Wyoming Hookin' & Huntin' Outdoors airs every Sunday morning at 9am and is available ON-DEMAND 24/7. Thanks to our friends at Rocky Mountain Discount Sports we discuss everything hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, and outdoorsy that you can think of. Every week we talk with Wyoming Game and Fish and recently we had the chance to chat with WGFD Large Carnivore Supervisor for the entire state of Wyoming Dan Thompson about bear safety.

Much of the state of Wyoming has the potential to be home of bears. If you're in known bear country there are steps you need to take to increase your chance for safety. Game & Fish have a great source to help you be prepared for a bear encounter called Bear Wise Wyoming. The web page gives you steps to stay safe, know bear behaviors and what to do and how to react if you encounter a bear.

With large game hunting seasons in full swing, the chances of a hunter having a bear encounter are pretty good. According to Thompson, this time of year the bears are looking for the easy meal. If you prepare and follow the safety tips you have a much better chance of avoiding unpleasant bear encounters.

Here are a few tips provided by Game & Fish:

Camping & Hiking in Bear Country:

  • Never store anything that could attract a bear in your tent
  • Keep all of your clothes that you wore while cooking stored and separate from your tent.
  • If bear boxes are provided use them, if not be sure to properly store food and items that have appeal to a bear in a bear canister, hard sided camper, vehicle, or suspend these items from a tree 10-15' up and 4' away from the tree trunk.

Hunting & Fishing in Bear Country:

  • Hunt with a partner and stay within sight of each other
  • Learn to recognize signs of bear. Scat, tracks and diggings.
  • Know where seasonal sources for food are and avoid those areas.
  • Take care of your harvest quickly and separate the meat from the gut pile. (Large Carnivores (Bear, Wolf, Mountain Lions) usually go for the organs first because of their nutritional value.

Living in Bear Country:

  • Keep your trash stored where bears can't get to it and can't smell it and only garbage that doesn't contain food outside.
  • Consider using electric fencing around gardens and orchards. Make sure to not leave any fruit or vegetables after the growing season.
  • All pet foods should be stored in bear proof containers.
  • Bring in your bird feeders, these are easy targets for bears. Keep them high and on poles a bear can't climb.
  • Clean your BBQ grills every time you use them and store them after use.

Here are a couple other tips provided by Game & Fish to help ensure your safety in bear country:

Know the difference between Grizzly & Black Bears - Paw Prints, Body Characteristics, ways to react when an encounter occurs.

Be familiar with a bears behavior. Is the bear being aggressive / defensive or does the bear show predatory behavior.

Game & Fish recommends you have bear spray with you at all times and know how and when to use it.

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