When camping, hiking, walking, cycling, or fishing in California’s bear country, it’s important to take special precautions to avoid black bear encounters. While black bears rarely become aggressive, their safety and ours depends on how we behave. Follow these simple steps listed below to do your part.
Bear Wise Behavior – Bass Lake Near Yosemite
Do not feed the bears!
It’s our responsibility to protect black bears by giving them plenty of space to live and find their own natural food sources. Black bears love to scrounge through campgrounds and RV parks in search of a tasty morsel, and when we feed them, they lose their natural fear of people. Have you ever heard the phrase, “A fed bear is a dead bear?” When bears learn to source food from people, their chances of being shot or killed increase. Keep the furry little guys alive by storing food and garbage properly.
Don’t approach bears or entice them to approach you.
If you see a bear while camping, hiking, etc., keep a safe distance. You should never chase, approach, or corner a bear. Instead, give the bear an escape route. Enjoy bears from a safe distance and stay at least 50 yards away. If you see a bear while driving, pull over away from the roadway and view the bear from the safety of your vehicle.
Discourage bear break-ins.
Keep doors and windows closed and locked when unoccupied. Securely store human food, pet food, and toiletries inside bear-resistant food canisters or bear lockers. Remove unsecured food from inside your vehicle. Remove unsecured food or strongly scented items in your tent.
Keep your campsite clean.
Remove trash regularly – Check with campground staff about removal or storage options. Always clean the BBQ grill immediately after each use and avoid cleaning fish at your campsite. When you are finished eating, clean all dishes, dispose of trash and change out of clothes you cooked or ate in before going to bed.