I definitely agree with Bob's comments in regard to Tom being lucky. Bears are large, unpredictable omnivores that that will not hesitate to deal with a perceived threat in a definitive manner. Bears should be treated with the utmost caution and respect for their power. Observing bears from a distance is the only way to go. With good binoculars or a telephoto lens, there is no reason to approach bears as closely as Tom described in his article. His behavior demonstrates very poor judgement. Bear human encounters are almost always a double loss - an injured or dead person and then a dead bear in response.