Skip to Content

What to do if a bull chases you?

What to do if a bull chases you?

Being chased by a bull can be a terrifying experience. A bull that sees you as a threat may charge at speeds up to 25 mph, lowering its head to use its horns to inflict injury. Knowing how to react in this situation can help you get to safety with minimal harm. This article will provide quick tips on what to do if you find yourself being chased by an aggressive bull.

Assess the Situation

The first thing to do is quickly assess the situation. Where are you in relation to the bull? Is there a place you can get to for safety? Identify obstacles, openings in fences, buildings, or vehicles that could provide refuge. Understanding your immediate environment will help you decide which way to run.

Get Out of the Bull’s Territory

If possible, get out of the bull’s territory as quickly as you can. Back away slowly at first, then turn and run when you have some distance. Bulls are territorial and will chase you if they see you as a threat. The further you can get from the bull’s domain, the better.

Run in a Zigzag Pattern

As you’re retreating, run in a zigzag pattern instead of a straight line. Bulls can reach high speeds in a straight line charge, so frequent changes in direction can slow them down. Zigzag toward the nearest escape option you identified earlier. Running evasively makes you a more difficult target to catch.

Use Physical Barriers for Protection

Put solid objects between you and the bull whenever possible. Barns, cars, trees, boulders, fences – anything you can quickly get behind that obstructs the bull’s path to you. The bull may collide with the barrier instead of you, allowing vital extra seconds for your escape.

Climb to Safety

If a sturdy tree, tall fence, or other high object is within reach, climb to safety. Bulls are not built to climb, so ascending even a few feet off the ground can get you out of reach. Climb as high as you can as quickly as possible. Wait until the bull loses interest before coming back down.

Hide in a Vehicle

Getting into a car, tractor, or heavy equipment cab can provide refuge from a charging bull. Close and lock all doors and windows. The metal shell should protect you from the bull’s horns and bulk. Wait inside until well after the bull has stopped paying attention to the vehicle before exiting.

Use Pepper Spray

If you happen to have pepper spray on you, deploy it towards the bull’s face from at least 10 feet away as it approaches. The painful spray may distract the bull long enough for you to get to safety. This is only recommended as a last resort if you cannot evade the bull.

Fight Back as a Last Resort

If running and hiding are not possible and the bull is upon you, fight back. Punch the bull’s sensitive nose area as hard as you can. Use sticks, rocks, bags, or clothing to distract the bull. Fighting back should only be a desperate measure if all other options have failed. Your safety is the top priority.

Act Calmly

It’s important to try to remain calm. Sudden movements or noises could further aggravate the bull. Slow, non-threatening motions and sounds are your best bet. Panic could lead to mistakes or trips/falls that leave you more vulnerable. Stay focused on your escape route.

Watch for Signs a Bull May Chase

There are often warning signs before a bull charges. Being able to recognize these can allow you to retreat before the chase begins:

Warning Sign What It Looks Like
Head lowered Bull holds head low, pointing horns towards you
Pawing ground Bull paws the earth with a front hoof
Snorting Loud exhales through the nose
Raised tail Tail sticks straight up in the air

Avoid Provoking Bulls

To reduce the chances of being chased in the first place, avoid provoking bulls:

– Give bulls a wide berth and detour around them.

– Avoid sudden movements, loud noises, or direct eye contact.

– Never attempt to pet, ride, or antagonize a bull.

– Be extra cautious around calves as mothers are protective.

– Don’t enter bull enclosures or pastures on foot.

What to Do After a Bull Chase

Once you have found safety after being chased by a bull, you will want to:

– Check yourself for any injuries and seek medical care if needed. Even minor wounds can become seriously infected.

– File a report on the incident if it occurred on someone else’s property or in a public area. This creates a record in case the bull owner is found negligent.

– Consider seeking counseling if you develop post-traumatic stress from the encounter. Talking can help process the fear and anxiety.

– Avoid the area where you encountered the aggressive bull, at least for a time. Give yourself space to recover emotionally.

– Alert others to the presence of the hostile bull so they can also stay away. Warn friends, neighbors, hikers, etc. as applicable.


Being chased by an angry bull is probably one of the most frightening situations a person could ever face. But by keeping calm, quickly assessing your surroundings, running evasively, and seeking solid cover, you can greatly improve your chances of reaching safety. Avoiding bulls when possible and understanding their warning signs are also key prevention measures. With quick thinking and the right moves, you can survive a bull chase unharmed. Just always remember to put safety first.