location. They may avoid any confrontation with you. Similarly, if you come across their cubs, leave that area and put a lot of distance between you and the cubs very quickly.

What To Do When Attacked By Grizzly Bear

  • Remain calm and slowly back away.
  • Don’t turn and run. It will trigger the chase response.
  • Make yourself as large as possible by waving your arms.
  • If it comes to you, play dead.
  • If it starts to maul you, then you have no option but to fight for your life.
Surviving A Wild Animal Attack
Surviving A Wild Animal Attack

3. How To Survive a Polar Bear Attack

Polar bears are always looking for their next meal. If you come in contact with a polar bear, just know that you will have to fight to live and you can’t roll up and play dead hoping it will smell you and leave. It won’t work with polar bears.

What To Do When Attacked By Polar Bear

  • Use whatever you have to fight back.
  • Look for a spot on the bear like the head to strike with all of your strength.
  • You want to give it a decisive blow that will make it think twice.

4. How To Survive a Mountain Lion Attack

Mountain lions are very elusive and difficult to spot. The area can be clear and then all of a sudden it appears. They are masters of stalking. If you are hiking, hunting, or find yourself face to face with a mountain lion, don’t panic and run. According to the Mountain Lion Foundation, mountain lions are found in 14 western states of the United States.

What To Do When Attacked By a Mountain Lion

  • Do not turn around and run; you will not outrun a mountain lion.
  • Make yourself as big as possible by opening your coat or waving your arms.
  • Maintain eye contact with the mountain lion.
  • Slowly wave your arms, speak firmly to it, and throw items at it.
  • Most of the time this will get it to go away.

5. How To Survive a Wolf Attack

Wolf travels in packs. If you spot one, it means the others are close by hiding in the brush waiting for the best opportunity to attack you. Wolves are very cunning and will stalk you until they feel the opportunity is right for the attack.

What To Do When Attacked By a Pack of Wolves or Coyotes

  • Don’t run as it will trigger a chase response.
  • Shout at it without making eye contact.
  • Don’t lose your footing as they will swarm up on you for the kill.
  • Use whatever you have to give them hard blows.
  • Fight for your life and make a lot of noise in case someone is nearby who can come to your rescue.
  • If someone appears, these animals will escape.
Surviving Wild Animal Attacks
Surviving Wild Animal Attacks

6. How To Survive a Moose Attack

Moose is a large and dangerous big game animal. They are territorial and may attack you if they sense that you are alone. They are not the fastest big game animal and will try to knock you down and attack instead of chasing you.

What To Do When Attacked By a Moose

  • Keep a good distance between you and the moose.
  • Back away and go in another direction.
  • If it persists and continues after you, run. It will not trigger a chase response.
  • If it approaches you, that is a warning sign, not a curious or friendly gesture.
  • If a moose lays its ears back and raises the hair on its shoulder hump, stomps the ground, or swings its head in your direction, get ready for an attack from it.
  • Climb a tree if you get to one.
  • Curl up into a ball to protect yourself from kicks and stumps if it knocks you down.
  • Don’t try to get up after it moves away as this will get it to renew the attacks.

7. How To Survive an Elk Attack

An elk, like any animal or bird, will protect its young when it feels they are in danger. An elk will attack you when they feel cornered, threatened, or feel their young are in danger.

What To Do When Attacked By an Elk

  • Do not turn your back on the elk to escape. it will charge you.
  • Make yourself as large as possible by raising your arms or clothing.
  • Climb a tree if you can quickly get to one.
  • Try to maintain your footing because if you get knocked down, it will attack you.
  • Curl into the fetal position to protect your head, neck, and organs if you get knocked down.

8. How To Survive a Bison Attack

A bison is large and powerful. It can head but, gore, or stomp on you. After charging a human and knocking them to the ground, a bison will wander off and continue grazing.

What To Do When Attacked By a Bison

  • If you are charged by a bison, run for cover if it is close.
  • Take cover behind something large if you can find something.
  • Climb a tree.
  • Try to maintain a distance between you and a bison. They are not slow runners though.
Wild Animal Attacks
Wild Animal Attacks

9. How To Survive a Bull Attack

Bulls are very dangerous and should be avoided at all times. They are very large and strong. Bull attacks can be fatal.

What To Do When Attacked By a Bull

  • If a bull is running toward you, do not run. That can be very dangerous to do.
  • Instead, stand straight and still. Use your clothing or some other item as bait. When the bull is close to you, throw the item away from you. That will get the bull’s attention and it will run after it.
  • Bulls react to motion.
  • Try to stay at least 20 feet away from a bull.
  • If you find yourself in bull’s personal space, back away slowly, don’t turn around, and run.

10. How To Survive a Snake Attack

Snake attacks can be very deadly and you want to avoid an encounter with a venomous snake as much as possible. Always wear snake boots, or snake guards when hunting.

What To Do When Attacked By a Snake

  • Always back away from a snake.
  • Don’t turn your back on a snake and run.
  • If you get bitten by a snake, get immediate medical help.
  • Try to remember the color and description.
  • Circle the bite and remember the time of the bite.
  • Inform the medics of any symptoms or strange feelings you are experiencing.
  • Don’t use a tourniquet.
  • If it is a large snake that wants to curl around your waist, use one hand to wrap around your waist to protect your ribs and the other hand to grab its head.
Pacific Rattlesnake
Pacific Rattlesnake

11. How To Survive an Alligator or Crocodile Attack

Alligators and crocodiles have the strongest jaws of animals and reptiles. If you find yourself being chased by an alligator or crocodile close to a lake, creek, or river, knowing these can save your life.

What To Do When Attacked By An Alligator or Crocodile

  • If you are in the water, the alligator will try to drown you.
  • Try to get to land as fast as possible.
  • If it catches you in the water while you are trying to get to land, hit it in the eyes and throat.
  • If you are on land and it is crawling towards you, make as much noise as possible and run in a zigzag pattern.
  • Alligators or crocodiles can only run about 18-20 miles per hour.

12. How To Survive a Lion Attack

Lions need no introduction but I still will give it a go. Lions are a member of the cat family. Like the mountain lion, they can sneak up on you at any time and can run faster than you.

What To Do When Attacked By a Lion

  • If you come in contact with a lion, make firm eye contact with it.
  • Don’t turn your back and run. It will be a costly mistake.
  • Try to make yourself appear bigger. Lift your arms up or a jacket to appear bigger.
  • If it seems like you are tall and bigger, the lion may have second thoughts about attacking you and may just move on.
  • Speak to it in a moderately loud and confident voice.
  • Make sounds and motions with your hands and arms to get it to call off the attack and leave.
  • If everything else fails, be prepared to fight for your life and hit it with all of your strength.
  • Attack the eyes and legs to break one or seriously injure it so that it can’t run effectively after you.

What To Use Against A Wild Animal Attack

  • Firearm
  • Pepper Spray
  • Knife
  • Club
  • Rocks
Speckled Rattlesnake
Speckled Rattlesnake
How do you survive a dangerous animal attack?
Back away slowly while you keep eye contact. Try to make yourself appear bigger by raising your arms or your clothing. Throw objects at it and speak firmly and confidently to it. never turn and run; that is a mistake.
What is the best self-defense against wild animals?
Keep eye contact, don’t turn your back on it, and run. Try to make yourself bigger by waving your arms or making your jacket or clothing appear bigger on you. Back away slowly and put distance between you and the animal. Do that until you are out of its territory.
What's the worst animal to get attacked by?
Brown bears are the most dangerous wild animal in North America.

The Bottom Line

Whether hunting or hiking in the woods, you are always in danger of being attacked by a wild animal. It could be because you are in their territory, they feel threatened and want to protect their young, you stumbled across the carcass of an animal that they are eating, or something else.

You will need to defend yourself and get out of the situation as fast as possible. Most times, it is just to slowly back away while speaking firmly at the animal. Other times, you may have to make yourself appear big and maybe throw objects at it to discourage it from an attack. In this article, we discussed how to survive a wild animal attack. You can also read how to survive a snake bite while hunting and the best snake guards.