Be bear aware while camping

To make sure your trip is fun and safe; be bear aware while in the woods.


7/14/2016 2:30:46 PM

Cheyenne - Camping is a great way to explore the outdoors and relax this summer. To make sure your trip is fun and safe, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department recommends being bear aware while in the woods.

“Food left out is the top reason bears are attracted to campsites,” said Dan Thompson, Wyoming Game and Fish large carnivore section supervisor. “Keep your food and trash away from bears.”

Bears have a highly-evolved sense of smell and are strongly attracted to human food, garbage, livestock feed, and game meat. When a bear gains access to these items in a camp, they can become food-conditioned. Food-conditioned bears are less likely to avoid humans and can become destructive, and even dangerous, in their attempts to obtain human food. This can create an unsafe camping area for fellow outdoors people.

Game and Fish recommends preparing a campsite that is safe from bear encounters. A safe campsite is one that does not attract bears with food or other attractants like beverages, toiletries, coolers, or pet food. Campers in established campsites should:

  • Store all attractants inside a hard sided vehicle,
  • If not in a vehicle, store attractants in bear box hung from a game pole at least 10 feet above ground and 4 feet from the vertical pole.
  • Store all carcasses or animal parts inside a hard sided vehicle 100 yards outside of any campground. Do not store in a bear box.
  • Keep all cooking areas free of grease and food residue.
  • Store all garbage as an attractant and pack out when leaving.
For more detailed information about being bear aware while camping as well as hunting, download the Game and Fish pocket guide from the Bear Wise website.

(Wyoming Game and Fish (307) 777-4600)

- WGFD -

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