IS BEAR COUNTRY! You should expect to meet bears almost anywhere
travel throughout the state. Bear densities are highest in places
where human density is the lowest - the Alaska Peninsula has one of
the highest densities of Brown Bears in the world.
...For thousands of years bears and people have co-existed in
Alaska-fishing the same streams, hunting the same game. Bears held
an important place in the lives of early cultures in Alaska,
traditions included fear and respect. Early pioneers generally
viewed bears as a competitor to be exterminated. Over the past 20
years, however, bear viewing has become increasingly popular, it has
been proven that bear watching can be a safe and rewarding pursuit,
with bears acting both peacefully and predictably.
...Brown Bears come in all sizes and colors. Size ranges from a
20-pound spring cub emerging from the den to a 1200 pound mature
male, fat after a summer of feeding and color ranges from platinum
blonde to deep chocolate. Brown Bears live a long life, 35- year-old
individuals have been documented.
...WHEN A BEAR MEETS A PERSON, IT COMMUNICATES WITH THE PERSON AS
IT WOULD WITH ANOTHER BEAR. UNDERSTANDING THIS BEHAVIOR IS THE BEST
WAY TO AVOID PROBLEMS.
...BEARS ARE PREDICTABLE - They are only unpredictable if we
don't understand them
...BEARS DON'T HAVE AN AGENDA - They are not malicious
animals out to "get" people, in fact bears usually choose to avoid
...BEARS ARE SOCIAL - Bears of one area are familiar with one
another and meetings consist of complex social exchanges.
...BEARS ARE NOT TERRITORIAL - Bears share home ranges,
BEARS WILL DEFEND THEIR PERSONAL SPACE. Bears have a
"critical space" around them-this critical space is different for
every bear and varies from situation to situation.
...BEARS LIVE IN A DOMINANCE HIERARCHY - Mature males
generally at the top, cubs at the bottom. Bears maintain their
relative position within the hierarchy by being combative.
...BEARS ARE CURIOUS ABOUT THEIR ENVIRONMENT - they often
explore and examine new things in their world be it a person walking
or a tent - this is NOT AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR.
...BEARS ARE NOT ALWAYS AWARE - Bears are a top of the food
chain predator-they have few fears. A bear following a trail doesn't
always look ahead and a sleeping bear often sleeps very soundly.
...A STANDING BEAR IS NOT ACTING AGGRESSIVELY - Bears stand
to get a better sense of what has attracted their attention.
...BEARS CAN SEE AT LEAST AS WELL AS WE DO and their sense of
smell is many times more acute than ours.
WITH CUBS ARE NO MORE DANGEROUS THAN ANY OTHER BEAR ALL BEARS HAVE
THE POTENTIAL TO BE DANGEROUS AND SHOULD BE TREATED WITH RESPECT AND
CAUTION, A FEW SIMPLE RULES FOR MOVING THROUGH BEAR COUNTRY BE AWARE
Bears may be where you least expect them!