Grizzly encounter

By | July 22, 2014

Dick and Janet Leigh wrote in to say that last week they were hiking up Kintla Lake over Starvation and ran into a young grizzly about 20 feet off the trail. Although they got out their pepper spray and yelled at the bear, he just looked at them and went back to his debarking dead fall.  They moved on and met a couple from San Diego who had a harmonica, but no bear spray.  Their thought was… If anyone sees a bear playing a harmonica, please call the park rangers.

They had a question, though.  Should they have peppered the bear anyway in order to train it to stay away from people or at least be more wary of people?  We sent this very good question to Tim Manley, bear specialist for Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.  Here’s Tim’s answer… “I know people that have done it, but I don’t recommend people approach closer to bears just to spray them with bear spray.”

Good advice.  In fact, we would think that there’s no good reason to approach a grizzly bear; for feeding, pictures, or spraying.  Just keep yelling “hey bear” and have that bear spray handy.

Don’t forget about the Bear Fair in Polebridge on Saturday, August 23rd.  Read this earlier post for more information.

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About NFNews Editor

Patti Hart is the editor-in-chief and founder of the Patti lives on the North Fork during the summers and travels the world for the rest of the year, updating NFNews every day wherever there is an internet connection.