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Courtesy of RAEMS 2013. Objectives Physical characteristics of the Black Bear and Grizzly Bear How diet affects bear distribution and their annual cycle.

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Presentation on theme: "Courtesy of RAEMS 2013. Objectives Physical characteristics of the Black Bear and Grizzly Bear How diet affects bear distribution and their annual cycle."— Presentation transcript:

1 Courtesy of RAEMS 2013

2 Objectives Physical characteristics of the Black Bear and Grizzly Bear How diet affects bear distribution and their annual cycle Various signs indicating a bear presence Bear behaviours in different circumstances Precautions when in Bear territory Preferred reactions to various types of bear encounters Bear deterrents and how and when they should be used

3 Basic Bear Facts Approximately 800 Grizzly Bears in Alberta Approximately 35,000 Black Bears in Alberta 1,000,000+ bears in North America 1 to 2 fatalities per year in North America Alberta bears have killed three humans since 1991

4 Black Bear or Grizzly?

5 Sizes and Weights Black Bear weight up to 260 Kilos, average length about 1.6 metres Grizzly Bear weight up to 600 Kilos, length 2 metres Females are usually smaller in both species

6 Colours GRIZZLYBLACK BEAR Black and brown, to cinnamon, or blond Have “grizzled” fur…most noticed on the back Usually have a patch of white hair on the chest…but may not.

7 Both species spend most of their waking hours pursuing something to eat. Bears “hibernate” usually from October to May, so they have to gain as much weight as possible in the mobile months. On average a bear may lose 30 to 40 percent of its body fat over the winter. Bears are omnivorous, subsisting on roots, sedges, berries, ground squirrels, and both species are now known to hunt larger game. One good pile of garbage is equal to 200,000 berries…a full birdfeeder gives as many calories as 40,000 berries. Activity

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9 Bears are found wherever there is an abundant food supply.

10 Bear Responses to Encounters Physical Response Standing up, tossing head Turning sideways to show size Walking stiff-legged Looking directly at you Noise Response Huffing and panting Hissing and growling Ground stamping Jaw popping The bear may flee, bluff charge, walk away, or charge

11 Human Reaction to an Encounter Stop, stand still a moment, and stay calm. If the animal is already aware of you, help it to identify you as a human. Talk in low tones, and slowly wave your arms. It may then leave. Staying upwind will help it to smell you. Do NOT run from a bear or big cat unless you are sure you can reach a safe place. Both can run faster than humans. Always leave the bear (and yourself) an avenue of escape. Do this by maintaining your "situational awareness." Quietly walk back the way you came making sure to not pass between the animal and any cubs. If time and circumstances permit, try to scare the predator away with a distraction device

12 Problem Bear Behavior A bear who Is not afraid of humans: Defies humans to get food Enters tents and buildings Causes property damage Injures or kills people

13 Human Reaction How should you react if... A bear is aware of you and close A bear is following you A bear is close and using threat displays A bear charges

14 IF A BEAR ATTACKS Two Types of Attacks: Predatory The bear believes you or something you are carrying is a potential source of food. The bear may follow or stalk you. Provoked You have done something either purposefully or unknowingly to aggravate the bear. This can be something as simple as interrupting them when they are eating, or coming between a mother and her cubs.

15 Bears charge at high speed on all four legs though many charges are bluffs -- they'll often stop or veer to the side at the last minute. You may have time to climb a tree, but you'll have to get higher than 4 meters. Remember that Black bears can climb, and Grizzlies can charge up a tree too. If physical contact appears unavoidable, you have three options: 1. Use pepper spray if you have any, or shoot to kill if you have a gun. 2. Play dead if you are attacked by a grizzly. 3. Fight back if attacked by a black bear.

16 Playing dead may prevent serious injury if you are attacked by a grizzly bear. Do not play dead during a black bear attack or if a grizzly bear is treating you as prey. Playing dead will help protect your vital areas, and the bear may leave if you appear harmless. There are two recommended positions: Lie on your side, curled into a ball, legs drawn tightly to your chest, hands clasped behind your neck. Lie flat on the ground, face down, fingers intertwined behind your neck. Stay in these positions even if moved. Do not resist or struggle -- it may intensify the attack. Look around cautiously, and be sure the bear is gone before moving.

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18 If a black bear attacks you or a grizzly bear shows signs that it considers you lunch, and you do not have a firearm, do not play dead. Act aggressively. Defend yourself with whatever means are available. You want to appear dominant and frighten the bear. Jump up and down, shout, and wave your arms. It may help to raise or wave your jacket or pack to make yourself look bigger. You may be able to poke out both of the bear's eyes with your thumbs. A blind bear can't attack you, as well.

19 The right moment to squeeze the trigger depends on your nerve, experience with a firearm, and how fast the bear is approaching. The decision can be made only by the person facing the bear, and must be made quickly. An accurate shot fired at close range has a greater chance of killing a bear than one fired from farther away. The first shot is the most important. Aim for the shoulder if the bear is broadside, or the back of the neck between the shoulders if the bear is facing you. Avoid head shots - they often fail to kill a bear. Do not stop shooting to check the results. Keep firing until the bear is completely still -- a wounded bear is very dangerous Pepper spray seems to be more effective than a firearm because you don't have to be accurate to spray a cloud of deterrent. If you use a firearm

20 TYPES AND VARIETIES... Noise Makers Sprays Mechanical Guns and rubber rounds Bear Deterrents

21  A "Bear Bell" tied to your boot or pack may alert a bear or cougar to your presence before you accidentally surprise it. If these animals become aware of you, they'll usually leave the area without you ever seeing them.

22 NOISE MAKERS Criminal Code Interpretation DEFINITION 84(3) For the purposes of Section 91 to 95, 99 to 101, 103 to 107, and of this Act and the provisions of theFirearms Act, the following weapons are deemed not to be Firearms: (a) any antique firearm (b) any device that is: 1. Designed exclusively for signaling, for notifying of distress, for firing blank cartridges or for firing stud cartridges, explosive driven rivets or other industrial projectiles, and 2. Intended by the person in possession of it to be used exclusively for the purpose for which it was designed Bear Deterrents

23 Pyrotechnic Cartridges Bangers Screamers

24 CHEMICAL SPRAYS Bear Deterrents

25 Pepper spray has been proven as an effective (but not perfect) bear deterrent. It will work on cougars too. Wear it on your belt like you would a pistol. There's NO time to get it from your pack once you're in trouble. Don't hang around after you've sprayed a bear. Once the initial shock has worn off, bears have been known to ENJOY licking the pepper residue off themselves!

26 Precautions in Bear Country Store food in sealable plastic bags Carry out all garbage Avoid scented items. Normal human scent is best Look for bear signs: Tracks Scat Carcasses Torn up logs and stumps Day beds Claw marks on trees Digs

27 Camp Location Away from: Known feeding areas Bear travel lanes and trails Den sites Areas with previous problems Areas with droppings or tracks Areas with loud, masking noises

28 Temporary Camp Prevent all food odours on equipment Minimize food odours on clothing and bedding Suspend food items and odour contaminated items Remove all garbage Use bearproof containers

29 Campfire /cooking area Trip-wire Tents Enough spacing between tents so a bear will not feel trapped when alarmed. 50 m (min) 10 m (min) TEMPORARY CAMPS Pack: food, cooking utensils, stove, clothes worn while cooking, and garbage 200 m Visible from a distance 4 m Camp Diagram

30 WorkTent CookTent Latrine ____________________________ Sleeping Tents Dogs tied To camp SEMI-PERMANENT CAMP DESIGN Trip-wire Recommended layout of a long-term camp Incinerator or garbage area at least 200m away. If a garbage area is used a tripwire system should be set up.

31 Grease is especially attractive to bears. Wipe off the stove, tables, counters and barbecues. Dump greasy dishwater into a pit away from camp, and treat with lime or bleach to mask odours. Burn excess grease in a hot fire, reuse it right away, or store it in an airtight container.  Produce few food wastes. If you have leftovers, store them in airtight containers, then use them as soon as possible.

32 Eliminate or reduce food odours. The smell of some food, such as bacon or fish, may attract bears. Freeze-dried foods are relatively odourless. Wear a hat or kerchief while cooking so your hair does not accumulate odours. Do not sleep in clothes worn while cooking. Store them with your food, away from your tent.   Tent campers can store food in an airtight cooler, a plastic bear proof container, a plastic-lined duffel bag, or a heavy plastic bag at least 100 meters away from camp, suspended at least four meters off the ground (if possible).

33  Other attractants such as dish detergent, toothpaste, etc. should be stored in the same manner as food.  In camps with more permanent facilities, store food inside locking steel trunks or in sealed metal drums. If the camp has a refrigerator or freezer, fit them with locks and secure them at night

34  If you are traveling with children make sure you know where they are at all times.  While in bear country restrict food to cooking and storage areas.  Do not take any food into your tent, not even a stick of gum.  Keep a clean camp. Wash kitchen utensils after each meal.

35  Be alert at all times  Respect all bears- you never know which one is going to be dangerous  Never approach a bear for any reason.  Photographs should be taken from a safe distance with a telephoto lens.  Never feed bears or other wildlife.  Have a plan of action for dealing with bears and be sure everyone understands it.

36  If you are approaching your work area from the air, check for predators from the aircraft before landing and getting out. The same holds true of a car.  Work in pairs and stay alert. Alternate responsibilities so one person is watching for bears and cougars.  Be watchful for leg-hold type bear traps. They are VERY large and will cause severe injury if stepped in.

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39 Send a Buddy in first

40 By clicking on the below link, you will be taken to our online test. It has twenty multiple choice questions, and should not take long. PWM Bear Awareness Quiz


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