More People Mean More Bear Encounters

by Jackson Hole Radio News

It seems like run-ins with bears have been increasing in the region.
Kristin Combs with Wyoming Wildlife Advocates says while bear encounters are rare, and most do not involve conflict, those are the encounters that get the most attention. She says most people who encounter a grizzly say they have walked away with a deeper appreciation of wildlife and nature.

Combs said, “This year, we had a higher incidence of grizzly bear encounters, just because there were more people that were turning to nature because of the pandemic. Most encounters with bears are people see the bear, they walk away, and everybody goes about their business.”

Combs says if there is conflict, bear spray is a better tool for the job than your gun. Most hunters in a crisis situation will not land a shot that stops a bear on its first charge. Combs says the best defense is to be prepared, and always keep at least two cans of bear spray within easy reach.