When heading out on the trail for a hike or out to camp, it is important to be bear aware.
“Bears are feeding pretty heavily on buffalo berries and other berries that are becoming ripe, in order to fatten up for the hibernation that is coming in the next few months. A lot of berries grow in disturbed areas like the edge of forest and trails,” says Alberta Environment and Parks Provincial Carnivore Specialist Paul Frame
Frame says the best way to protect yourself from a bear is to have bear spray ready to be used. He recommends practicing how to get it out of the holster, learning how to get the safety off and if an expired can is handy, practicing spraying it the correct way.
“A lot of people think that in order to keep themselves safe they need to keep a shotgun or rifle on them. There is a study from up north in Alaska that looked at those who were carrying firearms and those carrying bear spray.”
He says the people most likely to get away, according to the study, were the ones with the bear spray.
On top of having the tools to protect yourself, he says you should also make noise when heading into places that there could be a bear like areas with berries.
Story by Justine Kelsie.