It's spring in the Rocky Mountains and that means you need to be bear aware when you are in bear country.It amazes me that some people do not take the possibility of a bear attack seriously. No one wants to be attacked by a bear be it black bear or grizzly, but it can and does rarely happen.
These rare attacks are almost never the fault of the bear. It is almost always the fault of a human. By following National Park Service recommendations, bear confrontations can be eliminated saving both human and bear lives. Even though the human is going to get the worst of a bear attack, the bear could suffer as well. Bears can be relocated to an area farther from humans, and some bears have been killed by the park service because of being dangerously aggressive towards humans. Imagine the damage removal of a bear does to the environment.
So, how do you become “bear aware”? First realize you are in bear country, and that country is their home, not yours. When you are in a national park, stop by the first visitor center you see and ask them about any bear activity in the area. Watch for trail signs the park service has put out warning of bear activity, bear attacks, or area closures di to high bear activity. Take heed of these signs! They are for your protection. Most importantly follow good bear etiquette.
- Never travel alone, travel in groups
- Carry EPA approved bear spray at hand
- Talk and make noise, let bears see and hear you
- Keep your distance - at least 100 yards
- Never run from a bear - it triggers their chase instinct
- Do not feed bears, ever. Keep food secure and stored safely
- Give bears plenty of space
- Use common snese3 in bear country