is bear country
If you see a bear


Wyoming is home to both black bears and grizzly bears.

It is important to know the difference between the two, whether you are a hunter or an occasional hiker. Although grizzly bears are often more aggressive, black bears can still be dangerous. Being able to identify the species can help you stay safe in bear country. When identifying a bear, make sure to use all four good characteristics to determine the species. Never use just color or size to identify a bear.

Grizzly Bear


Prominent shoulder hump
Dished facial profile
Short round ears
Long straight claws (3-4 inches)


Front Track

grizzly bear track identification

Black Bear


No prominent shoulder hump
Straight facial profile
Tall pointed ears
Short curved claws (1-2 inches)


Front Track

black bear track identification

Bear spray is an effective deterrent that is designed specifically to deter aggressive or charging bears, but is not a substitute for following appropriate safety precautions.

Bear Spray

The main active ingredient is capsaicin (capsaicinoids) which is derived from chili peppers. Bear spray, when properly used, gets into mucus membranes and causes a burning sensation that deters bears. Make sure that you are carrying an EPA registered Bear Spray and not another form of self protection pepper spray, which does not shoot out as far or have a high enough concentration of capsaicinoids.

• Bear spray is to be used on a charging bear or in an aggressive encounter.
• It sprays out 25-30 feet and creates a 4 foot cloud.
• Each member of the party should carry bear spray.
• Bear Spray must be carried where it is readily accessible.
• Make sure spray is in working order and that it has not expired (labels are dated)
• It should NOT be used as a repellent, or put on tents, gear, etc.

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