Whether you comprehend the tilt of the Earth’s axis or not, there’s no denying that spring is around the corner. As the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, one cannot deny the looming threat for every American who even considers going outside.

We’re talking, of course, about bears. 

Everyone knows that spring is the time of the year that bears come out of hibernation to steal your elections, pillage your village treasuries and buy drinks for twinks at the local nightclub. Regardless of your combat prowess or quick reflexes, stomping a bear is a serious undertaking that requires finesse, fortitude, and fearless reckless abandon.

As a quick disclaimer, we should point out that this guide intended to cover dueling black bears. The rules of engagement for Grizzlies, Polars, and furry men clad in leather are all entirely different. As much as we hate to break it to you, your chances of surviving an encounter with any of the aforementioned bear types are scarily slim. 

Locate a Bear
Sometimes, you find the bear, and well, sometimes, the bear finds you. Whether you’ve been accosted on your favorite backcountry trail or hopped in the zoo enclosure to let off a little marital steam, you’ll need to come across a bear if you want to fistfight it. 

Do NOT Run
Whether you’ve come around the corner of your garage or just leapt into the Denver Zoo enclosure like a bloodthirsty gladiator, it’s important to stand you’re ground once you’re past the point of no return. If you turn on your heels and flee, you run the risk of the bear giving chase. What’s worse, the bear will gain an unnecessary ego boost, and will carry its newfound arrogance into its next combative encounter.

Pick a Battle Stance
If you’re confident enough, oftentimes you can bluff a bear into losing straight away. By making yourself appear bigger, the bear may mistake you for a professional wrestler like Macho Man Randy Savage. By picking your arms up, or holding nearby children, you may be able to scare the bear off before you come to blows. If you lack children, there are still a ton of battle stances to choose from. Some of our favorites include a drunken boxing stance, or the one-footed crane stance from the end of Karate Kid.

Make Some Noise
Bears don’t have vocal chords, and not only is this fun to rub in the bear’s faces, but it can also spook the bear from engaging with you before you have to roll up your sleeves and resort to fisticuffs. While any loud noises work, we’ve never found a better time to recite the famous speech from Braveheart or scream out our many frustrations about E! cancelling Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

Bear Mace: Is It Cheating?
There are a lot of arguments going around in local Bear-Fighting Federations about whether using Bear Mace on a black bear is unethical when it comes to battle practices. The policy we have at Rooster is this: Though you may lose style points for pepper-spraying the bear, it’s better to win dishonorably and keep your limbs intact instead of fighting honorably and returning to your family with hooks for hands.

If the bear still doesn’t back down up to this point, it’s time to let loose the dogs of war. As the bear approaches you, picture your drunk stepdad on the eve of your 13th birthday, and start swinging like your life depends on it. 

Note that Bears do not have rules of engagement, nor a Geneva Convention. If you are attacked by a bear, do not feel guilty about eye jabs, throat punches, or dirty argument tricks such as comparing the bear to its parents. 

If You’re Losing, Do NOT Play Dead
This gives the bear the satisfaction of thinking it won the fight.

Have Your Lethal Weapon Line Ready
With any luck, you’ll have won the fight in one capacity or another. As the bear retreats, remember to have a snappy, quick-witted movie line ready, as thinking of one in the moment will prove unbearably difficult. These don’t have to make a ton of sense, as Bears only loosely grasp the English language.

“Hasta La Vista, Baby,” “Yippee-Kai-A, Motherfucker,” “Welcome to Earth,” and “Are You Not Entertained?” are a few of our favorites, but feel free to use whatever comes to mind. You just fist fought a bear, which means you’ve certainly earned your creative license for the day.