Bear Protection

Most people visiting the Refuges do not bring firearms but do bring bear repellant spray. Commercial guides and those that are comfortable with firearms often bring a shotgun or rifle, but I am not aware of any non-hunters to have ever used one against bears here. Both guns and repellents, when used improperly can be dangerous and passive measures to prevent unwanted bear encounters should always be your primary strategy.

When planning to leave supplies and equipment unattended it is important to leave food in bear resistant containers. If you are going to be placing pre-positioned food caches, these precautions are essential. There is no good solution that I am familiar with for protecting bulky items such as rafting or camping equipment from animals. If your plans include leaving such equipment unattended for long periods, you will either have to take your chances or arrange a flight to deliver these items where and when you need them.

Bear resistant food containers are widely available for sale and I have a limited number on hand for rental. I am unaware of any sources for renting firearms.

Repellent sprays are widely available and these and firearms are transportable on scheduled commercial flights between Fairbanks and Fort Yukon, Arctic Village or Kaktovik. Be sure to declare these items when checking in for flights so they can be appropriately handled.

Look at The Alaska Public Lands Information Center, ANWR and ADF&G web-sites in the Resources section for guidance on preventing bear problems.