Walking and Hiking in Bear Country
Your neighborhood IS bear country, too!
- Heed warning signs.
- Keep dogs on leash, especially near streams.
- Make noise. Reduce your chances of surprising a bear
- Avoid berry patches
- Move away. Make yourself look large and back away, giving the bear room to leave.
- Report Sightings - follow the link under Black Bears and Mountain Lions or call 303-441-3440.
If You Meet a Bear, Stay Calm
- NEVER RUN. Running can make a bear chase you.
- Keep your distance. Back slowly away facing the bear. Avoid direct eye contact.
- Slowly and calmly leave the area. Talk aloud so the bear will become aware of you.
- Be extra careful around a female with cubs. Never approach a cub.
- NEVER throw food to distract a bear. This teaches a bear to approach people for food.
- Fight back if attacked. Black bears have been driven away when people fight with rocks, sticks, binoculars, or even bare hands.
- DON'T LITTER Please dispose of all litter in bear-proof trash cans when you are in bear habitat. Remove it from the area if trash cans are full. Your consideration could save a bear's life!
- Report Sightings - follow the link under Black Bears and Mountain Lions or call 303-441-3440. This helps us keep both you and the bear safe. Call 911 if it's an emergency.
Bear Proof Your Backyard
Once a bear finds food, it will come back for more.
- Bear-proof your trash. Keep garbage indoors until trash pick up or use a bear-proof garbage can.
- Feed pets inside and store pet food indoors.
- Lock Up Grills. Burn barbecues to clean them immediately after use and store indoors.
- Only Feed Birds in Winter when they need it and when bears sleep. Bears love bird seed and hummingbird feeders. You can also string feeders high out of reach on a cable.This saves your feeder from bear damage too!
- Never store any food outside. Bears will tear open locked freezers.
- Keep a clean car. Never leave food, trash, pet food or coolers in your car. Bears will tear open doors and break windshields.
- Fruit-bearing trees and bushes attract bears. Harvest fruit and vegetables as they ripen. Pick up fallen fruit from the ground. Keep your lawn mowed and free of flowering dandelions and clover.
- Keep compost clean. Use a 2:1 dry:wet ratio.
- Educate your Neighbors. If you follow these steps but neighbors don't, bears may still come to your backyard.
Black Bear vs. Clothesline in Black Mountain, NC May 7, 2013
smoky mountain black bear
Smoky Mountain Minute: Black Bears and the Wild Cherry ...