There’s been a number of recent bear sightings throughout the community.
With bear season still underway – Alberta Fish & Wildlife is encouraging you to stay BearSmart if you’re out on the Birchwood Trails or even just maintaining your property.
Fort McMurray Fish & Wildlife Officer Tyler Murphy tells Mix News there are a number of ways to prepare yourself for a bear encounter.
“Educating yourself on bears and their behaviour and it will go a long way to helping you. At your residence and when you’re out recreating just understand the things that draw them in, what attracts them, and you can help mitigate some of the conflicts we have with them.
Murphy notes it’s vital to make sure your property is free of any unnatural food sources.
That includes keeping birdfeeders inside during the summer, feeding pets indoors and ensuring your waste receptacles are properly cleaned and sanitized.
Murphy says it’s equally important to educate yourself on the best practices to deter bears.
“If you’re going to have bangers and bear spray or other deterrent measures with you – the first time you want to use them is not when you encounter a bear. You want to educate yourself on how to use them and what their effective range and use is.”
Murphy adds bear sightings will likely carry over to mid-October.
If you do see a bear, you’re encouraged to contact Alberta Fish & Wildlife at 780-743-7200.