It's vital to do everything you can to stay at least 100 yards away from larger and more dangerous wildlife in Yellowstone. But, what do you do when you have a surprise up-close encounter? A veteran hiker in Yellowstone just had this happen and made lifesaving decisions that all of us can learn from.

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I've followed Stan Mills on YouTube for years. He's one of the more adventurous hikers in Yellowstone often going off-trail like he did on this adventure. That being said, Stan is not reckless. I've seen him share his preparation plans and he's one of the more responsible people I've seen that capture video of their Yellowstone experiences.

Here's a little of Stan's backstory of what led him into this encounter with a grizzly which he described as only about 30 yards away:

I was sitting in the rain under my poncho just kinda gazing off into the distance while resting under a tree when I took a look to my left. I immediately saw a grizzly walking towards me. I was not very visible to the bear because I was under my poncho but the grizzly finally spotted me from the movement I was making while going after my bear spay and then my camera. You are never suppose to get within 100 yards of bears in the park but with close surprise encounters you have no choice and at that point you have to do the right thing. As most people know, my thinking is to never do anything that can upset a grizzly.

Stan's entire video is more than worth watching, but the encounter with the grizzly starts at around the 7:30 mark.

Stan's cool head and not making any sudden movements to surprise the bear were key in how this played out. He calmly made his presence known and then started slowly backing away without appearing to flee like a bear's prey would. You can almost see the grizzly assessing Stan for a few seconds before becoming disinterested. While that's happening, Stan is reaching for his bear spray and moving away.

In the video, he is constantly checking on the distance between himself and the grizzly to make sure it hasn't decided to pursue. Very smart veteran backcountry hiker decisions.

If you don't already, you owe it to yourself to follow Stan Mills on YouTube. He is almost constantly sharing unique Yellowstone adventures.

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