Michigan DNR’s Wildlife Division reminding the importance bear-proof camping


Summer may be ending, but Yogi might still be looking for a picnic

Credit to: DNR

The Labor Day weekend is known as the time for end-of-summer camping trips. The Michigan DNR’s Wildlife Division wants to remind campers of the importance bear-proof camping.

Food and toiletries should NEVER be kept in tents and make sure you keep your tent area clean of all food debris. Bears and other woodland critters are very attracted crumbs as well as the larger food scraps.

Stowe your food and toiletries in sealed containers and hand them 12 feet above ground or in an enclosed vehicle.

Store your trash as you would food. A lot of Wildlife is attracted to trash.

And never feed bears or other wildlife as it will compound the chances of suprise encounters in the future.

“While packing for your trip, consider adding a few items to make sure your campsite doesn’t accidently attract bears or other curious wildlife,” said Rachel Leightner, wildlife outreach coordinator for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Division.

Here are a few items to add to your campsite to prevent critters from crashing your weekend:

·         Airtight containers and storage bags – Food and toiletries should NEVER be kept in tents. STORE FOOD AND TOILETRIES IN AIRTIGHT CONTAINERS IN A VEHICLE TRUNK OR suspend food from t Hang containers or storage bags

·         12 FEET ABOVE GROUND, 10 FEET FROM THE TREE TRUNK AND 5 FEET FROM THE NEAREST BRANCH.

·         CLEAN FOOD DEBRIS ON EATING UTENSILS OR SPILLS ON CAMP CHAIRS AND TABLES.

·         STORE TRASH AS YOU WOULD FOOD. BURNING OR BURYING WASTE ATTRACTS BEARS.

“Wildlife may wander through your campsite. But if food is prepared and stored properly and utensils and spills are cleaned, they should continue through,” said Leightner.

NEVER INTENTIONALLY A BEAR OR OTHER WILDLIFE

It’s in the best interest of both people and wildlife to not come in contact. For more tips on preventing encounters with wildlife while camping, visit Michigan.gov/Wildlife.

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