Feeding Season Necessitates Greater Bear Awareness

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It is the time of year when bears are feeding heavily, preparing for winter hibernation.  This means they are looking for easy sources of food.  Most bears are eating berries, other plants, small mammals, and fish.  However, bears are happy to eat the same food people eat, particularly if it’s easy to find and get to.

This often leads bears to lose their fear of people.  Bears are usually attracted to people by strong smells and the food that’s usually associated with those smells.  By doing a few simple things, you can cut those smells down.  The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources recommends that people do a few simple things to lessen the chance of having a black bear visit your campsite this year:

  • Store your scented items, such as deodorants and tooth paste, and your food in airtight containers.В  Don’t leave your food and scented items where a bear can get them.В  Instead, lock your food and coolers inside your vehicle.В  You can also suspend them at least 12 feet high between two trees, so bears can’t reach them.
  • Keep your campsite or cabin area clean.В  Don’t toss food scraps and other trash around.В  Don’t scatter garbage, food scraps and fat drippings around your campsite.В  And don’t leave them in your fire pit, either.В  Instead, place them in an airtight container, lock them securely in the trunk of your car or inside your trailer and take them home with you.В  If bear-proof garbage cans are available in your campground, you can also leave them in the cans.
  • After you’re done cooking and eating, immediately clean your cooking grills.В  And also clean anything used to prepare, eat or clean up food.
  • Don’t keep any food in the same area where you’re sleeping.В  Cook away from your tent or sleeping area.В  And don’t sleep in the clothes you wore while cooking or the clothes you wore while cleaning fish.В  Leave those clothes at your cooking area, along with utensils, rags and anything else used to prepare, cook, eat or clean up food.В  Or, better yet, seal the items inside a vehicle or in a bear-proof container.
  • If an item has a strong smell, you should probably leave it at home.
  • Never feed a bear.

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