In his Hungry Horse News column this week, Larry talks about… well, flood and bears. Read his full column here.
In his column, Larry says… All of us, myself included, have contributed to habituating the bears to people. Instead of watching them and taking pictures, we should actively chase them away with noise, whistles, or even gunshots. Let them think they are in danger. In the long run that would probably be safer for the bears and maybe for people too.
You have the right idea, Larry. Everyone should do what they can to discourage bears from hanging around people and structures. But not gunshots. Tim Manley, bear specialist from the FWP, told us that gunshots have no real effect. The noise is near you and all the bear hears is a small pop. And people who are shooting at bears to scare them away have been known to accidentally injure the bear.
We’ve found that the best tool for scaring a bear away is an air horn, like the ones folks use at the stadium to be annoying. You can do it from a window so the bear doesn’t even see you. But it gets the bear’s attention and signals him or her that it’s important that they leave the area.