an effort to help our guests prepare for their trip to Alaska,
the following alert, recently issued by the Alaska Department
of Fish and Game, should be noted:
light of the rising frequency of brown bear encounters by visitors
to our state, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is advising
visiting fishermen, hikers and photographers to take extra precautions
and to keep alert for brown bears while in the field. According
to William J. Yost, Director of Outdoor Safety, "Visitors
to Alaska often fail to appreciate the danger of a sudden encounter
with brown bear. In order to have a safe and enjoyable Alaskan
experience, we advise all visitors to wear small, noisy bells
on their clothing when in the field so as not to startle brown
bears who might otherwise be unaware of their presence. We also
advise our visitors to carry pepper spray with them in case
of a close encounter with a brown bear."
further notes that it is always a good idea for visitors to
watch out for fresh signs of bear activity while in the field.
"Visitors should learn to distinguish between black bear
and brown bear scat (manure) before venturing into the field.
Black bear scat is comparatively small and typically contains
small berries and rodent fur. On the other hand, brown bear
scat is much larger and typically contains small bells, remnants
of Oakley sunglasses and smells like pepper." Yost stressed,
however, that such precautions need not be taken when visiting
Anchorage, "although Fairbanks might be a different story."