JACKSON, WY — Where there are berries, there are bears. And there are plenty of berries along Cache Creek and Snow King.
Buckrail first received reports of a possible grizzly up Cache Creek at the beginning of August, but the bear seemingly went back into hiding. Then yesterday, Friends of Pathways reported that several people had seen a bear on Ferrin’s, just below the Hagen highway.
Wyoming Game & Fish Public Information Officer Mark Gocke said his office has gotten several reports of a bear up Cache Creek. It hasn’t confirmed what kind of bear, but there have also been several reports of black bears feeding on berries behind the cemetery by Snow King. It’s not an unusual place for bears to be — there are tons of berries, and bears are getting ready to start hyperphagia (fattening up for the winter).
“Lots of residential areas have berries in them, and that tends to draw primarily black bears,” Gocke said.
Game & Fish saw photos of the (or, a) reported bear up Cache that looks like a black bear. The important thing is none of the bear reports have just been of sightings, not of conflicts. “It’s not uncommon for people to see bears up there,” Gocke said. “As long as everybody’s staying out of trouble, we’re good with that.”
Game & Fish expects more reports of bear sightings as fall draws nearer. Gocke said they appreciate the heads up. “The sooner we know about a potential conflict, the more options we have to move bears to better habitat where there’s less conflict.”
It’s always a good idea to carry bear spray on the trails, even right next to town. Bear sightings are fine. Bear conflicts are not. The closer we get to fall, the hungrier bears are going to be, so be extra diligent about food storage and trash, Gocke said. Especially trash.
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