Be BearSmart this hunting season

Hunting in bear country this fall?

Bear attacks are rare, but as our outdoor pursuits take us further into bear territory, encounters have become more common.  This can have unfortunate consequences for both the bears and people involved.  Doing everything you can to avoid an encounter is the best practice.

Follow these simple tips to keep you BearSmart for a safe hunting experience.

Hunting safely in bear country

  • Avoid hunting alone. Always ensure someone knows where you are going and how long you are expected to be gone.
  • Carry bear spray and a noisemaker and know how to use them.
  • Remember that animal calls may also attract bears. Distress or mating calls, decoys and cover scents can attract bears as well as game.
  • Be cautious when tracking a wounded animal. Bears may also be attracted to animals that are wounded. When possible, have a partner keep watch.
  • Be cautious when returning to your kill site. If a bear is present or the carcass has been moved or buried, do not approach. Leave the site immediately and advise Fish and Wildlife by calling 310-0000.

How should hunters respond in bear encounters?

  • Carry bear spray as a first line of defense and be prepared to use it.
  • If you see a bear from a distance, back away and leave the area.
  • Evaluate the wind direction. If possible, position yourself so the wind is at your back.
  • If the bear notices you, speak in an authoritative voice and make yourself appear larger.
  • To successfully deter a bear with bear spray, aim a cloud of spray low in front of an approaching bear so the animal runs into it.

Want to know more?  Bear Essentials is an online course offered by the Alberta Hunter Education Instructors’ Association to help individuals entering bear country become bear aware.

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