Bear aware

Bear aware

David Sparks Ph.D.
David Sparks Ph.D.
As bears emerge from hibernation, people need to be 'bear aware'

Being outdoors means you may be among bears, so be prepared and take precautions

This information is courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: 

As grizzly bears begin to emerge from their dens this spring in search of food, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reminds the public to remain vigilant and encourages people to take proactive actions to avoid bear conflicts. Male grizzly bears tend to emerge from their dens in March and April, and females with cubs typically appear in April and May. Knowing how to be Bear Aware can reduce your chance of encountering a grizzly bear.

Residents and visitors in grizzly bear country in eastern and northern Idaho should assume that grizzly bears may be present and work to avoid conflicts – avoiding a conflict is always easier than dealing with one.  

Keep Bears Wild – save the life of a bear (and keep yourself out of harm's way): 

Never approach bears, always stay at least 300 feet away 

Practice ethical wildlife viewing 

Do not interrupt bear activities 

Never feed bears 

Store food, garbage, and other attractants in a bear-resistant place 

Carry bear spray and know how to use it. 

Avoid recreating alone, stay on maintained trails and make noise 

Avoid recreating at dusk, dawn, or night 

Never run if you encounter a bear 

Know and follow public land regulations 

Unsecured attractants such as trash or food are likely to habituate animals to human development and create dangerous human food-conditioned behavior. When this happens, bears may become aggressive and threaten human safety. Prevent bears from frequenting areas in and around residential areas and becoming food-conditioned: 

Secure attractants – anything with an odor such as compost, trash, dog food, livestock food, birdseed, or beehives 

Use approved hazing techniques – don’t allow bears feel comfortable near human-occupied dwellings. There are safe ways to tell a bear to move along by making noise, such as yelling and banging pots/pans 

Report bear sightings, encounters, and conflicts immediately to your state or Tribal wildlife management agency 

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