As the snow has melted away and the flowers start to bloom, we welcome the arrival of spring in Canada. As the cold grip of winter fades, the great outdoors in Canada slowly awakens from its slumber, bringing with it the start of BEAR SEASON.

Bear season is an exciting time for outdoor lovers in Canada. However, it can be hazardous if you do not take the necessary precautions. This is a time that requires workers to be mindful and cautious. They must recognize the power, grandeur, and potential danger of these amazing creatures.

Bears in Canada enter a state of torpor during the winter months. Torpor is a deep sleep-like state that helps conserve energy in harsh winter conditions. As spring arrives, temperatures start to rise. Bears emerge from their dens, hungry and on the hunt for food.

This is where the human-bear interactions can occur, as bears may wander into residential areas in search of food. In this post, we will explore the importance of understanding bear behavior, sharing tips for keeping ourselves and the bears safe. So, join us as we delve into the world of bear season in Canada and discover the beauty and the risks of this incredible season.

o   The First step is to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions to avoid encountering bears. This includes knowing the types of bears in your area: It is important to know which type of bear is most found in the area where you will be working or carrying out your assigned tasks. Knowing which type of bear is prevalent in your area can help you better understand the behavior and habits of these animals which can help you prepare for situations where you may encounter them.

In Canada, there are two types of bears: Black bears and Grizzly bears. Black bears are smaller and less aggressive than grizzly bears, but it is still important to take precautions around them. The grizzly bear reigns as the undisputed symbol of strength and majesty. These magnificent creatures command respect and inspire awe with their massive size, powerful presence, and untamed spirit. Their iconic hump and long, sharp claws serve as reminders of the raw force they possess.

o   The Second step is stay Informed.  It is important to stay up to date about the current conditions. Research any recent bear sightings or encounters in the area before you embark on your journey. Know the regulations regarding bear safety in the area where you will be setting up your work site and be prepared to change your plans if necessary. Take our Wildlife Awareness online online Trainings to learn more on abundant areas where there may be bears. Get information on how to safely identify, avoid and/or react in areas abundant in wildlife.

o   Our third step is to always carry Bear spray. Bear spray is a strong type of pepper spray that is specifically designed to deter bears. It is a good idea to carry bear spray with you when you are in a bear country. While bear spray isn’t a guarantee you’ll be safe from a bear attack, it should interrupt the bear’s undesirable behavior and give you time to make a hasty retreat. Make sure that you know how to use it and that it is easily accessible.

o   Our Fourth step is quite a funny one, but we recommend you make a lot of Noise. When you must work or set up tents outdoors, make sure to make noise to let bears know you are in the area. Bears do not like surprises, so it is important to make noises while you are working. You can sing, shout, clap your hands, or talk loudly to let bears know that you are in the area.

o   Our Fifth and final step is to Store your food properly. Bears have an exceptional sense of smell, and they can detect food from miles away. When setting up workstations or camping in bear country, it is crucial to store your food and trash properly. This means keeping it in a bear-resistant container or hanging it from a tree at least 10 feet off the ground and 4 feet away from the tree trunk. NEVER keep food in your tent or near your sleeping area.

Who to call if you see a BEAR?

If you do happen to come across a bear, it is important to remain calm and avoid sudden movements. Slowly back away while speaking calmly to the bear and try to put as much distance between you and the animal as possible.

Whatever you do, do not run from a bear right off the bat! Running can trigger a chase response, and while you might consider yourself fast, chances are very good you are not as fast a bear. Black bears can run at speeds of up to 48 kilometers per hour (or 30 miles per hour), and grizzlies can hit speeds of up to up to 56 kilometers (34.8 mi) per hour (about 35 miles per hour)!

Deciding what to do when you encounter a bear can be tricky. The first step is assessing whether it is an emergency or non-emergency encounter.

Emergency situations: Call 911 or your local police force if a bear poses an immediate threat to personal safety.

Police are first responders for any emergency. If requested by police, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry may respond to emergencies to assist during daylight hours.

Non-Emergency Situations:

For non-emergency encounters kindly reach out to the Toll-free bear numbers within your province or locality. The numbers are usually active during spring and summer seasons.

While bear encounters can be scary, it is important to remember that bears are a vital part of the ecosystem in Canada, playing a key role in maintaining the balance of nature. By taking the necessary precautions and respecting these magnificent creatures, we can coexist with bears in their natural habitat and enjoy the beauty of Bear Season.

In summary, even with the best of preparations, bear encounters can be unpredictable and potentially life-threatening. It is through the sharing of stories, experiences and taking Bear Awareness Safety Courses that we can better understand the complexities of bear behavior and the importance of being vigilant in bear season. By following the steps outlined above and remaining aware of our surroundings, we can minimize the risk of bear encounters and coexist peacefully with these beautiful creatures.

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