BeAware of Bears

Bear Country

We do have bears that on live on the resort property.  While an encounter is unlikely, it is always a good idea to be prepared.  

Guests should be aware that high bear activity can occur in any area, and that your safety is not guaranteed. To increase your odds for a safe visit, please follow best practices for living and recreating in bear habitat. Stay alert and be prepared to react appropriately during possible encounters, and always report any unusual bear interactions as soon as possible.

Dogs + Bears = Trouble

You must keep your dog on a leash no longer than 6 feet at all times.

Tips for Enjoying the Resort with Dogs:

  • Carry bear spray and know how to use it: it works from 30 feet away.
  • Stay alert; music and phones are distracting.
  • If you see a bear, turn around and leave.
  • Don’t let your dog bark at, harass, chase, or corner a bear.
  • If your dog gets into a fight with a bear, don’t rescue it. You will get injured. Use bear spray.

Dogs are involved in the majority of all physical encounters involving people and black bears. Black bears are not normally aggressive or confrontational, but will defend food and cubs and fight back when cornered. If your dog gets into an encounter with a bear, there’s about a fifty percent chance it will be injured or killed—and an even higher chance you’ll be injured if you intervene. If your dog runs after a bear, it may bring the bear back to you.

Leashes Save Lives

Letting your dog off leash is dangerous. Don’t put your dog and yourself at risk. Please, leash up.

What Do I Do If I See a Bear?

Bears in the resort are wild and their behavior can be unpredictable. Although extremely rare, attacks on humans can occur, inflicting serious injuries and death. Treat bear encounters with extreme caution!

If you see a bear:

  • Remain watchful.
  • Do not approach it.
  • Do not allow the bear to approach you.
  • If the bear is at a distance, feeding, or walking by and notices you but continues its natural behavior, no action is needed on your part. Proceed while continuing to observe the bear.
  • If your presence causes the bear to change its behavior (stops feeding, changes its travel direction, watches you, etc.) you are too close.
  • Being too close may promote aggressive behavior from the bear such as running toward you, making loud noises, or swatting the ground. The bear is demanding more space. Don’t run, but slowly back away, watching the bear. Increase the distance between you and the bear. The bear will probably do the same.

If a bear persistently follows or approaches you, without vocalizing or paw swatting:

  • Change your direction.
  • If the bear continues to follow you, stand your ground.
  • If the bear gets closer, talk loudly or shout at it.
  • Act aggressively to intimidate the bear.
  • Act together as a group if you have companions. Make yourselves look as large as possible (for example, move to higher ground).
  • Throw non-food objects such as rocks at the bear.
  • Use a deterrent such as a stout stick.
  • If you are carrying bear spray, begin to discharge it when the bear comes within 20 yards of you. 
  • Don’t run and don’t turn away from the bear.
  • Don’t leave food for the bear; this encourages further problems.
  • Don’t discharge a firearm; this can cause a safety hazard for other guests.

If the bear’s behavior indicates that it is after your food:

  • Separate yourself from the food.
  • Slowly back away.

If the bear shows no interest in your food and you are physically attacked, the bear may consider you as prey:

  • Fight back aggressively with any available object!
  • Do not play dead!
  • Bears have color vision and a keen sense of smell. In addition, they are good tree climbers, can swim very well, and can run 30 miles per hour.

Bear Behavior

Bears are most active during early morning and late evening hours in spring and summer. Mating usually takes place in July. Both female and male bears may have more than one mate during the summer.

Bears choose a denning site with the coming of cold weather. Dens are usually hollow stumps, tree cavities, or wherever there is shelter.   Bears do not truly hibernate, but enter long periods of sleep. They may leave the den for short periods if disturbed or during brief warming trends.

One to four cubs are born during the mother’s winter sleep, usually in late January or early February. Bears weigh eight ounces at birth. Females with newly born cubs usually emerge from their winter dens in late March or early April. Commonly born in pairs, the cubs will remain with the mother for about eighteen months or until she mates again.

Garbage and Food Scraps Kill Bears

The bear’s keen sense of smell leads it to insects, nuts, and berries, but the animal is also enticed by the tantalizing smells of human food and garbage such as hot dogs, apple cores, chips, and watermelon rinds left on the ground in picnic areas, camping areas, and along trails. Feeding bears or allowing them access to human food and garbage causes a number of problems:

  • It changes the bear’s behavior and causes them to lose their instinctive fear of humans. Over time, these bears may begin approaching people in search of food and may become more unpredictable and dangerous.
  • Bears that obtain human food and garbage damage property and injure people. These bears pose a risk to public safety. They can also teach other bears this dangerous behavior. Often, they must be euthanized.
  • Studies have shown that bears that lose their fear of people by obtaining human food and garbage never live as long as bears that feed on natural foods and are shy and afraid of people. Many are hit by cars and become easy targets for poachers.

Visitors are urged to view all wildlife at a safe distance and to never throw food or garbage on the ground or leave it unattended. Garbage Kills Bears!