Bighorn National Forest visitors urged to be bear aware

Sheridan, Wyo. (July 2, 2014) – Bighorn National Forest managers want to remind everyone to take precautions to avoid encounters with black bears.

     Bears recently have been seen wandering through campgrounds. “In most situations, bears will avoid humans. But, bears can become aggressive when searching for food. Once a bear receives a food reward, it becomes habituated to humans and will usually return to the same place or visit another campsite or garbage can,” said district ranger Clarke McClung. “That’s a death sentence for the bear.”

     Following these safety tips will help ensure a safer visit to the forest, for you and the bears.
  • Keep a clean camp. Store food, garbage, toiletries, cooking utensils, dishes, and stoves in closed vehicles or approved bear-resistant containers. Coolers are not bear resistant.
  • Never put food scraps in the campfire.
  • Do not keep food, or anything with an odor, in tents.
  • Any strange odor will attract a bear. Bears will target motor oil, insect repellent, liquor, livestock feed, and other items that look like food.
  • When walking in the woods, make noise, be alert, and carry bear repellant pepper spray and keep it handy.
  • Sleep away from your cooking area.
“Visitor safety is our primary concern,” said McClung. “Securing attractants minimizes bear-human conflicts.”

     Conflicts with bears should be reported to the local game warden or Forest Service office. Brochures with instructions on proper food storage and clean camping techniques are available at Bighorn National Forest and Wyoming Game & Fish Department offices. For more information about bears, visit
Filed Under :
Topics : Environment
Location : SheridanWyoming
People : Clarke McClung
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