When bears hibernate, they lose up to 30 percent of the body weight so in the spring that they wake up very hungry. It’s essential for field workers to know about bear feeding patterns so they can try and avoid getting from a bear and its food.
In the spring, bears are largely looking for roots, shrubs, berries, whereas in the fall, bears are more likely to be found near water searching for salmon to give them the calories and fat that they need for hibernation.
Bears coming out of hibernation might be more visible and aggressive as they hunt for food. If they emerge early from hibernation or when their normal foods are less available, they will come looking for things like human garbage. It is important that everyone does their part to eliminate bear attractant and properly dispose of all food waste on work sites or in the bush.
To avoid a bear encounter you also want to earn loads of noise while working and be aware of your surroundings. Walk loudly at the bush and talk or sing often. If you are working in an extremely forested area or about creeks, frequently scan your environment.
If you encounter a bear:
– Back away slowly and quietly if the bear does not acknowledge you.
– When the bear sees you, talk calmly and back away slowly – do not run.
– When the bear moves towards you, make yourself as large as possible, wave your arms or an item, and make a whole lot of noise.
– Don’t stare directly into the bear’s eyes
– If the bear attacks you, fight back if it’s a black bear, and play dead if it is a grizzly
The best preparation to protect yourself against a bear encounter is to check for wildlife action ahead of starting work in the area by contacting local fish and wildlife officials. Other things you can do to equip yourself include:
– Take a bear/wildlife safety program.
– Have gear like bear spray and bangers which are intended to frighten bears and understand how to properly store and use them.
– Carry a firearm in high risk areas if licensed to do so.
– Know to call Wellington Raccoon Removal for support.
– Carry a mobile phone or communication radio that works in the area.