Photo Courtesy: Taylor Chartrand

The Town of Smithers issued an online release last week saying there was increased bear activity noticed around the perimeter trail near Canadian Tire.

Conservation Officer in the Bulkley-Lakes zone Brandon Beck says his office has confirmed these reports.

For this time of year, increased bear activity is not out of the norm.

With a few tips and tricks around the trail systems, here’s Beck.

“It’s always best to be aware and prepared for any potential bear encounter. If you’re living in those impacted areas, make sure you limit the number of attractants such as garbage and be sure to pick fruit from the bushes. If you are about and about using the trails, it’s never a bad idea to have bear mace on you. Walking around with pets can be fairly common as well so it is asked that all animals are kept on a leash.”

Although it may be first instinct to run when you see a bear, Beck advises against that.

“If you see a bear and decide to take off abruptly, you may trigger their predatory instinct and that could cause them to chase you. In these instances, it’s best to stay calm, cool, and collected as the bear is most likely more scared of you. If you come across a bear, give them their distance. Back away slowly and try not to disturb them. I would also recommend that you make a bit of noise before heading into any wooded area. That will give bears the opportunity to know you’re there and they will most likely take off in the other direction.”

Beck says the Bulkley-Lakes Conservation Office is dealing with a regular amount of bear complaints for this time of year.

If you spot any animals that pose a risk to the community, it is asked that you contact the Smithers Conservation Office at 1-877-952-7277.