Why Bear Safety Is Important In Fort St. John

Why Bear Safety Is Important In Fort St. John

Bear safety is important because as the weather starts to become cooler as winter approaches the likelihood of running into a bear increases.  As the weather gets colder the bears begin to search for available food sources so that they can prepare for winter.

For this reason it is important that you act responsibly in making sure you properly store food as it may attract bears to areas where people live.

In order to keep people safe and aware of bears in BC the government has created a “Bear Smart” program that teaches people how to be aware of bears and how to be safe and not attract bears.

Top 10 Bear Safety Tips

Simple Guidelines For Bear Safety Include

To reduce risk as a hiker you can make your presence known with loud noises if you encounter a bear. Make yourself big looking and group together with other hikers.

Keep your dog on a leash and avoid going out at dusk or dawn.

What You Should Do In Urban Areas?

If you are in an urban area and are concerned with bear safety there are a couple things to keep in mind.

  • Most Important  – do not approach a bear or get within 100 feet of a bear to take a picture or video.
    • Additionally do not run from a bear as they can move very quickly and may chase you
  • If a bear has been spotted its important to keep away from the bear, remain calm, and bring children and pets indoor if possible
  • Do not leave out any food products (especially meat) where it can be smelt and accessible by a bear
  • Use bear-proof waste bins and keep garbage containers in your house or garage if possible
  • Remove unused fruit trees, pick ripe fruit and remove fallen fruit daily
  • Secure BBQ in a secure area and clean bbq grill thoroughly after each use
  • Do not add meat products or uncooked food to compost and turn regularly to keep things covered
  • Put up an electric fence around attractants such as beehives, compost bins, fruit trees, and backyard chickens
  • Make sure pet food and pet food dishes are kept inside the house
  • Once a bear has left the area it is important to verify the bear has completely left the area by checking before letting your children back outside
    • Make sure that no attractants were left in the area where the bear was spotted. If there was remove such items
  • If your community is not a “Bear Smart” community work with your local government and neighbors to create a “Bear Smart” community so people are aware of the dangers of bears

What You Can Do While Hiking In Bear Country

Bear Safety In The Wild

If you plan to go hiking you should be aware of the risk of running into a bear while on your hike. In order to prepare for your hiking trip you should know the following to keep yourself safe from bears.

  • Carry bear spray and a noise maker. Make sure you know how to use them and have them easily accessible
  • Advise someone of your hiking plans. Let them know where you are going, when you are going, and for how long you are going
  • Go in a group. The larger the group the less likely a bear will approach you. Make sure your group stays relatively close together
  • Make sure that young children are close to you as they are small and make erratic movements which can attract bears
  • If you are hiking with a dog make sure you keep them on a leash as they could attract bears back to you
  • Be noisy. Give out warning shouts once in awhile to let any possible nearby bears know you are in the area so there are no surprise encounters. Note that streams and winds can muffle the noises so make sure you are extra loud
  • Avoid locations where bears hangout for food sources such as: berry patches, garbage pits, beehives, grain fields, etc
  • Avoid being out at dusk and dawn as bears are more active at those times. Note that bears however can be encountered at anytime of the day
  • Watch for bear signs posted and stay away from those areas
  • Also look for signs that bears have been in the area such as garbage thrown about and eaten

Quick Facts

Did you know that under the Wildlife Act it is illegal to attract of feed dangerous wildlife such as bears?

In fact the penalty can go as high as $100,000 and one year in prison for such actions.

Therefore remember to be safe and keep away from these dangerous wildlife animals.

Additional Resources

For more additional information on the subject please refer to the following websites:

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