Ever since Teddy Roosevelt, we’ve found bears adorable, but bears in the High Country — especially those with cubs trailing — are nothing to attract no matter how irresistible the photo op might be.
Black bear encounters are not an everyday occurrence, but when they happen, caution and distance are the watchwords.
Lately, bears have been more and more noted visiting near homesteads, attracted by bird feeders, deer corn or simply trash. On the trail, encounters are typically more surprise on both sides.
Yet in either situation, the outcome can be a successful one for the homeowner or hiker if you remember a few things.
When hiking, camping or at home, don’t make your trash accessible. Leftover garbage can be irresistible to a hungry bear.
But even if you’ve hung a bear bag while camping or secured the trash cans at home, bear encounters can still happen. If they do, the first rule is to never approach the animal. Remain calm and do not run. Making loud noises will often scare it away, as might making yourself big — if you’re in a group, stand with others to accomplish this.
And, despite the rationale, never drop food to distract a bear and do not try to climb trees — bears are excellent climbers.