The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is reminding recreationists to be cautious around wildlife during the coming weeks. As people head outside to recreate, they may be encountering wildlife – particularly bears – that haven’t seen humans in months, so practicing safety and outdoor awareness is very important.
When recreating in bear habitat, be cautious and alert. Hike in a group and make noise as you travel so you don’t surprise a bear or other wildlife. Learn to recognize areas of heavy bear use by knowing how to identify tracks, scats and diggings, and if you smell a carcass, avoid it. Flocks of magpies or ravens often indicate a nearby potential food source for bears.
Commercially available bear spray is effective for deterring aggressive animals but use bear spray only as a deterrent and as a last resort to avoid a physical encounter. Carry bear spray in a readily accessible manner and make sure the spray is EPA approved.