Staying Safe While in Bear Country

How to stay safe while recreating in Bear Country

Island Park is home to some of the best backcountry in the United States. With various sporting options, from fly fishing to ATV riding, there is truly something for every outdoor enthusiast. The national forest surrounding Island Park is also home to some of the most diverse wildlife populations, including Grizzly and Black Bears. 

Be Bear-Aware

Whenever you are recreating in the forest surrounding Island Park, you must understand that you are in Bear Country, and bears can be found anywhere at any time. Bears are typically more active at sunrise and sunset, so avoiding recreating at these times is recommended. Some bears may be more active at night, but this does not mean you won’t encounter them during the day. 


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Recreating Safety Tips

  • Carry bear spray. Always have your bear spray ready and in an easily accessible location. Learn how to deploy your pepper spray before you recreate. Know what to do if you do encounter a bear.
  • Make Noise. If possible, travel with a group; talking amongst your group members will help bears hear you from a distance. Bear bells also work well. Bears are more likely to attack when startled, so the goal is to let any bears that may be nearby hear you.
  • Be Aware of Smells. Bears have an excellent sense of smell and can detect smells from many miles away. Secure your food and be aware of odors that might linger.

Learn more about safely storing your food outdoors here:

Safe Food Storage


Always Be Cautious

Bear attacks are very rare, especially if you take proper precautions, but it’s good to know what to do if a bear attacks you. We are so blessed to be able to recreate a place as beautiful as Island Park. Stay safe as you go out and enjoy our beautiful home! 


More Resources!

National Park Service

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Montana FW&P

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Idaho Conservation League

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Join Our Cause!

You can help us make a difference in our community. We need as many hands as we can get to help get the word that Island Park is Bear Country!

Volunteer With Us!

Photo credits: Grizzly image by Charlie Lansche, bottom group image by Tracy River