Avoidance ║  Encounters ║  Deterrents ║  Camping ║  Identification ║  Reporting 

Knowing how to avoid a bear encounter is the best way to safely enjoy the backcountry.

Do not surprise a bear.

  • Make noise. Most bears will leave the area if they are aware of your presence.
  • Call out, clap hands, sing or talk loudly.
  • Hike in a group. Larger sized groups are more obvious and intimidating to bears, so they are less likely to approach you.
  • Keep children close at hand and within sight.
  • Stay on established trails and hike only in daylight.
  • Stay in the open as much as possible
  • Use extra caution when travelling near rushing water or into the wind. A bear may not be able to hear or smell you coming.

Be alert! Watch for signs. Tracks, droppings, diggings, torn-up logs and scratched trees may indicate that a bear is nearby.

Use caution when travelling near natural bear foods. Berries, fish and carrion (dead animals) are all food sources for bears, which they may defend. If you come upon any of these bear foods, use extra caution. Always report large dead animals to Parks Canada staff or the Ni Hat’ni Dene Rangers and leave the area immediately.

Dog safety. Dogs may threaten a bear, triggering an attack. Your dog may then run to you with the bear in pursuit! Keep your dog on a leash at all times and never leave it unattended.

Watch for cubs. Bears may become aggressive if they feel their young are threatened. Never pass between a mother and her cub(s).

Find out about advisories, warnings and closures from Parks Canada in advance of your trip. When natural hazards (e.g., wildlife, flooding, wildfire etc.) are known to be present in a location, warnings, advisories, closures or other restrictions may be put into effect. You are ultimately responsible for your own safety – be aware that natural hazards, including bears, can occur anywhere at anytime within Thaidene Nëné National Park Reserve.

Carry bear spray and know how to use it. Bear spray has proven effective for a variety of wildlife when used properly. It is likely more safe than using a firearm, which requires high proficiency (especially under duress) for effective self-defence. Be aware that wind, rain, spray distance, and freezing temperatures can influence effectiveness. Familiarize yourself with the proper use of bear spray, including the manufacturer’s specific instructions and the expiry date, and keep it readily accessible at all times.

Bear spray and other deterrents

Avoidance ║  Encounters ║  Deterrents ║  Camping ║  Identification ║  Reporting 

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