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As we continue our social distancing while enjoying the outdoors and the mental health the outdoors brings, it's important that we remember to stay safe in bear country and carry bear spray.  Travelling in smaller groups to keep our social distances makes carrying bear spray even more essential.   So, what's the difference in bears?   Black bears can be black, blue-black, dark brown, brown, cinnamon and even white. Grizzlies can range from from black to blond. Size is not a good indicator of which species is which.  Black bears can weigh up to 800 pounds in the fall, and grizzly bears on...

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Bear safety, How to be safe around bears, Wildlife Safety -

Here's a thorough read on how to be Safe Around Bears by Robert Brannon. This guide has everything you need to know about bear safety. Bears are beautiful animals, and it's an exciting experience to see one. But being around a bear can also be dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. When hiking or camping in bear country, there is a number of precautions that you can take to avoid unexpected bear encounters. And to be prepared to act if you find yourself in one. We gathered our information through interviewing wildlife experts, reading bear encounter guides, and...

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Bears are up.  For a detailed report for the Bow Valley, view the Wild Smart Biosphere Institute bear report at:  Wild Smart Bear Report

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What do you do if you encounter a bear in the winter?  It's rare but encounters with bears in the winter can happen.  It's difficult to see a winter den, dens can vary and they're often buried in the snow.  Just be prepared and aware that it could happen.   Defensive Encounter May occur when a bear is defending something such as cubs, its food source or if the bear is surprised by your presence.  Do not run Ready your bear spray Try to appear non-threatening, avoiding eye contact Talk in a calm voice Slowly move away without turning your back to...

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Research on the effectiveness of Bear Spray vs. a Firearm in a Bear Encounter A study on the efficacy of bear deterrent spray was conducted in Alaska. 83 cases involving the use of bear spray in Alaska between 1985 and 2006 were analyzed. Results showed that in over 90% of close-range encounters with black and brown bears, spray stopped the bear’s undesirable behavior. Bear Spray Research on Effectiveness of Bear Spray Efficacy of Firearms in a Bear Encounter For self defense against grizzly bears, the answer isn't as obvious.  Many are surprised when they find that, despite using their firearm against a charging...

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