BY SHAIN GILLET
Clipper Sports Editor
WOODS CROSS — Most places in Utah will be ‘bear free” zones during the Memorial Day Holiday weekend, but bears often can turn up at any moment, and it’s important that residents know what to do in order to avoid a confrontation with one.
Fortunately, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources said it’s easy to lure a bear away from an area simply by following certain tips.
Black bears are the only species that live in Utah, said the division’s John Shivik, mammals coordinator. Bears are usually scared of people and will do anything to avoid confrontation.
“That can change,” he said, “If a bear starts to associate your campsite with food. They have an incredible sense of smell and they have no problem eating the same foods we do.”
The biggest piece of advice Shivik offered in order to avoid black bears is to cut down on food smells while camping.
He offers four tips:
Ґ Store food and all scented items in areas unreachable by bears
Ґ Keep the cooking grill clean
Ґ Keep the campsite and surrounding areas clean
Ґ Never feed a bear
By following those four tips, Shivik said residents will not only help themselves, but will help future campers as well.
“The food you leave out and the litter you leave behind could bring a bear to that same area after you leave,” he said. “That could create some serious problems for the people who camp in the area after you.”
More safety tips are available at DWR’s website, wildlife.utah.gov/learn-more/bear-safety.html.