WYOMING — The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service released a press release this afternoon, urging the public to do their part to keep grizzly bears wild, as they begin emerging from their dens.

According to the service, male grizzly bears tend to emerge from their dens in March and April, and females with cubs typically appear in April and May. 

Residents and visitors in Montana, Wyoming, northeast Washington, and northern and eastern Idaho should assume that grizzly bears may be present and work to avoid conflicts – avoiding a conflict is always easier than dealing with one.   

  • Never approach bears, always stay at least 300 feet away 
  • Practice ethical wildlife viewing 
  • Do not interrupt bear activities 
  • Never feed bears 
  • Store food, garbage and other attractants in a bear-resistant place 
  • Carry bear spray and know how to use it 
  • Avoid recreating alone, stay on maintained trails and make noise 
  • Avoid recreating at dusk, dawn, or night 
  • Never run if you encounter a bear; learn how to handle an encounter 
  • Know and follow public land regulations 

Unsecured attractants like trash a food have the potential to habituate animals to human development and create dangerous food-conditioned behavior. Food-conditioned bears may become aggressive, frequent residential areas and threaten human safety.

  • Secure attractants – anything with an odor such as compost, trash, dog food, livestock food, birdseed, or beehives 
  • Use approved hazing techniques – don’t allow bears feel comfortable near human-occupied dwellings. There are safe ways to tell a bear to move along by making noise, such as yelling and banging pots/pans 
  • Report bear encounter and conflicts to state or tribal wildlife management agencies

On March 9, the first grizzly out of hibernation was spotted in Yellowstone National Park. A pilot supporting research operations observed a grizzly walking in a meadow in the west-central part of the park.

On March 14, Grand Teton National Park announced that the first grizzly sighting of 2022 occurred the day prior.

Buckrail @ Lindsay

Lindsay Vallen is a Community News Reporter covering a little bit of everything; with an interest in politics, wildlife, and amplifying community voices. Originally from the east coast, Lindsay has called Wilson, Wyoming home since 2017. In her free time, she enjoys snowboarding, hiking, cooking, and completing the Jackson Hole Daily crosswords.