Sep 2, 2015

Bears becoming more active in rural areas surrounding Cody

As fall approaches, black and grizzly bears are becoming more active in the rural areas surrounding Cody, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department says. For that reason, the department is reminding landowners and outdoor enthusiasts to be bear aware and to take preventative actions to avoid conflicts with bears.

Bear wise community coordinator Dusty Lasseter said that bears have been very active along valley floors and river corridors at lower elevations.

Officials say bruins, like this black bear in Yellowstone National Park, are active around Cody. File photo courtesy Neal Herbert, National Park Service
“Recent bear activity includes sightings of bears on public and private land on the North Fork and South Fork of the Shoshone River valleys, areas around Clark and Meeteetse,” Lasseter said in a Wednesday news release.

The Shoshone National Forest announced last week that it was temporarily requiring hard-sided campers at three North Fork campsites because of unusually high bear activity in the area.

Game and Fish advises rural residents to secure all attractants like garbage, pet food, and livestock feed to cut down on the chance of a problem.

“Bird feeders should either be put away for the rest of the summer or hung at least 10 feet high and four feet from supporting structures,” Lasseter advises. “Barbeque grills should be kept clean or stored in a garage or shed if possible.”

If you live in the rural areas around Cody, officials recommend putting away your bird feeder and grill so as not to attract bears.

Residents should remain alert, watch for evidence of bear activity such as tracks, scat and diggings and be especially cautious along creeks and rivers, the Game and Fish said.

Hikers, anglers, hunters, or anyone else recreating in areas that could be occupied by bears should take precautions and carry a deterrent such as bear spray, the department says.

More information about staying safe in bear country is available on the department's website, including tips for hunters.

The Game and Fish asks anyone who spots a bear in or near a residential areas to immediately call the department at 307-527-7125.

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