Bear Alert Issued By Alaska Department of Fish and Game

In 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:

In 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."

Yost 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."


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