As a camper or hunter in Alaska, you must prepare for an encounter with a bear. Bears live almost everywhere in the state and while they generally avoid people, they will attack if they feel threatened. The best way to avoid conflict and reduce your level of risk with bears in the wild is to follow some basic guidelines.
Study bear behavior to learn where they live and what they prefer to eat, particularly for the time of your visit. Learn to recognize bear tracks and droppings.
Bears tend to avoid humans and if one hears you coming, it will likely move away. However, despite this tendency, always be on the lookout. You want to avoid surprising a bear. If you do surprise one, do not run away. Instead talk calmly and loudly while waving your arms above your head.
Game Meat Management
Ironically, many bear conflicts arise after a successful hunt for another animal. Since you are packing the meat from the kill site in multiple trips, each return visit increases the risk of encountering a bear. After a kill, immediately field dress the animal and remove edible meat before opening the gut cavity. Pack your meat to load out and store remaining meat in game bags hung from trees. Leave the guts for the bears and be sure to flag the area to warn other hunters.
Once you bring fresh meat back to camp, store it a substantial distance from camp. If possible, hang the meat in trees at least 15 feet above the ground. Stash blood-soaked clothing in a plastic bag at the same location. If a bear wanders into your camp, make loud noises, yell at the bear, and bang pots and pans together to try driving the bear off.
Avoid camping in an area or near trails that are being frequented by bears. Cook and eat well downwind from your sleeping tent, wash the dishes, and burn the trash. When you breakdown camp, leave it cleaner than when you arrived. Burn what you can, but pack out remaining refuse in airtight containers for in-town disposal.
Follow these above guidelines and enjoy your time in Alaska.
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