During this one-day course, we’ll begin in the classroom learning the basics of bear biology and the different characteristics and signs of black bears and grizzly bears. We will learn how and why bears interact with one another and how these behaviours can inform how you should best respond in the event you come across a bear on the trail. Students will also learn how to minimize the chances of an encounter. We will learn the proper techniques of using bear spray and bear bangers and will get hands-on practice deploying bear spray in the field. We’ll finish the day by going on a short hike to look at various bear signs that will help to make you more aware of bear activity on future hikes.
Meet at the Yamnuska Mountain Adventures office at 8:30 am. Coffee and tea will be available. There will be a short introduction, a discussion of goals and objectives, and then an explanation of hazards and risks.
Goals and Objectives
- Bear biology
- Characteristics of black bears and grizzly bears
- Bear Behaviour
- Preventing encounters
- What to do during an encounter
- Tools of the trade – bells, bear spray, and bangers
1:00 pm head to the field
- Observe various bear signs – scat, rub trees, tracks, day beds, feeding activity,
- Hands-on practice deploying bear spray (inert)
Meeting Place and Time
Meet at the Yamnuska Office (200-50 Lincoln Park, Canmore) at 8:30 am on the day of the program.
Jay Honeyman: Jay lives in Canmore, Alberta, and has an MSc in Environmental Management. He has worked in the field of wildlife management for over 35 years, both for provincial governments and as a private contractor. The focus of his work during these years, in both Canada and the United States, has been in human-wildlife conflict, primarily with large carnivores. Jay currently works as a Large Carnivore Conflict Biologist for Alberta Environment and Parks. His responsibilities include educating and assisting stakeholders (ranchers, landowners, recreationists, and communities) who are experiencing conflicts with grizzly bears, black bears, cougars, and wolves throughout southern Alberta
Minimum of 4 participants.
Accommodation and Meals
These are not included in the course fees. There are lots of options available including campgrounds, hostels, B’n’Bs, motels, and hotels.
Yamnuska guests receive exclusive rates with Clique Hotels & Resorts upon booking an adventure with either Yamnuska Mountain Adventures or Canadian Rockies Hiking by Yamnuska. (Please note that some rates are non-refundable)
Food is not supplied. Bring plenty to drink and lunch plus energy snacks.
Getting to Canmore and Transportation
To keep prices down participants are responsible for their own transport to Canmore and during the program. Canmore is a 1 hour (100km) drive west from Calgary.
If you are flying from afar for the program we suggest that you rent a car for your visit.
Frequent shuttles connect Calgary International Airport and Canmore.
Equipment and Clothing
The course fee includes the use of inert bear spray. Actual bear spray will be available for purchase if desired.
You need to bring outdoor clothing and footwear suitable for hiking around in all conditions. The field element will be delivered close to the vehicles.
We suggest bringing warm clothing of varying thicknesses that can be ‘layered’ to achieve comfort and versatility, depending on the time of year. The most important consideration for clothing is the ability to regulate temperature whilst moving around on this program.
- Warm shirt (synthetic or wool)
- Medium weight fleece sweater
- Fleece Jacket
- Light insulated jacket or vest
- Waterproof jacket with hood (Gore-Tex or nylon)
- Waterproof pants (Gore-Tex or nylon, with side zippers)
- Socks – ski socks (wool or synthetic), several sets
- Wool or fleece hat
- Gloves that have some level of dexterity to be able to handle the equipment
- Sun hat
- Face Mask
You need to bring:
- Daypack (large enough for spare clothes, lunch & equipment – all content should fit inside a 30-40L pack)
- Thermos and/or water bottle.
- Sunblock and Lip Cream
- Hand Sanitizer
Contact us if you have any questions or concerns.
Please book as early as practical to avoid disappointment. We require full payment on booking. We accept Visa, Mastercard, Canadian Cheques, Money Orders and Bank Drafts.
For detailed Booking Instructions and Conditions, click here.
Please note that you will be required to sign our waiver before commencing the trip. Click here for a waiver copy.
There are two basic types of insurance that most travellers need to consider: Medical and Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance. We offer our guests coverage for both and highly recommend you purchase it.
Emergency Medical Expenses Insurance:
It is wise to ensure that your health plan will cover you in case of illness or accident during your trip. Obtain extra coverage if necessary. There is no charge for rescue in the National and provincial Parks, however, costs such as air or ground transportation, long-term care, and other services are not covered.
Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance:
We recognize that our guests’ schedules may change for many reasons; business, family, flight delays, injuries, and other unplanned events. For these eventualities, Trip Cancellation/Interruption insurance is a great way to protect your investment.
For all your travel insurance requirements we recommend the Simpson Group. This agency offers a wide range of travel insurance options including Trip Cancellation/Interruption, Travel Medical, and Personal Effect Loss for Canadian Travelers. We highly recommend purchasing this insurance. For more information and to purchase a plan, visit the Simpson Group’s website.
Please note that this coverage is for Canadian residents only. For guests who are not from Canada and who are interested in the ‘Visitors to Canada’ insurance package please contact the Simpson Group directly at JSimpson@simpson-group.com and reference your Yamnuska Mountain Adventure’s trip.