OverviewThe Lee Metcalf Wilderness is located in Southwestern Montana, very close to the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park. The wilderness area is about 259,000 acres in area, which is split into four parcels: the Bear Trap Canyon (approx. 6,000 acres), the Spanish Peaks (approx. 76,000
Precautions-Like most of the wilderness areas in Montana, there is always the risk of bears. All bear attacks that have happened and are yet to happen can be avoided by any steps. Always pack bear spray, or a bear pistol if you so choose. Stay away from kill spots, as bears are very territorial over carcasses. Spooking bears can also cause them to charge. One way to handle this is to buy a bear bell. Another way to handle this is to travel with other people and have a good conversation while doing it. Finally, if you must travel alone, give a good shout every now and then so as to make bears aware to your presence. Finally, and probably most important, try NOT to make contact with bear cubs in any way. An angry mother bear is one of the most deadly forces you will come into contact with in the wilderness (second only to a bull moose, which we will get into next). Mothers with cubs have been known to charge on sight within reasonable range and are known to exhibit more more strength and daring, sometimes becoming nearly impervious to bear spray. Finally, make sure you put your food in a bear bag or a backpack and hang it in a tree at night. Try to keep your sleeping spot moderatly distanced from your cooking fire.
-Hands down, the most dangerous land mammal in Montana is the moose. Bull moose during the rut have been known to charge for no particular reason at all. There are many different opinions on how to survive moose charges. One says that you simply try to outrun the beast, though I'd say that the chance of you tripping and being trampled is high. Another option is to attempt to climb a tree, but in a split second decision that could be very very difficult. Personally, I would simply get behind a tree. Moose are to large and the structure of their legs is not made for quick turning.
-Though Mountain Lion attacks in Montana are nearly unheard of, one must always be prepared. One must also not mistake a mountain lion's actions. Many people believe that mountain lions stalk humans, when in reality 90% of the time, the lion is just following you, wondering what you are doing in its territory. Like most cats, it is curious as well. Also keep in mind that when a mountain lion doesn't want you to see it, you probably won't. So with those points, I will lay out the tips I have gotten from http://www.ehow.com/how_2041418_survive-mountain-lion-attack.html which has some decent pointers.
1. Since mountain lions usually avoid humans, if you see one, give it the chance to run away.
2. If one continues to approach you, make direct eye contact to give it the impression that your not afraid.
3. Make loud noises. As stupid as it sounds, growling and showing your teeth may actually scare the lion away.
4. Make yourself look bigger by holding up your jacket and arms.
5. Stand up straight and stick out your chest.
6. Keep children close to you, and if possible, put them up on your shoulders.
7. If you can retreat, then slowly back away while facing the animal.
8. Use anything you can find as a weapon that doesn't require you to bend downward.
9. If the lion charges, attempt to jab it in the eye. This almost always works.
10. Yell "lion" or "cougar" instead of help; people nearby will know how to react better (hopefully not by running away =P).