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Game and Fish

Hunting in Grizzly Bear Country

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08/01/2010 - The Wyoming Game and Fish urges hunters to use caution when venturing into grizzly bear country during the upcoming hunting season.

When days begin to shorten and food resources start to decline, bears gorge themselves to gain large amounts of weight—this may result in an increase in bear encounters. Hunters can take a number of precautions to avoid conflicts in bear country, foremost is to hunt with a partner and have every hunter carry EPA approved bear spray.

A real key in avoiding encounters with bears is to constantly be on the lookout for bears and bear sign and getting downed game out as quickly as possible so the carcass doesn't have to be left out overnight. Hunters should take the following precautions when hunting in grizzly bear country:

Be aware of your surroundings:

Learn to recognize bear sign and avoid areas with fresh scat, diggings, tracks or carcasses.

Be cautious in dense timber or brush and along creeks and waterfalls.

Always remain alert for sudden encounters.

Handling your downed game:

Have bear spray readily available as you field dress your big game animal.

If possible, hang the carcass at least 10 feet off the ground and four feet away from the support structure. Adult bears standing upright can reach eight or nine feet.

Put some distance between the carcass and the gut pile and position the carcass so that it can be seen from a distance.

If hanging is not possible, place branches over the carcass and leave an article of clothing on it as well. The branches and clothing, if disturbed, may indicate a bear's presence.

When retrieving game, approach the carcass from the upwind direction and observe the surrounding area from a distance with binoculars.

Make a lot of noise when approaching the carcass.

If a bear has claimed your carcass, leave the scene and report the incident to the Game and Fish Department.

Keep a clean camp and obey food storage regulations where they apply

Human food and beverages, horse feeds, dog food, etc. either in possession of left unattended must be kept unavailable to bears unless being consumed, prepared for consumption or transported.

When departing an area, remove all food and refuse from any bear resistant containers left in the area.

Do not sleep in the same clothes that you handled game or cooked in.

Keep sleeping bags, tents and sleeping area free of food and beverage odors.

Keep bear spray readily available while in camp.

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