Laramy just wrapped up his 2019 spring bear season in Idaho and it wasn’t without some excitement. Because he had to leave for a couple of days, Laramy says that his videographer was checking bait sites and trail cameras for him while he was away. During that time, he encountered a bear that ended up charging him, shredding his backpack and circling him for hours. After hearing about the encounter, Laramy says he headed out when he got back and ended up running into the same aggressive bear. Every bear is an individual, just like people, he says, they have different attitudes and temperaments. This bear in particular had a bad attitude, was a fighter with scars all over, very aggressive and had no fear of humans. The bear ended up circling them yet again, huffing at the them and posturing and at just 15 yards Laramy ended up having to dispatch it. This is the kind of bear that could hurt somebody, Laramy says.
Understanding bear behavior, how to minimize encounters and how to handle yourself should you run into one is essential if you are going to be recreating in bear country. Summer is camping season and a lot of people will be headed out into the backcountry for a little off the grid rest and relaxation. Laramy says that campers need to think about all the things that can attract bears to their camps and try to avoid that. The biggest thing is to be clean, he says. Bears have an incredible sense of smell and when food and/or trash are left out, it’s an open invitation for bears to wander into your camp for an easy meal. The problem with being careless and leaving food out in bear country is that the more it happens, the more the bears get used to it and become habituated to people, ultimately losing their fear of humans. When they lose that fear of humans, things become much more dangerous. When we step into the outdoors, we are living and recreating on their turf and we have to be respectful. So, Laramy says it’s important for people to be clean, pick up, hang your food high, tie up your trash and secure it, keep your goods in bear proof containers, keep food away from your camp, etc. Being smart will help you avoid bear encounters and it will also protect the bears.
Firearm or bear spray? In a run in with a bear, what is more effective and what should outdoor adventurers have on their person as they take to the backcountry this summer? Laramy says, personally, he prefers a pistol. However, in a situation where you are face to face with an aggressive bear, he notes that many people may find it very difficult to maintain their composure and if that’s the case, they likely won’t be able to make a good shot. In that instance, bear spray will probably be the better bet, he says. Overall, your reaction to a bear encounter is important. Being able to stay calm and composed, not show your fear and certainly not turning and running is crucial. It becomes even more important if you have kids with you. Laramy explains how to keep kids safe in bear encounters and also highlights some basic safeguards you should put in place when you are bringing kids into bear country. Never walk anywhere by yourself, Laramy says. Stay in groups, don’t go far from camp, if you want to venture further you need to bring an adult along. He highlights some basic rules that will keep kids safe in the outdoors.
As a die-hard outdoorsman, Laramy understands the need to reconnect today’s youth with nature. Summer camping trips are a great way to do that. While cell service is available virtually anywhere today, he says it’s important that adults make the effort to completely unplug, get off their phones and devote their time and attention to their kids. Getting them away from technology and the regular rat race of life and letting them experience the outdoors, nature and all that it has to offer is important. Laramy will also briefly highlight what’s to come in the brand-new season of “Last of a Breed” set to premiere on Sportsman Channel, July 6th at 10:00 a.m. EST.
Pick up pro tips for recreating in bear country this summer from Laramy “Sasquatch” Miller. Listen in!