Bear Safety

Quick Facts & Tips
What to do if you encounter a Black Bear
Camping in Black Bear country
Hiking in Black Bear country

 

JW Player

 

 

 

QUICK FACTS & TIPS

Yearling black bear

 

  • DO NOT FEED BEARS
  • Do not Store Food in Sleeping Areas
  • Secure human food, pet food, toiletries, and garbage in trunk of vehicle or bear-resistant food containers
  • Keep a Clean Camp
  • Travel in Groups
  • Do Not Feed or Approach Bears
  • Keep Kids Close and Pets Leashed
  • Make Noise
  • Carry Bear Spray
  • Never Approach or Follow Bears
  • Don’t Block a Bear’s Line of Travel
  • Use Telephoto Lens, Spotting Scope, or Binoculars to Photograph or Observe Bears
  • Maintain a Safe Distance
   

 

THINGS TO KNOW WHILE CAMPING IN BLACK BEAR COUNTRY

  • Black bears are very curious, intelligent, and have good memories!
  • Bears have an excellent sense of smell which can span miles.  Their eyesight is similar to a human’s.
  • DO NOT FEED BEARS!  Black bears can learn to associate people with food and easily become habituated to human food.
  • Bears who are seeking food can be attracted to non-foods that have a smell, such as toothpaste, handi-wipes, soap, some medications, cooking utensils and grills, pet food, bird seed, empty food and drink containers, candy wrappers and other garbage. 
Black bear cub in a tree
  • Never take the items listed above or food into your tent with you!
  • The safest place for your food is in the trunk of your vehicle or in bear-resistant food storage containers.
  • Keep a clean camp. Use recycling and trash bins instead of storing garbage in your campsite.
  • Keep your pets leashed, and remove their food between meals.
   

WHAT IF I SEE A BLACK BEAR IN THE CAMPGROUND?

  • If a bear approaches, DO NOT RUN!
  • Remain calm, group together, and pick up small children.
  • Continue to face the bear and slowly back away.
  • If the bear continues to approach, try to scare it away by making loud noises, such as banging pans, whistling and yelling.
Slide Image: Bears & Safety
  • Make yourself as large and imposing as possible, such as by standing on a picnic bench and slowly waving your arms. 
  • If a black bear attacks, FIGHT BACK AGGRESSIVELY, using everything in your power to deter the bear, including fists, rocks, sticks, etc.
  • It is unlawful to feed wildlife, including bears!
   

 

  WHAT TO DO IF YOU ENCOUNTER A BLACK BEAR

Bear near houses
  • Stay Calm.  DO NOT RUN!
  • Stand Upright and Slowly Wave Your Arms
  • Slowly Back Away from the Bear
  • Look for Cubs.  Do Not Come Between a Mother and her Cubs!
  • If you are attacked by a black bear, FIGHT BACK AGGRESSIVELY!
   
   

 

   

  HIKING IN BLACK BEAR COUNTRY

  • Let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return. 
  • Read all signs at the trailhead and carry bear spray.  Hike during daylight hours.
  • Hike in a group and keep children close at hand.  Make plenty of noise.
  • Keep your pets leashed.
Bear Aware:  Black bear in the woods

  • View or photograph bears from the trail or observation areas.  Use binoculars, spotting scopes, or telephoto camera lens.
  • MAINTAIN A SAFE DISTANCE.  Remember: distance = safety.
  • If you see a bear in the distance, alter your route to avoid it.
  • If a black bear approaches you, don’t run or play dead.  Never drop your pack or food.
  • Make noise, look large, slowly wave arms or jacket.
  • If the bear still does not leave, stay calm, continue facing it and slowly back away. 
  • If a black bear charges or attacks, use bear spray and fight back aggressively, using everything in your power to deter the bear, including fists, rocks, sticks, etc.