Bear Awareness and Surviving Yellowstone – Fins and Feathers Bozeman
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Bear Awareness and Surviving Yellowstone

Just the past couple of weeks, we’ve had a lot of people come in and ask about bears and bear awareness while fly fishing. Most people around here know that the bears have been moving closer to town lately (with sightings as close as Leverich Canyon just south of Bozeman). However, folks visiting from other areas, especially those from places beyond the Northwest, aren’t always bear aware. Most of the time, people are really receptive to learning about bear spray and its effectiveness over a gun. Sure, it’s a great peace of mind to have that gun at your side, but when you’ve got a bear charging at you or at someone your hiking/fishing with, chances are your accuracy is going to go down quite a lot. Bears, with their thick skulls, dense fur and tough skin, are not the easiest targets to shoot. It’s way better to have a cannister of bear spray on your hip ready to go. Instead of relying on something the size of a bullet to protect you, you’re presenting a wall of mist as a barrier between you and the bear. We sell bear spray at our shop, just west of downtown Bozeman in Four Corners.

Beyond bears, there are plenty of other animals to be aware of when in the backcountry. Two weeks back, I met a guy on the trail who had an encounter with a female moose. Someone else’s off leash dog had irritated the moose and, after she charged the dog and scared it off, she pulled a U-Turn and ran towards the guy. If he hadn’t had the good sense to duck into some trees, he very well may have seriously been hurt. This didn’t happen in the backcountry, either. This was at the trailhead to a fairly popular trail 25 miles from Bozeman.

So, to help remind folks with all other things involving animal encounters, here is a video that Hank Patterson released just over a year ago.