Bear Activity Report

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Report any sightings of bears, cougars or wolves
403.591.7755 (Local)

For all public safety
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Bear Activity: October 19 to October 25


(Banff National Park East Gate to Bow Valley Provincial Park)

For the period: October 19 to October 25, 2018

Welcome to the weekly bear report!


If you are wondering if the bears have gone into their dens…the answer is NO! Most of the bears in the Bow Valley and K-Country are still out and about looking for more food, and a grizzly bear was recently seen west of Canmore. As long as there is food available for bears, they will likely not head into their dens. A variety of factors influence when they go to sleep, including the scarcity of food, the amount of snow, and temperature. These days, the easiest food for bears to eat are unnatural foods such as crabapples, pumpkins, garbage, oats and pet food.


Halloween is around the corner so please be proactive and help keep your children and the children in your neighbourhood safe by placing pumpkins inside of windows and NOT on your doorstep. Pumpkins act as a wildlife attractant to all sorts of animals, not just bears. Pumpkins placed inside windows can still be enjoyed by trick-or-treaters, but you won’t end up with a nasty fright if a bear shows up on your doorstep. If you must put pumpkins outside on Halloween, make sure that you take them inside before you go to bed. You might think that your pumpkin is safe outside on a balcony, far off the ground, but bears are very good climbers. Check out this video of an ingenious bear climbing up onto a balcony.

Keep your yard bear free by placing pumpkins in windows

Keep your yard bear free by placing pumpkins in windows

Going to bed early is good for kids and for bears, as it keeps them out of trouble. Getting into trouble at this time of year for a bear is not good, as relocating a bear just before hibernation rarely works out well for the bears. Give them a hand by making sure your yard is free of attractants.

Elk continue to be seen around town and in open fields, school yards and playing fields. A reminder that it is elk rutting season and that male elk are particularly protective of nearby female elk, becoming aggressive towards anything that comes too close. Be aware of the elk, give them lots of space (at least 30m or 3 school bus lengths) and calmly leave the area if you see elk or other wildlife. Never get between a male and female elk and be sure to keep pets on-leash. If an elk does charge, prepare to use your bear spray and try to move behind a large object (i.e. car, large tree) and keep it between you and the elk. Never approach elk as they are wild animals that need their space, and they can react unpredictably!


It is still hunting season so please be aware of your surroundings and stay clear of dead animals. Hunters should always carry and use bear spray as the first line of defence, even if they are carrying a gun. Bear spray should be carried in an easily accessible location; you need to know how to use it and be prepared to use it.

Current Warnings and Closures

Here is a list of some Annual Closures in Kananaskis Country.

*Bears are not only found in closure and warning areas. You should always remain alert while walking, hiking, running and biking, and remember that bears can be encountered anytime, anywhere!

A complete list of all warnings and closures are available here for anyone visiting Kananaskis Country and Alberta Parks.

A complete list of all warnings and closures are available here for Banff National Park.

For more information on areas in the Bow Valley frequented by bears at this time of year visit our human-bear conflict summary map.

The information above is based upon a compilation of bear information provided by government agencies and unconfirmed sightings reported by the public over the last week. It is not intended to be used as a real time, complete record of where bears are in the valley.

And Now some Paws-itive News

Bears and other wildlife such as deer, elk, moose and coyotes may be attracted to residential neighborhoods with pumpkins sitting out for Halloween, and there are already many pumpkins out on doorsteps throughout Canmore. As soon as possible after Halloween, please dispose of your pumpkins properly to help keep wildlife outside of residential areas! Starting on Oct.30, the Town of Canmore will have recycling programs for pumpkins and they can be taken to the bear proof “Pumpkin Only” bins at the 115 Boulder Crescent Recycling Depot (open 8 am – 5 pm, 7 days a week) and downtown between Save on Foods and Canadian Tire (open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week). Remember to remove candles and other non organic decorations as the bins are for PUMPKINS ONLY!


Please recycle pumpkins for wildlife’s sake!


Important Note:

Please do not use the comment box to report sightings of wildlife.

Report any sightings of a bear, cougar, wolf or any aggressive wildlife in Kananaskis or the Bow Valley to Kananaskis Emergency Services 403.591.7755

For current postings of Bear Warnings, Wildlife Warnings and Closures please visit the following page:
Kananaskis Country - Advisories and Public Safety

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