How Western Wildfires and Drought Affect Bears’ Natural Habitat

We are not particularly big on hunting, camping, fishing or other outdoor activities but are rather keen observers of nature. Our area is right below the Rocky Mountains and as such is in very close proximity to bear country. We have already seen an abnormal amount of bear activity for early in the hibernating cycle.

Normally bears start collecting food for their winter hibernation in late September or early October to be ready for hibernation in mid to late November. But this year because of drought conditions and Western wildfires, bear activity has far exceeded normal. Their food supply has been cut short thus they are foraging for their winter’s supply of food 4 to 6 weeks early.

Bears are normally very docile creatures except when they’re looking for food. And the two biggest times of the year that they’re looking for food is when they’re preparing for winter hibernation in the fall and coming out of winter hibernation in the spring. At those two times of the year they get very aggressive and are not to be trifled with.

Last week in one of our local neighborhoods two bears were sighted in the backyard of a neighbor rummaging through his covered trash bin. It turns out he had just skinned some fresh trout he had caught the day before and had thrown the bones away. Bears, as you may know, can smell food from as far as a mile away with their extremely sensitive noses.

Since bears are basically vegetarians and their normal food supply of berries is greatly decreased by the wildfires and drought, they are looking for anything that smells good to them.

When folks are out camping, hiking or fishing this time of year they should always carry a bear spray with them as their first line of defense in a bear attack. Mountain lions stalk their prey and give no warning when they attack. Bears, on the other hand, give subtle signs that they are about ready to attack. Those signs could include pawing at the dirt or verbalizing their displeasure with your intrusion on their life.

An EPA approved bear spray has a minimum of 9 ounces in the container. That sounds like a lot, but you need every little bit of it. You want to spray before the bear starts to charge at you and create a wall of mist between you and the bear so when he does charge, he will run into the smell of the bear spray which will repulse him.

Like a commercial used to say “don’t leave home without it” when going into bear country-the bear spray that is.

Frontiersman Bear Spray fires 35 feet and is 50% stronger than most human pepper sprays.

Guard Alaska Spray is by far the most popular bear spray perhaps because it is the least expensive.

The Home Security Superstore is one of the oldest and largest independent distributors of high quality home security, surveillance, spy, self-defense, survival and safety products. We carry a wide range of self-defense products including tasers, stun guns, pepper sprays and other nonlethal weapons that can save your life in the event of an attack.