The Bear Necessities of Bear Safety (part 2)

 In Whitewater Blogged

This time of year bears are on the prowl for as much food as possible as they are getting ready to hibernate for the winter. And just like the bears, people are rushing to arrange their last outdoor recreational activities before the weather gets too cold and it’s time to hit the slopes.

Late summer and early fall is when bears spend up to 20 hours a day foraging for food. Be careful when you head out on your hikes and fishing trips.

Late summer and early fall are when bears spend up to 20 hours a day foraging for food. Be careful when you head out on your hikes and fishing trips. Photo credit: NPS

Our rafting season ends on September 31st, but we continue our Gold Medal fishing trips to some of Colorado’s most exclusive fishing destinations. These trips often require a bit of hike through the Colorado terrain, so being aware of your surroundings and how to deal with bears and other wildlife is always a good thing.

As you are standing quietly, enjoying the tranquil sounds of the river and watching the wildlife, should you happen to spot a bear coming in for a drink of water…or a fish or two…take precaution.

The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Association has a thorough list of safety tips when it comes to hiking, fishing and camping in bear country that every outdoor enthusiast should be aware of.

Look behind you, there’s a bear!

Bears have poor eyesight, so if the bear hasn’t picked up your sound or your scent and all of a sudden finds itself too close to you and your fellow fishermen, make sure to let the bear identify you as you remain totally calm.

Despite what you’ve seen in cartoons, you never want to run or climb a tree. This is only as a last resort. The first thing you to do is to assure the bear that you are harmless, leaving it plenty of space to escape. If the bear has cubs, back away as quickly as possible.

The good news is that the bear does not want to have anything to do with you, but if it is feeling threatened it will defend itself and it’s cubs.

If a bear spots you, it will most likely retreat as quickly as possible. But if it is traveling with a cub, the momma bear's protective instincts may cause it to become aggressive and defend itself and it's cub.

If a bear spots you, it will most likely retreat as quickly as possible. But if it is traveling with a cub, the mamma bear’s protective instincts may cause it to become aggressive and defend itself and it’s cub. Photo credit: NPS / K.Jalone

If the bear stands up, it is not a sign of aggression, it is simply trying to get a better whiff of your scent. If it doesn’t leave immediately, wave your arms speak firmly in hopes that the movement and human noise will scare the bear and force him or her to retreat.

If a bear does attack, do not play dead. Defend yourself with anything that you have on you: pens, knives, your backpack and even your bear (get it) hands.  

We’ve got great deals on our favorite Colorado whitewater adventures for the remainder of the season. And you can add award winning fly fishing to any whitewater rafting trip on the Arkansas River.

Call (800) 824-3795/(719) 539-6851 to customize your next Colorado whitewater rafting or fishing adventure.

Dvorak offers rafting, kayaking and fishing trips of the Colorado River, Dolores River, Green River, Arkansas River, Gunnison River, Salmon River, North Platte River, San Miguel River and Rio Grande River.

 

Dvorak’s Expeditions – Est. 1969

Family Owned & Operated

Bill & Jaci Dvorak

 

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