Bear Awareness: Tips from Pros

Brock CampbellNatural Resources Comments

Bear Awareness this Summer

As we know in Canada, spring is when bears start emerging from hibernation, hungry and no doubt a little grumpy.

The #1 tip from BC Parks: Don’t be a contributor to food-conditioning.

A food-conditioned bear can lose their natural fear of humans making them more confident when searching for an easy meal. Food-conditioned bears are impossible to correct. This makes them more vulnerable to human-wildlife conflict, a danger to both humans and the bear.

But do you know the difference between a human-habituated bear and food-conditioned bears? It’s important to be able to recognize these differences so that when you are in the wild, either for work or recreation, you know how to react.

If you regularly spend your summers in the great outdoors, bear awareness training provides essential knowledge for entering bear country.

Things to consider:

  • Can you tell the difference between a black bear and a grizzly bear?
  • Can you recognize bear species certain characteristics?
  • Can you explain various ways in which bears communicate?
  • Can you identify bear actions, such as bluff charges, defensive attacks, and predatory attacks?
  • Can you use bear spray properly, when you need to?

Some ways to avoid any potential encounters:

  • Never feed bears, or any wildlife
  • Reduce or eliminate odours – especially food, which should be stored in air-tight containers
  • Avoid use of cosmetics, toothpastes and repellents that can attract bears
  • If camping, cook and eat food far from tent
  • Pack out all garbage

Along with being mindful of these tips, a simple Bear Awareness  course from a trained expert can help build greater knowledge for managing bear situations, if ever you should encounter them in the wild.