Bears are cool. They’re big, fuzzy, and have cute noses. But bears are dangerous too. They can cause some serious harm, and even death, if threatened. Coming across a bear in the wilderness is bad news. Here are 3 ways that you can tell if a bear has been nearby, and how to not scare them.
In the later parts of the year, but before hibernation, bears will frequently forage for berries and nuts. Signs of this include broken foliage and fallen/broken berries and nuts on the ground. The problem here is that it’s difficult to tell if a bear has done this or just another animal. You might surprise a foraging bear if you make too much noise near dense thickets, especially if you’re downwind and they cant smell you coming.
Do bears do that in the woods? They sure do. Obviously, if bear poop is nearby, so are bears. Take a moment to examine the droppings. If it appears hairy, runny, and smelly, it might mean that the bear has been eating meat. That is a sign that a carcass might be nearby. Bears are extremely defensive about their food and will protect their recent kill. Avoid this area.
This might be the most obvious sign of bear activity, and likely the first one you’ll notice. Bears in established campgrounds often associate campers with food, and will sometimes raid these camps. How rude. Signs of this are scratch marks near the fire pit, scattered trash (please don’t litter if you’re camping), and nearby droppings. If it looks like a bear has been rummaging your campsite, it’s best to pitch your party elsewhere.
Bears are no joke. Remembering these facts could save the day at your next corporate camping retreat or family gathering. Stay safe, Preppers.