Friday, June 29, 2012
When it comes to conflicts with bears, human behavior is the half of the equation an individual controls.
Outdoor recreators who are prepared and have a plan are those most likely avoid conflicts.
Here are some tips from Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks that will help in preparing for bear-safe outings this spring and summer.
When recreating in bear country, take these steps.
- Inquire about recent bear activity in the area.
- Carry and know how to use bear pepper spray.
- Let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return.
- Stay on trails or rural roads.
- Travel in groups of three or more during daylight hours
- Watch for signs of bears such as bear scat, diggings, torn-up logs and turned over rocks, and partly consumed animal carcasses.
- Keep children close.
- Talk, sing, carry a bell or use other means to make your presence known, especially stream side or in thick forest with low visibility.
- Be especially cautious in areas where berry patches or other natural foods could attract bears.
- Don't approach a bear; respect their space and move off.
When camping in bear country, take these steps.
- Camp away from trails and areas where you see bear sign.
- Keep a clean camp at all times. Keep tents and sleeping bags free of odors.
- Avoid cooking smelly foods.
- Hang all food, trash and other odorous items well away from camp and at least 10' above ground and 4' from any vertical support, or store in a bear-proof container. Livestock feed should be stored in the same way.
- Don't sleep in the same clothes you wore while cooking or eating.