Utah DWR offers bear safety tips for campers, hikers

Black bear | Photo courtesy of Utah DWR

UTAH – As Memorial Day weekend nears, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources provides tips to keep campers and other outdoor adventurers safe from bears.

Black bear | Photo courtesy of Utah DWR
Black bear | Photo courtesy of Utah DWR

A fun weekend in the outdoors can turn tragic if you do things that lure bears into the area where you’re camping. Fortunately, it’s easy to keep bears away.  The most important thing is to make sure you keep your campsite or cabin area clean and free of litter, and don’t leave food out where a bear can get it. Bears have a keen sense of smell, and can eat the same kind of food as humans.

John Shivik, mammals coordinator for the Utah DWR, said black bears are the only kind found in Utah. They are usually scared of people and will avoid them.

“That can change, though, if a bear starts to associate your campsite or cabin area as a place where it can get food,” Shivik said.

The key to keeping bears out of your campsite or cabin area is cutting down on smells that might attract bears. Shivik offered the following tips:

  • Store your food and scented items, such as deodorants and toothpaste, in areas where bears can’t get them. Inside a trailer or in the trunk of your car are good choices.
  • Keep your cooking grill clean. Clean anything you use to prepare, eat or clean up food
  • Keep your campsite or cabin area clean.  Don’t toss food scraps and other trash around.
  • Never feed a bear.
Black bear | Photo courtesy of Utah DWR
Black bear | Photo courtesy of Utah DWR

Shivik said that by following these rules of responsible behavior, you’ll not only help yourself but others too. A bear may not visit your campsite while you’re there.  But the food you leave out and the litter you leave behind could bring a bear to that same area after you leave, which could create a serious problem for people who camp in the area after you.

More tips on how to stay safe in bear country, including what to do if you encounter a bear, are available here. Wild Aware Utah also provides useful information on bear safety.

Camping in Bear Country | Video courtesy of the Utah DWR

Submitted by: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Black bear | Photo courtesy of Utah DWR
Black bear | Photo courtesy of Utah DWR

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1 Comment

  • Royal Guardsmen May 20, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    Bears, they don’t care who they scare
    You’ve got to beware
    (bear growling)
    There’s bears in gutter.
    so be careful not to utter
    A sound that might disturb
    There’s something ’bout yelling that makes a bear get compelling
    To want to take your leg and bite it
    (bear crunch sound… grizzly!)
    Bears everywhere
    Beware look out
    Beware look out
    Bears they don’t care who they scare
    You’ve got to beware
    (bear growling)

    While swimming in your poo,l try not loose your cool
    And be drown-ded… by a Water-Bear!
    In the mountains and the cities even out at Pismo Beach
    You’re never out of reach from a bear

    Bears everywhere
    Beware look out
    Beware look out

    Bears they don’t care who they scare
    You’ve got to beware
    (growl)

    Hey… shhhh…! There’s a bear…
    Wow!

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