Spring Bear Safety

This is the time of year when bears start to emerge from their winter dens. It’s also when more and more people are out and about in the woods. Hiking, camping, or fishing – if you’re outside in Montana you should be bear aware this time of year. Here is a refresher on spring bear safety.


While you’re recreating, make some noise. Especially in areas of dense cover where you can’t see very far. A bear will hear you long before they can see you, as their eyes aren’t very good. Talk to your friend, clink a hiking stick on rocks, sing songs with your kids. Let them know you are there.

This isn’t to say go around making enough of a ruckus to annoy everyone around you. You don’t want to be “that guy” that’s blaring music or yelling and disturbing everyone. The odds are overwhelming that if a bear is in the area and he hears you, he’ll want nothing at all to do with you.

Photo: John Morris Photography


It’s been shown that hiking in groups of three or more greatly reduces your risk of having an ugly encounter with a bear. There are a lot of advantages to having a group. If you’re carrying gear, it can be spread out among everyone so packs are lighter. Lots of us haven’t seen friends in a while, this is a great way to catch up and maintain your distance. (it’s not that hard to hike with six feet distance!). And it’s generally more fun.

Does this mean you should never ever hike alone? No, absolutely not. Just be smart and if you’re going into an area with a high population density of bears, call some friends.


Bear spray is one of those things that should always be on you in the woods. Much, much better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. If you only follow one of these tips for spring bear safety, make it this one. We offer Bear Spray in our camping packages, but if you have any questions please ask!


Far too often in our digital world, we are too consumed with what’s going on on our phone or taking pictures or our own little world to be observant. The outdoors is a different story. You have to pay attention to what’s going on around you. Keep watchful, not only to aid in avoiding dangerous situations, but to see all the wonder around you.

It’s shocking how much more you can see on a simple afternoon hike if you’re paying attention. Keep your head on a swivel and you’ll be amazed.


Again, basic stuff. When you camp, keep things clean. Put your food in a secure cooler at the end of the night, and put that in your truck. Don’t leave trash laying around. Make sure all attractants are properly stowed each night. Bears have an incredible sense of smell and can find stuff that gets left out, just do a sweep of the camp each night and follow the basic protocols and you’ll be just fine.

Spring bear safety is just following the same common sense rules as the rest of the year. Bears are hungry this time of year and you can find them on south facing slopes feeding on the tender new grass growth. They don’t want to bother you any more than you want to bother them. Stay smart, and stay safe.


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