2013-08-22 / Outdoors

Outdoors Briefs

DNR offers tips for encounters with bears

LANSING – The Department of Natural Resources reminds residents that Michigan has an estimated black bear population of 8,000 to 10,000 bears with 90 percent of the population in the Upper Peninsula.

Black bears are generally fearful of humans and bear attacks on human beings are highly unusual.

The DNR reminds those living in areas where bears may be present:

• To avoid surprising bears, travel in small groups and make noise.

• If you encounter a bear, stand your ground and then slowly back away. Do not turn away. Do not show fear and run. Do not play dead.

• Make yourself look bigger and talk to the bear in a stern voice.

• Fight back if actually attacked with a backpack, stick, or bare hands.

• Carry pepper spray, which has been shown to be effective in fending off bear attacks.

For additional information on living with bears, visit www.michigan.gov/bear.

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