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Camping & RVs
Wilderness Travel & Land Use
- Into the Yukon Wilderness
- Leave No Trace
- Wilderness Tourism Operators
- Park Permits
- Dempster Hwy Development Permit
Conservation Area Planning
Hunting in Yukon
Fishing in Yukon
Trapping in Yukon
- Trapping Regulation Highlights
- Humane Trapping Standards
- Trapper Education
- Development Concession - CAPS
- Yukon Trapper Profiles
Hunter & Trapper Education & Resources
- Wildlife Viewing Program
- Wildlife Viewing Events
- Viewing Tips & Etiquette
- Best Viewing Sites
- Through the Seasons
- Bird Watching
- Swan Haven
- Celebration of Swans
- Southern Lakes Bear Study
- Winter Ticks
- Wildlife Diseases & Contaminants
- Wildlife Management Modelling
Fish & Wildlife Planning
- Climate Change and Yukon
- Climate Change Action Plan
- Impacts of Climate Change
- Climate Change Adaptation
- Water & Climate Change
- Climate Change & Youth
- Yukon Government Initiatives
Air & Water
Waste & Chemicals
Clean Northern Living
- Household Hazardous Waste
- Spill Reporting
- Help Stop Invasive Species
- Turn in Poachers & Polluters (TIPP)
- Warming Up Your Vehicle
- Wood Burning Tips
- Family Fishing Events
- Canada's Parks Day
- Volunteer Opportunities in Yukon Parks
- How You Can Help Wildlife Studies
- Environmental Awareness Fund
- Joining Boards & Councils
- Community Organizations
- Proposed Conrad Campground
- Act to Amend the Environment Act
- Permitting System Review
- Proposed Atlin Lake Campground
- Pesticide Application Review
- EnviroWild Resources for Educators
- Resource Guides
- Environmental Monitoring Programs for Students
- Backyard Biodiversity
- BIGFOOT/littlefoot Game
- Environment Education Links
About the Department
Maps & GIS Data
Photo by Eric Bonnett
Bears are magnificent, fascinating animals. Although people and bears have been interacting for thousands of years, the relationship has often been based more on fear than understanding.
If you understand and apply a few safety principles, you can make your next trip into bear country safer for both you and the bears.
On this page, you will find:
- Safety when Roadside Bear Viewing
- Safety When Walking or Hiking
- Safety When Fishing
- Safety When Camping
- Bear Safety Resources
Safety When Roadside Bear Viewing
- If there is traffic behind you, keep your eyes on the road and don’t stop.
- If there is no other traffic near you, slow down and pull over where it is safe to do so.
- Don’t stop in the middle of the road, or close to a hill or curve.
- At all times…
- Stay in your vehicle!
- Remain a respectful distance from the bear.
- If the bear retreats or seems to ignore you…
- Take pictures, watch for a few moments, and then move on.
- Keep your vehicle on the shoulder of the road.
- Never feed a bear.
- If the bear approaches your vehicle…
- Leave immediately. This bear may have been previously fed by people and could be dangerous.
- Stay alert. Keep an eye out for bears so you can give them plenty of room. Look for recent bear sign such as tracks, scats, fresh diggings or tree scratches (If you see any of these, be especially cautious).
- Choose routes with good visibility where possible.
- Travel in groups.
- Make noise to let bears know you’re coming, especially in thick brush, berry patches or near running water.
- Loud talking or singing is better than using bells.
- Don’t approach a bear for a closer look or better photo. Use binoculars or a telephoto lens.
Safety When Fishing
- Stay alert. Keep an eye out for bears so you can give them plenty of room. Look for recent bear sign such as tracks, scats, fresh diggings or partly eaten fish. (If you see any of these, be especially cautious.)
Fish with a friend. Bears are less likely to be aggressive toward groups of people.
- Make noise, especially when your visibility is limited. If a bear hears you coming it will probably leave the area
- Gut your catch at the shoreline, not at camp. Put the guts in the water. Pop the air bladder so the guts will sink.
- Try not to get fish odours on your clothes. Wash your hands, knife and cutting board after cleaning the fish.
- Keep your fish cooler in your vehicle. If tenting, store fish and food away from your tent in bear-resistant and odour-proof containers.
Safety When Camping
- Choose a campsite well away from wildlife trails, spawning streams, signs of recent bear activity, and bear foods such as berry patches.
- In the backcountry, always burn your garbage thoroughly then pack out the unburned items, e.g. tins. Garbage can also be simply stored in bear-resistant and odour-proof containers and packed out.
- Keep a clean camp.
- In a campground, use the bear-proof garbage cans provided.
- Don’t bring greasy, smelly foods like bacon and canned fish.
- Store and cook food well away from your campsite, downwind if possible.
Bear Safety Resources
Conservation Officer Services
Government of Yukon
Box 2703 (V-18)
Phone (Whitehorse): 867-667-8005
District Conservation Officers: