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Bear Aware

The best encounter with a grizzly bear, black bear, wolf, coyote or cougar is the one you can avoid. Make noise, preferably with your voice, and watch for fresh signs such as scat. Before visiting a provincial or federal park, visit their websites to learn about active wildlife in the area. Learn more about species you might encounter by visiting our species pages.

You can learn more about bear behavior, and defensive versus aggressive bear attacks, by watching the “Staying Safe in Bear Country” video or reading “How You Can Stay Safe In Bear Country” by BC Parks. Always keep pets leashed when there is potential to encounter wildlife. Predators may see your pet as a potential threat or prey.

Few tips to remember:

1. Bear Spray is not a substitute for good common sense.

2. When purchasing Bear Spray, check the expiry date: 2 years and .5 - 2% capsaicin.

3. Check for bumps and dents and for the chain/strap for your safety prior to purchasing.

4. Also purchase white carrying canister and holster (cover optional).

5. When transporting Bear Spray in a vehicle - white canister with foam (drill small hole in lid to release pressure) and into a backpack.

6. Bear spray expands in heat and has potential to explode at 35 degrees.

7.Store in cold, dry and high space.

8. Always carry your holster and Bear Spray on your dominant side. When biking, place on your chest, non-dominant side, for easy access.

9.To deploy the bear spray  - press down on the trigger - aim to the ground to build a wall.

10. When assessing a bear attack - be sure to determine weather it is a defensive or non-defensive attack.

Bear Spray Acronym: SPRAY

S- Stop, assess the situation

P - Prepare your bear spray

R - Remove the safety

A - build A wall/Aim to the ground

Y - Yield, step back and reassess the situation

The link to our new Bear Spray Page:

Bear spray has been determined to be an effective deterrent that can reduce injury and potentially safe your life. Like a seat belt, it should be considered essential safety equipment when travelling in wildlife country.

Hunters may be at increased risk of a bear attack since they are intentionally moving quietly and are more likely to surprise a bear. Bear spray has been found to be easier, faster and more effective than a firearm at preventing injury and death (visit this link to learn more).

Mountain bikers in bear country should carry bear spray on a holster on their body and not their bike. Mountain bikers moving at a high rate of speed can potentially surprise bears on paths where sightlines are poor. Bears may be attracted to paths where berry-producing shrubs thrive.

While trail running avoid using headphones, be vigilant and make noise by occasionally calling out and clapping your hands. Be cautious when travelling downwind or near moving water. If animals cannot smell or hear you, they may be surprised and this can lead to a defensive attack. Hike with a partner or in a group whenever possible.

Remember: If you need to report a sighting or a conflict with wildlife, please call the Conservation Officer Service at 1.(877).952.7277.

Mature Black Bear

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