Wildlife

BTNF stresses safety in grizzly country during fall months

JACKSON, Wyo. — Bridger – Teton National Forest (BTNF) has reminded hunters and the general public that in order to reduce the risk of dangerous grizzly encounters during this time of year, preparation and knowledge of the species are key.

Bears are in a state of hyperphagia during the fall months in which they eat and drink nonstop to put on weight for the winter hibernation. During hyperphagia, bears are very active, seeking out food sources.

“This time of year is critical for bears as they prepare for winter hibernation. They are often in areas you may not expect such as busy trails directly adjacent to more populated areas,” BTNF said.

Wyoming is home to some of the wildest and most pristine wilderness in the lower 48, and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) is one of the few locations a hunter can experience the land and wildlife as it was before the modern era. Because of this, predators such as the grizzly pose a significant threat.

“Here, you’re in grizzly country and it is a bit different in that you as the hunter are here alongside an apex predator: a grizzly bear,” said Todd Stiles, Jackson district ranger for BTNF.

BTNF has reminded recreationists and hunters to carry bear spray, make noise, have a plan, and tell someone where they are going. Storing food and other attractants is not only best practice but also a regulation in most of BTNF.

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