Alaska, Bear Heaven
Yes, you read the title correctly. If a bear were to choose where to go to spend his afterlife, I am sure that he would choose to spend it in Alaska. After all, where else could he go to have the best fishing in the world? 😀
All joking aside, Alaska may be just as famous for its bears as it is for its salmon. Alaska has an extremely high number of bears per capita for its geographical area. In plain English that means that Alaska has more bears per square mile than just about anywhere else. In fact, in some parts of the state there is one bear per square mile.
If you are one of those folks who chooses to fish, hike, camp, walk, sight see, etc. anywhere in Alaska’s back-country, you will eventually have a bear experience to tell. In the news just this past week, there were a couple stories of of human-bear encounters in Alaska.
Bears are naturally shy animals. Most of the problems occur when people attract the bears with food or garbage, or when the bears are surprised by the human, usually in the bear’s territory. If you are headed into Alaska and plan to spend some of your time in the woods or fishing the rivers, there are some guidelines that you should follow. It is imperative that you take the necessary precautions or you will end up in a conflict sooner rather than later.
Human food and fish or fish remains are a great problem. When visiting or spending time in bear country it is vital that one develop good habits for storing food and garbage where the bears can’t get to them. Food should be stored in bear-proof containers. Keep garbage and food out of your tent and in places where bears can’t get to them.
When fishing, keep fish and waste where the scent won’t attract the bears. Remember that fish smell and blood smell are great bear attractors and handle your fish accordingly.
The Alaska Dept of Fish and Game has a couple of great articles on how to prevent problems with bears and how to deal with bears if they should show up at your fishing spot. Check out the links below for more information.
Be sure to know how to handle bear encounters before you go. It could save your life or the life of your partner. When the bear shows up, there is no time for Google.