Here in Northern Ontario it's Black Bear season. I've only ever come across one while driving down the road - there was a Mama and 2 cubs crossing in front of me.
I thought I would post a few tips of what to do if you come across one while hiking, biking, walking the baby in the stroller, etc... Please remember these are only tips that I've taken from several sources and the best course of action is to always avoid them.
- Stop and remain calm, assess the situation and try to understand what message the bear is conveying before you decide what to do.
- Never approach a bear.
- Don't run - unless reaching a safe place is guaranteed. Bears can out run you and can reach speeds of 50 km/h.
- Bears are excellent climbers and strong swimmers - remember this before you decide to climb a tree or jump in the lake to get away.
- If you're near a building or car, get inside.
- Make yourself as large as you can by reaching your arms over your head and yelling loudly. If it thinks you are bigger than it, chances are it won't approach. ( Many people that live in my area have suggested this one.)
- Carry a loud whistle or air horn with you when walking or jogging.
Some tips for Bear proofing your Backyard:
- Keep garbage indoors or in a closed shed and don't put it out to the curb until the day of pickup.
- Keep pet food indoors.
- Bird feeders should be at least 8 - 12 feet above the ground.
- Pick fruit from trees as soon as it's ripe.
As soon as the weather gets a bit nicer and my back stops hurting so much I plan on starting a walking routine with Miss Pearl and you can be sure that I'll have a whistle, (probably and air horn too), and my cell phone with me. The road we walk on has dense brush and forest on both sides with only a few homes scattered here and there.