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  • According to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Maine is one of 32 states that allows bear hunting. Of those, 23 states allow either hunting with bait, dogs, or both.

    After being trapped by Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife biologists, a 246-pound female black bear looks toward human visitors in 2010. The bear was trapped and later released as part of the state’s ongoing bear research project. BDN photo by Bridget Brown

  • Bear management attitudes have changed since the early days of the park's history when little was done to keep bears from becoming conditioned to human food. Decades ago, the National Park Service maintained several bear feeding areas in the park where bears were fed for entertainment reasons.

    Visitors who encounter a bear should keep their distance for safety and respect for themselves and the animal. in undeveloped areas, they should remain at least 50 yards from it. If they encounter a bear in developed areas, they should stand their ground and scare the bear away by raising their arms and making very loud noises. Black bears may show dominance by bluff charging, especially when guarding food or cubs. Attacks are rare, and no one has been killed or seriously injured by a black bear in Yosemite.

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    I have been bearing
    you have been bearing
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    Black bears fascinate wildlife enthusiasts due to their unique biology and behaviors. Most of Yosemite's black bears, despite their name, are not black, but are brown in color. Truly black-colored black bears are rare in the Southwest. Black bears vary greatly in size--the largest black bear captured in Yosemite weighed 690 pounds, which is much larger than the typical male found here that usually weighs around 250 pounds. Bears weigh the most in fall when gorging on acorns and other seasonal foods. This enables them to gain fat and survive winter--consuming up to 20,000 calories a day. (That is a lot of calories, equating to a human eating 40 Big Mac sandwiches in a day.) Bears hibernate in hollow trees or logs, under the root mass of a tree, or in caves formed by a jumble of large rocks. While hibernating, bears enter a state of reduced body temperature, pulse rate, and respiration that conserves energy, and do not defecate nor urinate, but can metabolically extract energy from body wastes. Their "sleep" is not a deep one. Black bears often leave the den periodically. After emerging from winter dens, bears feed largely on meadow grasses, which are low in nutrition but sustain them until berries of various plant species ripen and other foods become available that provide higher calories. Bears also eat ants, termites, and insect larvae ripped out of logs or dug from the ground. The oldest bear known in Yosemite was a 32-year-old female first captured in the Tuolumne Meadows area in the 1980s.

Bearman's Bear Attacks And Bear Spray

Avoid bears whenever possible and give it every opportunity to avoid you. If you do encounter a bear at close distance, remain calm. Attacks are rare. Most bears are only interested in protecting food, cubs or their “personal space,” so give them plenty of space. Identify yourself as human. Talk to the bear in a normal voice. Wave your arms. Help the bear recognize you. If a bear cannot tell what you are, it may come closer or stand on its hind legs to get a better look or smell. A standing bear is usually curious, not threatening. You may try to back away slowly and diagonally, but if the bear follows, stop and hold your ground.

Don’t run. You cannot out run a bear and, like dogs, they will chase a fleeing animal. A charging bear might get to within a few feet of you before stopping. Continue waving your arms and talking to the bear. If it does not leave or continues to approach, become more defensive. Raise your voice, beat on pans, use noisemakers, and throw rocks or sticks. Drive a bear off rather than let it follow you. If with a group, stand shoulder to shoulder to present a larger outline. Defend yourself against a bear entering your tent or cabin.