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Black bears are excellent climbers and can run up to 35 mph — you cannot out-climb or outrun them.
PARK CITY, Utah — Recreators have reported bear activity on Park City trails.
According to the Mountain Trails Foundation, trail users reported bear activity in the Armstrong/HAM/Dawn’s trail area.
Thousands of black bears live all throughout Utah, except for the west desert. Bears typically become more active during the fall as they engage in a process called hyperphagia, where they eat and drink almost nonstop to prepare for hibernation.
The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources has provided several tips for staying safe while hiking in bear country, and what to do if you encounter a black bear.
- Stay alert at dawn and dusk, when bears are more active
- Go with a group, if possible
- Make noise as you travel through dense cover
- Stay away from animal carcasses
- Store food, trash and scented items (such as sunscreen) in airtight plastic bags
- Keep kids in the center of the group
If you encounter a black bear:
- Stand your ground. Never back up, lie down or play dead. Stay calm and give the bear a chance to leave. Prepare to use your bear spray or another deterrent.
- Don’t run away or climb a tree. Black bears are excellent climbers and can run up to 35 mph — you cannot out-climb or outrun them.
- Know bear behavior. If a bear stands up, grunts, moans or makes other sounds, it’s not being aggressive. These are the ways a bear gets a better look or smell and expresses its interest.
If a black bear attacks:
- Use bear spray. Then leave the area. Studies have shown bear spray to be 92% successful in deterring bear attacks.
- Shoot to kill. If you use a firearm, never fire a warning shot — aim for the center of the bear and keep firing until it is dead. Notify the Division of Wildlife Resources immediately.
- Always fight back. And never give up! People have successfully defended themselves with almost anything: rocks, sticks, backpacks, water bottles and even their hands and feet.