Bears are awake! 5 smart ways to be #headsup in bear country

(Fremont County, Wyo.) - It’s that time of year again when bears are waking up and people are starting to enjoy the great outdoors. As spring arrives, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department reminds outdoor enthusiasts to be “bear aware" and take the necessary precautions to avoid conflicts with large carnivores. We know they're out as Red Lodge Mountain had a cub visitor over the weekend: EMBED HERE Large Carnivore Conflict Coordinator Brian DeBolt in Lander said, “Typically, male bears emerge from their dens in mid-March and April, while females and young-of-the-year cubs emerge in late April and early May,” DeBolt said. “The best way to manage conflicts is to be proactive and try to prevent them from happening. So, it’s good to know that in most conflict situations, bears do not interact with people; rather, they obtain unsecured human foods, livestock or pet foods, garbage, or birdseed from developed areas, many times resulting in property damage,” according to Lasseter. Here are *5 tips to stay bear aware* when you're recreating in bear country according to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department: 1. For those of you who live in bear country, *keep garbage, livestock feed and birdseed properly stored* and unavailable to bears. 2. Learn to recognize areas of heavy bear use by knowing how to *identify tracks, scats, and diggings*, and if you smell a carcass, avoid it. 3. Flocks of magpies or ravens often indicate a nearby potential food source for bears. Remember, *when bears scavenge large animals they often cover what they can’t eat with brush or dirt* and may stay nearby for several days to defend it from other bears. 4. *Antler hunters* should be aware as they search the foothills for sheds, as bears tend to wander over the same big game winter ranges in search of winter-killed deer and elk. 5. Commercially available *bear spray is effective* for stopping aggressive bears. Carry bear spray in a readily accessible manner and know how to use it. #headsup #reboot #news [image: bf10f41a-71c8-4e22-a697-6159c47429f1.png]