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WGF Offers Wildlife Workshops

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As more spring-like weather moves into the area, more people will be venturing out into destinations outdoors – much as the bears in the area have done now.  Mark Gocke of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department says it should be foremost on recreationists’ minds how to conduct themselves if their paths cross with the local wildlife. Gocke says the bears are pretty much out of their dens by now and so there is always the potential of bumping into a bear when one is out recreating; especially this time of year.  Gocke says the bears are pretty much restricted by the snow at the higher elevations forcing them down onto the valley floor looking for foot like winter-killed game. Gocke says Game and Fish is offering a “Staying Safe in Bear, Lion, and Wolf Country” workshop to be held in Jackson Thursday.  Gocke says topics will include: bear and lion food habits, where one would expect to encounter a large predator, food storage regulations, understanding bear and lion behavior, and what to do in an encounter.  Gocke says when bears – particularly grizzly bears – confront people, it is usually because they are defending something.  Gocke says a person never wants to challenge them, but instead should back out of the situation to avoid conflict.  On the other hand, he says when a mountain lion approaches or attacks people, it’s usually more predatory in nature rather than defensive.  In those cases, Gocke says you always want to fight back being as loud as you can and making yourself appear as big of a threat as you can.  Gocke points out that grizzly bears have been expanding their ranges further south, and so it is a good idea even if someone is hiking or walking their dog not far from town to carry bear spray and know how to use it.  Thursday’s workshop begins at 6:00 pm in the Grand View Lodge at Snow King Resort.

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