The weather has been delightful, and the cold is still weeks away. This only means that bears have still yet to hibernate and are still active in the wilderness scrounging for food getting ready for what is now weeks away with the cold. They are especially hungry and scrounging due to wildfires.
What does this mean for you hunters? It is more likely this year to have a bear encounter. You need to be more cautious than you are used to, and you need to be alert for bear signs while elk or deer hunting. The best preparation is to carry bear spray.
Here are the appropriate precautions the FWP states to avoid these potential conflicts:
- have your bear spray on you, out and ready to use (know how to use it)
- hunt with a partner but if you choose to go along make sure someone else knows where you are and if you can check in periodically
- the most important time to carry your bear spray and have it ready to release is when you are field dressing the carcass
- as soon as you have harvested your kill, you need to get that out as soon as you can every minute you are at risk
- put the entails on a tarp or blanket and pull them away from the carcass
- if you left your harvested game unattended, before you return you should scout the area from a distance and if clear, move in making a lot of noise
- if a bear has claimed your carcass, leave it alone and contact the FWP immediately at (406) 444-2535