ASK GAME & FISH

With Memorial Day weekend approaching, we are expecting thousands more people traveling through our great state. Now is a good time to remind everyone to watch out for wildlife near the roads — and this includes bears.

State highways and bears don’t mix well. Bears that feed close to roads can become habituated to humans and vehicles. Having bears frequent highways increases the opportunity for them or their offspring to be hit by a vehicle. It also increases the chances of a bear becoming more bold and approaching people or frequenting areas where access to human food can cause bears to become food conditioned, requiring further management actions.

Game and Fish cannot respond to every roadside bear occurrence. But, when the safety of the bear and the public is in question, we try to move the bear away from the road. We primarily do this by honking horns on our vehicles and using cracker shells, a practice common for wildlife managers across the country. We work closely with our partners like the National Forest and the Wyoming Department of Transportation to get signage up to let people know there is wildlife on the roadway. Encouraging bears to move away from roads is for your safety as much as the bear’s.

Here are some things we recommend if you do come along a roadside bear:

  • Don’t stop in the road or block traffic.
  • Watch for warning signs and reduced speed limits due to wildlife presence.
  • Stay in your car and stay at least 100 yards from bears.
  • Use binoculars or spotting scopes for safe viewing.
  • If a bear approaches your car, honk your horn to discourage the bear from becoming too familiar with humans.
  • Never feed bears or leave food accessible to bears.
Wyoming has some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities in the world. Game and Fish wishes you safe and enjoyable wildlife viewing this holiday weekend.
 

Dan Thompson
Large Carnivore Section Supervisor

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