Bear Safety in Alaska

Here in Alaska the bears are waking up from their winter hibernation. At this time they are extremely dangerous and hungry. While bears do not seek out people, they are searching for food and people should always be aware when there are bears in the area. There are ways to keep both you and the bears safe.

Because bears are searching for food, things such as trash often draws a bear to a place where they would otherwise not go. Trash should always be sealed in a air tight trash bin, or a bear safe trash bin if you can manage one. If you have been hunting or fishing, be sure to clean the area where you gut and dress your kill properly. Bag up the parts you don’t want and make sure they are disposed of properly. Try and wash the blood from the ground. The smell of blood will attract bears.

If you store food outside make sure its in an air tight container. Bears have a wonderful sense of smell and any food will attract them to your area. Which can be a potentially dangerous situation for you and the bear. Burying the food or trash will not keep the bear away. They can smell it even under several inches of soil. They will dig it up.

Make lots of noise while traveling outside. Keep a conversation flowing with the people you are with, you can even put a bell on your person to make noise while you walk. Bears in general don’t like noisy situations and will turn to avoid you.

If you happen to see a bear, avoid it at all costs. Back away, and go around, do not try to get close to the bear to see it better. Bears will act aggressively when a person comes within its personal space.

If you are in the forests and camping or fishing, avoid cooking smelly food such as meat. Bears will smell the meat and even if there is noise, come to investigate. It is illegal to feed bears and bear bait which is using the smell of food to draw them in. Cook your food away from where you are camping to avoid getting the smell on your belongings. Keep pet food away from your camp as well. Keep food including pet food, in air tight or bear safe containers.

Remember bears do not like people, and will try to avoid them at all costs. But bears are always hungry. They have to store up food stores for their hibernation period. So stay away from areas that bears frequent, or take safety precautions when you can not avoid the area. While seeing a bear is a great experience, its not one that should come at the expense of your and a bears safety.

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