Bear scare: 'Baden and Logan saved my life.'

Officials are telling outdoor enthusiasts to take precautions to avoid bear encounters

Published: Tuesday, June 18 2013 5:30 p.m. MDT

He said campers need to survey their campsite and identify what could potentially put off any kind of scent and eliminate those smells with proper cleaning and storage. Keeping food stored in a secure place, such as a car or an enclosed trailer helps as does thoroughly cleaning everything used to prepare, cook and eat meals.

"Make sure all of that's cleaned really well," Hadley said. "Scrub the top of your cooking grill really well, get all the food scraps off it. Clean your dishes and things like that, make sure that's clean. Another thing you can do is don't toss food scraps and other items around your camp area."

He said it's also important to store trash in an area where a bear can't smell or reach it. He said this will protect not only campers, but the bears themselves.

Bear sightings

Kathy Jo Pollock, spokesperson for the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, said there have been as many as nine bear sightings on the Wasatch Front this year, prompting her office to send out a number of bear safety tips. She, too, reiterated the importance of a clean camp and said campers should wipe down their picnic tables, too, and should avoid burning trash or dumping grease into campfires.

"To make it an extremely pleasant trip for them and for the wildlife, they definitely need to make sure that their camps are clean," she said. "It's not just bears, it's other smaller mammals that are also attracted to that —raccoons, skunks."

She warned against eating in our near camping tents. And said to make noise when hiking or walking in the woods to scare off any bears and to do the same if you come upon a bear, but while avoiding eye contact.

"Do not run," she said. "Just make a lot of noise. If you do encounter (a bear) that hasn't heard you coming, back away from the bear. Do not turn your back on the bear, because once you turn, you usually start to run and you start to panic and that panics the bear, too." B

Baden Kelly said he learned how fast even young bears can be. He said he wouldn't have run if he wasn't worried for his sister.

"I feel like I did the right thing," he said. "We're just lucky that bear wasn't any older because it wasn't able to run fast enough to catch up to us."

Email: emorgan@deseretnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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