Saturday, April 14, 2007

Bears... (update)

Yesterday I talked about bears being active now that their hibernation season has passed. In this area of the country, one must always be "bear aware", whether hiking in Glacier Park - or behind one's home. Just today I found a story of an Idaho man who was mauled by a grizzly in his back yard, just feet from his home.

It appears that the carcass of a moose was just out of eyesight and a grizzly was making a meal of the carrion. When this fellow went outside to get his Great Pyrenees dog, the grizzly was chasing the dog and turned on the man. He was badly mauled and bitten, but was able to reach his home and get medical attention. You can read the whole bear attack story here...

We hear of such stories every year and most of us always think "that can't happen to me". Well, it CAN and taking extra precautions in bear country is something that we just have to do. So when you take off down a path in Glacier National Park, stay alert for bear signs and treat every blind turn as if a mama and her cubs were standing there waiting for you. Make noise, let her know you're coming. Carry pepper spray and know how to use it.

My purpose in relating these bear stories is not to scare anyone or make you rethink your trip to Glacier. Quite the opposite... I want you to experience this marvelous place and remain safe while you're here. Millions of people visit every year and most never even see a grizzly, let alone have a bad encounter. So like the Boy Scout's motto says, "Be Prepared".

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