Ben O'Brien's Grizzly Bear Encounter | Summary and Q&A

November 23, 2021
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Ben O'Brien's Grizzly Bear Encounter

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In this video, Joe Rogan shares a story about encountering a grizzly bear while he was out hunting with his dad. He explains the differences between black bears and grizzly bears, the potential dangers of a grizzly bear encounter, and the precautions he took to protect himself and his dad. The story serves as a reminder of the unpredictable nature of wildlife and the importance of being prepared for any situation.

Questions & Answers

Q: Why is it more dangerous if it's a grizzly bear compared to a black bear?

Grizzly bears are more aggressive and predatory than black bears. Grizzly bear attacks are more frequent and they can cause significant harm to humans. Understanding the difference between a black bear and a grizzly bear is crucial for knowing how to respond in such encounters. Grizzly bears are carnivorous, whereas black bears are omnivorous, which means they primarily eat meat. In the scenario described by Joe Rogan, if it had been a black bear, he would have been more inclined to shoot it, as he enjoys the taste of black bear meat and fat. Comparing the two, it's like comparing a golden retriever to a wolf. They are completely different animals in terms of behavior and potential danger.

Q: Was Joe Rogan scared when he encountered the grizzly bear?

Surprisingly, Joe Rogan wasn't initially scared when he saw the grizzly bear. As a hunter, he was more focused on observing and understanding its behavior rather than immediately perceiving it as a threat. He was in a hunting mindset and was actually cow calling, mimicking the sound of a cow elk, in hopes of attracting an elk. However, upon realizing it was a grizzly bear and not an elk, the gravity of the situation hit him. Looking back, he realizes that he was just moments away from a life-threatening encounter.

Q: What precautions did Joe Rogan take to protect himself and his dad from the grizzly bear?

Joe Rogan had a pistol and bear spray with him for self-defense. He carried a Taurus 44 Magnum Ultralight revolver in a molded holster on his chest. The pistol was designed for quick and easy access in case of an encounter. Additionally, he had bear spray attached to his hip belt. The combination of the pistol and bear spray provided him with different options for defense. In a potential encounter with a grizzly bear, he understood that shooting it might not deter the bear but potentially provoke it. So, he relied on the bear spray as a non-lethal means of keeping the bear at bay.

Q: What factors influenced Joe Rogan's decision to determine whether the bear was a grizzly or a black bear?

Joe Rogan initially had difficulty determining whether the bear was a grizzly or a black bear due to the lighting conditions and the bear's position in a ravine. Grizzly bears are distinguishable by their distinct hump, which differentiates them from black bears. Unfortunately, the bear's position made it challenging for Joe Rogan to clearly see the hump. However, he mentioned that grizzly bears have a more predatory and aggressive nature compared to black bears, which could be observed in their behavior. This uncertainty added to the intensity of the situation.

Q: How would Joe Rogan have reacted if it had been a black bear instead of a grizzly bear?

If it had been a black bear, Joe Rogan would have been more inclined to consider shooting it rather than being afraid of it. He expressed his appreciation for black bear meat and fat, citing it as one of the best things he has tasted. So, instead of fear, he would have approached the encounter as an opportunity for hunting. However, it's important to note that black bears are still capable of posing a threat, although they are generally less aggressive and predatory compared to grizzly bears.

Q: How close was Joe Rogan to the grizzly bear during the encounter?

At the closest moment, Joe Rogan estimated that he was about 80 yards away from the grizzly bear. An 80-yard sprint by a grizzly bear would take just a few seconds, leaving little time for Joe to react or defend himself. This proximity highlighted the potential danger he faced. It's in such close encounters that the outcome can be life-altering, making it essential to have the necessary means of protection.

Q: What is the weight of a large grizzly bear?

While Joe Rogan could only estimate the weight of the grizzly bear he encountered, based on its size and appearance, he mentioned that it could have weighed around 700 pounds. However, he admitted that he isn't an expert at estimating the weight of bears accurately. Grizzly bears can reach impressive sizes, and some individuals have been known to weigh even more than 700 pounds. Their sheer size and strength make them incredibly formidable creatures.

Q: How did Joe Rogan's mindset change after realizing the potential danger he was in?

Initially, Joe Rogan wasn't scared and was observing the grizzly bear as a hunter would watch any game species. However, his mindset shifted when he realized it wasn't an elk but a giant grizzly bear. Looking back, he considered himself lucky because at that moment, his mindset was not focused on self-defense or immediate action. Instead, he was more curious about the bear's behavior and motives. In hindsight, he realized how close he came to a life-threatening situation and acknowledged the need for a more cautious approach.

Q: What lessons can we learn from Joe Rogan's encounter with the grizzly bear?

One of the key takeaways from Joe Rogan's story is the unpredictable nature of wildlife encounters. It serves as a reminder to always be prepared for any situation when venturing into areas inhabited by potentially dangerous animals. Joe's preparedness with a pistol and bear spray, as well as his knowledge of bear behavior, played a critical role in mitigating the risk. It also highlights the importance of understanding the differences between black bears and grizzly bears to make more informed decisions when encountering them. Ultimately, staying alert, having the appropriate equipment, and acknowledging the potential dangers are crucial for ensuring our safety in the wilderness.

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