Tips to be bear aware this fall - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Tips to be bear aware this fall

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Great Falls - This time of the year, tourist season is coming to a close for the National Parks and Forests so you may be thinking of getting some peace and quiet on the trails, but instead-a hungry bear might be just around the corner.

That's why Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) representatives are encouraging hikers and hunters to be bear aware. These animals can spend up to 20 hours a day foraging for food in preparation for their winter hibernation, and although bear attacks are rare, there are still some things you can do to stay safe in their territory. First, you should try to hike or hunt with a partner and make lots of noise when you're walking around. Of course, always carry bear spray and although your instincts may tell you to run if you see a bear, FWP says this is the worst thing you can do.

"Well first off, running from the bear may trigger an aggressive response from the bear and bears can outrun humans," said Bruce Auchly, FWP Information Officer.>

The Fish and Wildlife Service says that some types of bears can run 40 miles per hour or 50 yards in just three seconds. Experts say if you come close to a bear, try backing up slowly and avoid making eye contact with it.

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