Bear Activity Report

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Bow Valley WildSmart is a program of the Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley and relies entirely on donations and sponsors.
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Report any sightings of bears, cougars or wolves
403.591.7755 (Local)

For all public safety
emergencies call 9-1-1

Bear Activity Reports will resume in the spring

During the winter months, the weekly Bear Activity Reports are replaced with a monthly summary of all Wildlife Activity in the Bow Valley. The next report will be posted soon. 

We would be interested in getting feedback as to the usefulness of the weekly bear activity report for the past season. If you have suggestions for improvements we would love to hear them.

Please submit your comments using our Contact Form.

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


  1. Pat Sullivan
    Posted November 5, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    We really appreciate your weekly bear reports – they help us when choosing which hikes we would like to take on the weekends. Thanks so much!

  2. Venessa Langhorn
    Posted November 5, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    It would be helpful to have the bear activity report emailed in a map format for ease and quickness of use for people not totally familiar with the areas.


  3. derek pirie
    Posted November 6, 2010 at 2:26 am | Permalink

    absolutely brilliant info from you. keep it coming. I agree with vanessa though, a map format would be far easier to use.

  4. Mark Cosslett
    Posted December 1, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    I agree whole-heartedly with Venessa… maps!!! Also, in regard to signage that says “Bear in Area”, an indication of what kind of bear would be useful. If they posted “Shark in Water” on the beaches of Hawaii every time someone sighted a reef shark no one would ever go in the water, for example…

    Having been around both black bears and grizzly’s a great deal and understanding the differences in their behaviour, it would be helpful information for sure. Just as reef sharks behave very differently than tiger sharks do, so it is with grizzly’s and black bears.

    In regard to web site design, I would suggest a search box, as most informational web sites have.

    In regard to informational content, I looked for some indication of the date that bears go into hibernation, and how much it varies from year-to-year depending on food supply, weather, etc… This seems like an obvious one, so I am probably missing it, but didn’t have a search box to do a search. Even better would be to inform with a date every fall as to when it is generally safe to recreate in the Bow Valley without worrying about bears. I assume this date changes every year, so why not post it on the site?… Seems better than, “We won’t be doing bear updates through the winter…” approach.

  5. Kim Titchener
    Posted December 3, 2010 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Hey Mark,

    Thanks for your comments on the website and bear report. I asked our local Senior Wildlife Biologist if he could comment on winter denning dates. Please see below.
    “The exact timing of denning varies with sex, age, reproductive status,
    location, weather. We do not follow the bears here that closely to know
    exactly when they entered dens. They tend to move to a denning location
    when the time is approaching and work on excavating a site. They will
    hang around the spot for a while before actually bedding down. Temp,
    snowfall, shortened daylight, and lack of food are all likely triggers.
    Bears were all mostly still out this year into early November. I would
    not go with some varying date every year and tell people it is now
    “safe” to go out in the woods cause all the bears are asleep. Same as we
    don’t tell people its safe to go hiking around Harvie Heights because we
    have had no recent bear reports there. Dec 1 would be a pretty good
    safe bet though”

    Additionally to that. Please consider carrying bear spray year round, but keep it close to you and warm in the winter. A grizzly was seen near in Lake Louise on Nov 16th, 2010 so be prepared to run into all wildlife year round. We also had a few people disturb a den in the winter a few years ago and were mauled. Best to be prepared.

    In regards to variation in how to handle encounters with grizzly and black bear, please have a look at the Bear safety section. At the most recent Bear-People conflict workshop we all agreed to advise the public to handle bear encounters based on behaviour instead of species.

    Thanks again for your comments.

  6. Mark Cosslett
    Posted December 12, 2010 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Thanks Kim! Keep up the good work, a most useful resource :)

  7. Tim Bratzel
    Posted April 1, 2011 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    I find the Website very interesting and useful. I also agree with Vanessa that a Map Format would be ideal for predator sightings.

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