Friday, April 3, 2015

Be Bear Aware!

Brown Bear by Amy Turberville

Spring is here! The ice is disappearing, the mountain goats are basking in the cliffside sun, and the seals and beluga whales are playing in the harbor. And the brown and black bears are emerging from their hibernation dens. So before heading into the backcountry to frolic yourself, remember it pays to be bear aware!
  • Never hike alone! Always take a buddy, even a furry one is better than nothing! And let someone know where you are going!
  • Pack bear spray! And a first aid kit.
  • While in the woods make lots of noise. Or wear bells! You don't want to surprise a bear!
  • Do not attempt to feed a bear! We personally knew someone that had a habit of this-needless to say one day the black bears she had become accustomed to feeding put her on the menu. All that was left were a few bones and pieces of clothing.
  • Bears are fun to watch-from a distance! Do not get too close. Especially to a mother bear with cubs.
  • Don't leave food in your car or down at your campsite, unless you want them both destroyed!
  • Always be on the lookout for signs of bear activity in your area-scat, hair, tree clawing. While hiking last weekend we came across a tree clawing that had several tufts of brown hair embedded in it. And it was a good six feet tall or more! So that let us know that we needed to be aware that brown bears had been in the area!
  • Which brings me to this-carry a firearm for protection! Be sure to always obey all local, state, and park regulations. But when hiking in bear country this could be the difference between life and death!
Following these few rules can keep you from being attacked by a bear. And remember if you encounter a bear unexpectedly, try first to slowly back away, DO NOT RUN! If it attacks, and you do not have a weapon, then do your best to ball up and cover your head and neck from damage.

Hike safely and enjoy the season!

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