Increased Bear Sightings in Jackson Area

Wildlife officials are urging residents to be bear aware after a recent increase in bear sightings near Jackson.

According to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, bear activity has picked up in recent weeks as winter approaches.

“Bears are feeding around the clock this time of year in preparation for hibernation and we have responded to a number of reported bear conflicts,” Wyoming Game and Fish Large Carnivore Biologist Mike Boyce said. “Both black and grizzly bears have acquired food rewards, primarily improperly stored garbage, throughout the valley.”

Photo by Jacob Swanson

The Game and Fish Department reminded residents not to put garbage out the night before pickup and to store garbage and bird feeders according to Teton County regulations.

The department asks everyone in the area to follow the following guidelines, which are required for Bear Conflict Priority Areas:

  • Store garbage in certified bear-resistant containers or in a secure building or enclosure at all times.
  • All bird feeders are to be hung with a catch pan, at least 10 feet from the ground, deck railing or patio, four feet away from any tree, post or support structure.

“Unfortunately, we are still seeing places where known bear attractants, such as garbage, bird feeders, pet and livestock feed are available to bears,” Boyce said. “We know there are bears passing through developed areas in the valley. It is everyone’s responsibility to make sure bears do not receive human food rewards that keep them in developed areas where they can become a threat to human safety.”

For camping visitors to bear country, the National Parks Service requires all odorous items to be kept in a bear-resistant food storage locker or in a hard-sided vehicle with the doors locked and windows closed, both day and night.

For a full list of NPS requirements, visit https://www.nps.gov/grte/planyourvisit/bear-recreation.htm.

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