Bear safety lessons taught in Helena

Posted at 8:04 AM, Aug 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-14 10:04:59-04

HELENA – The Southwest Montana Bear Education Working Group visited Helena’s Montana WILD Education Center on Monday to teach people about bear safety.

The workshop included training on how to handle an encounter with a bear as well as a demonstration about the proper use of bear spray. Volunteers could practice using bear spray as a remote-controlled bear charged.

Bear education officials said it is important to make sure you know how to use bear spray and carry it in a way that is easily accessible. They also said to hike in groups of three or more in bear country and make noise to avoid surprising a bear.

It is also encouraged to carry more than one can of bear spray. When purchasing bear spray, make sure it is FDA-approved. Check the expiration date on all bear spray before going out.

“It’s really important, I think the messages we’re sharing, to make people feel comfortable in bear country, but also to keep bears out of trouble," Danielle Oyler, education coordinator of Southwest Montana Bear Education, said. "It’s part of living in bear country and the culture of living in some in some place wild is to understand our role in that community.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has more information about how to "Be Bear Aware" on their website.

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