Careful on trails
Spring and summer bring many opportunities for Idahoans and visitors to explore Idaho’s trails which open up access to many backcountry destinations. When trekking up a trail just outside of town or deep into the mountains everyone should be aware of their surroundings that they share with many species of wildlife. While most wildlife encounters are welcomed and create lasting memories, inadvertent or surprise encounters can put both people, their pets and wildlife in a potential conflict situation.
Wildlife, such as mountain lions, bears, elk, deer and moose can be found in many location throughout Idaho, sometimes within towns and neighborhoods. Deer and elk have become year-round residents in many communities, and mountain lions continue to be seen throughout area trails and at times within neighborhoods.
Depending on the situation or wildlife that a recreationist might encounter, making sure that wildlife is aware of your presence is important, especially in spring when many species of wildlife have young. Wildlife are very possessive and protective of their young, much the same as human parents are with their kids. Giving wildlife a wide berth is always a good practice to have when out in Idaho’s great outdoors, regardless of the season or situation.
Another piece of advice is to always make sure that wildlife knows you are in their habitat. While nobody wants to hear loud yelling from someone else on the same trail, simply calling out with “hey bear” or “hey moose” is often enough to give any wildlife in the area a sense that you’re coming down the trail, which might help prevent an unexpected encounter.