Bear Activity Report

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Bear Activity: October 27 to November 2

copyright Gary Larson


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

For the period: October 27 to November 2

Welcome to the weekly bear report!


It was a quiet week for bears in the Bow Valley and the cold weather and snowfall will likely speed up the process of the bears heading into their dens for their winter sleep. We can do our part in helping them go to bed safely by not leaving unnatural foods such as crabapples, pumpkins, garbage and pet food outside for them to feed on. Staying awake longer to look for more food increases the odds that they will get into trouble.

After a cold and snowy Halloween, we have noticed many pumpkins that are still sitting on doorsteps, as well as several that are smashed up in peoples’ yards. Please dispose of your pumpkins properly to help keep wildlife outside of residential areas! In Canmore, pumpkins 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!

Bear proof "pumpkin only" bin at 115 Boulder Crescent Recycling Depot

Bear proof “pumpkin only” bin at 115 Boulder Crescent Recycling Depot

For those skeptics that don’t believe me and think that they are immune to bears on their doorstep, please check out this video of a bear eating a pumpkin on a porch.

Elk continue to be seen hanging out around town and in open fields such as school yards and playing fields. There have also been reports of large groups of elk along the Bow River trails. Remember to give them lots of space (at least 30 m)! It is still elk rutting season and male elk can be especially defensive of the group of females they are protecting. Always be aware of your surroundings and do not get between two male elk, or between a male elk and the group of females he is with.

Remember that it is still hunting season. 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. Here is an insightful article about hunters and bear spray.

Warnings and Closures

-Cougar Closure - West of Yamnuska Day Use Area and Trail to Quarry due to a cougar feeding on a carcass.

-Cougar Warning - Yamnuska Day Use Area and Trail due to multiple cougar sightings and animal carcass in closed area nearby (see above). Respect the adjacent wildlife closure!

-Cougar Warning - Ha Ling Trail due to multiple sightings of a cougar on the trail.

*There are NO current bear warnings or closures in the Bow Valley (east of the Banff park gate to Bow Valley Provincial Park) but that does NOT mean that there are no bears in these areas. You should always remain alert while walking, hiking, running and biking, and remember that bears can be encountered anytime, anywhere!

Additional bear warnings and closures are available here for anyone visiting Kananaskis Country and Alberta Parks.

Additional 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 the 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

In light of the recent cougar warnings and closure in the Bow Valley Area (see Warnings and Closures section above), here is some useful information about Living Smart with Cougars. Some tips for handling cougar encounters are: Do not turn your back on a cougar, maintain eye contact with the cougar, always leave room for it to escape and make yourself appear as large as possible. Click on the following picture to watch a tough little skunk successfully put these helpful tips into action!

skunk pic


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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