A hungry bear is one of the last things you would want to encounter on a camping trip.

I know from personal experience! I have had a bear encounter while camping in the great outdoors and it is certainly an unnerving experience. Not just the encounter itself, but then braving through the rest of the night sleeping with one eye open.

The encounter a Cooperstown Boy Scout had with a bear while on a camping trip at a popular New York State park takes unnerving to a whole other level.

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According to an NBC New York report, 12-year-old Henry Ayers and a group of Cooperstown Boy Scouts were camping in Harriman State Park in the Hudson Valley when a hungry black bear visited their campsite looking for food. And was not just a passing food grab as this bear got way too close for comfort to the campers.

NBC says the Boy Scouts were camping under the stars when the bear jostled the campers around in its search for food and then bit Ayers leg! Luckily, he was able to scare the bear away with a scream and a kick.

At this point, I would have hightailed it out of there! But I give these Scouts credit - they moved to a sheltered location to wrap up their camping excursion, where the bear visited again to give finding something to eat another try.

Thankfully, my encounter ended without incident making the smores ingredients that the black bear stole and ate the highlight of my personal bear meet-up. And for this Boy Scout, the ending was good news as well as he only suffered some scratches.

Unfortunately, the ending for the bear was not so happy, as NBC says per state rules the bear was put down.

What Should You Do If You Encounter A Black Bear?


So maybe you have a camping trip this summer and are wondering what to do if you have an encounter with a black bear?

According to the NY Department of Environmental Conservation, here are the dos and don't of how to react when you come across with a black bear:


  • Scare bears away with noise
  • Stay calm - don't panic and talk quietly
  • Leave slowly- carefully back away and leave the area


  • Approach, surround, or corner a bear - Bears WILL defend themselves when threatened, especially mama bears with cubs.
  • Don't run! This could be an invitation for a chase.
  • Throw bags food at the bear - this could provoke a bear to "bully" you

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