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Rocky Mountain Chapter - Colorado

Welcome to our Get Outdoors Bear Safety page!

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Anchorage Daily News: "Wildlife author killed, eaten by bears he loved"

Bear Safety
This September 26, 2001 CDOW press release
was submitted by Angela Medbery:

THINGS TO REMEMBER IN BEAR COUNTRY
  • - Keep your camp clean
  • - store food and garbage properly at all times
  • - keep your tent and sleeping bag free of all food smells
  • - store the clothes you wore while cooking or eating with your food
  • - burn all grease off grills and camp stoves
  • - wipe table and clean eating area thoroughly
  • - store your food safely. Use bear-proof containers.
  • - store your food and coolers suspended from a tree at least 10 feet off the ground and 4 feet out from the tree trunk.
  • - dispose of garbage properly. secure it with your food, then pack it out. Do not burn or bury garbage.
  • - sleep some distance away from your cooking area or food storage site.
  • - store toiletries with your food - the smell of toiletries can attract bears.
  • - female campers should be advised the scent of a menstruating woman is sometimes an attractant to bears.

Recreational hikers:

  • - hiking at dawn or dusk may increase your chances of meeting a bear
  • - use extra caution in places where hearing or visibility is limited, such as brushy areas, near streams, where trails round a bend or on windy days.
  • - reduce your chances of surprising a bear on the trail by making noise, talking or singing.
  • - make sure children are close to you or within your sight at all times
  • - leave your dog at home or have it on a leash

If you meet a bear:
There are definite rules about what to do if you meet a bear. In almost all cases, the bear will detect you first and leave the area. Bear attacks are rare compared to the number of close encounters. If you do meet a bear before it has had time leave an area, here are some suggestions:

  • - stay calm. if you see a bear and it has not seen you, calmly leave the area. As you move away, make noise to let the bear discover your presence.
  • - stop. Back away slowly while facing the bear. Avoid direct eye contact, as bears may perceive this as a threat.
  • - Give the bear plenty of room to escape. Bears rarely attack people unless they feel threatened or provoked.
  • - Do not run. If on a trail, step off the trail on the downhill side and slowly leave the area. Do not run or make any sudden movements. Running is likely to prompt the bear to give chase, and you cannot outrun a bear.
  • - speak softly. This may reassure the bear that you mean it no harm. Try not to show fear.
  • - Fight back if a black bear attacks you. Black bears have been driven away when people have fought back with rocks, sticks, binoculars and even their bare hands.

  • Click Here for information on CORSAR, The Colorado Outdoor Recreation Search and Rescue Card - Don't leave home without it!

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    Last update:
    October 08, 2003

    Roger J. Wendell Get Outdoors webmaster


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    Rocky Mountain Chapter, 1536 Wynkoop Street, 4th floor, Denver CO 80202, 303-861-8819