Be Bear Aware!

Be Bear Aware

Safety in bear country begins before you set up camp or hit the trail. Understanding and exercising proper preparation for personal safety and management of food and other attractants will go a long way toward ensuring a rewarding experience.

While bears are known to hibernate – they may still be out and about during the ‘winter’ months. Please always be Bear Aware.

Bear Aware Safety Tips

  1. Remember: You are responsible for your own safety!
  2. Alaska is Bear Country and many areas support both black and brown bears. Color is not a good indicator of species.
  3. Avoid bears. While traveling in Bear Country, make noise, travel in a group and be alert.
  4. When hiking, stay on designated trails, keep pets leashed, and keep children nearby.
  5. Slow down. Running, biking and other high speed sports in bear country increase risk and can affect your reaction time and distance.
  6. Be prepared for an encounter. Your behavior influences the outcome of bear encounters.
  7. Carry and know how to use bear spray, have it easily accessible.
  8. Your initial response to all bear encounters should be the same: Stand your ground, ready your deterrent, group up, watch the bear, and talk to the bear in a firm voice.
  9. Never approach, crowd or pursue a bear. Even bears at designated bear-viewing areas need their space and space to leave.
  10. Stay informed! Check local agency offices and websites for information on bear sightings and regulations.

Link to printable Bear Safety Tips

Bears and Food

Bears are always searching for food. Bears are curious, intelligent animals that have great memories. Their eyesight is similar to humans and their sense of smell is more powerful than human’s sense of smell.

While most bears are wary of humans and try to avoid them, bears can learn to associate people with food and be tenacious in their pursuit of something to eat.

Everyone in bear country must do their part to store food and other attractants in bear-resistant containers at all times, and dispose of trash in bear-resistant dumpsters.

To learn more about Bear Proof Containers and our Free Loaner Program click here.

Download the Bear Container & encounter survey form.

For more information about bear biology click here.

Download the "Know your Bear Facts" flyer (in PDF format), put together by Alaska Department of Fish & Game.