Educational Outreach

Welcome to the Be Bear Aware Campaign's Educational Outreach programs. Our main objective is safety for people and safety for wildlife, especially bears, through education and awareness. We are dedicated to promoting safe and responsible stewardship of our wildlife treasures in order to reduce the number of human/wildlife confrontations.
Our bear avoidance educational programs provide the tools and resources for teachers, youth group leaders, hunting & fishing enthusiasts, and of course hikers and campers to become mentors and share their outdoor experiences and skills with others. Throughout this section you will be able to download PowerPoint presentations, videos, brochures, lesson plans and other materials to support your efforts in educating new generations of outdoor enthusiasts.

The Be Bear Aware Campaign also travels throughout Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Wyoming to do educational presentations illustrating the latest wildlife stewardship and bear avoidance safety techniques. It is our hope that our audiences, no matter how diverse, can in turn share the materials and videos to educate others.

For Teachers and Youth Group Leaders

The opportunity to hike, camp, and view wildlife on our public lands is a great adventure. With this experience comes the individual responsibility to be properly informed about appropriate safety techniques to avoid human/wildlife confrontations.
We have developed instructor guides for teachers and youth group leaders to inspire enthusiasm for wildlife while providing the knowledge to enjoy our great outdoors safely and responsibly. Our scripts, lesson plans, displays, and PowerPoint presentations make it easy for teachers to educate our youth to be responsible for their own safety and preserve our wildlife heritage. We also offer a host of wildlife materials such as brochures, coloring books, educational postcards, bookmarks, and magnets.

Topics covered include:

  1. Wildlife Stewardship - Keep Wildlife Wild
  2. Bears of North America (Black Bear, Grizzly, Brown Bear & Polar Bears)
  3. Do bears really hibernate? Does it vary in different parts of the country?
  4. Safety precautions for hiking, camping, and food storage
  5. Living with wildlife, especially bears. What you can do at home to make a difference
  6. Bear Spray for hikers, campers and residents
  7. Different types of charging scenarios and what to do
  8. Put the kids to work - encourage them to be safety stewards for wildlife

For Hunters, Fisherman, and Guides

Hunters and fisherman need to take special precautions to avoid encounters with bears, cougars and rattlenakes and the occasional moose. Hunters move stealthily and can easily surprise a bear; and a bear can smell their downed game from miles away. Fisherman also need to take specific steps to avoid bear encounters as they enter and leave their fishing area.

Topics covered include:

  1. Planning your hunting and fishing activity ahead of time
  2. Safety tips for hunters, fishermen and boaters - Are you stalking game or is a bear or cougar stalking you?
  3. Bear Identification - black bear, grizzly/brown bears & polar bears
  4. Field dressing game in bear country
  5. Managing your catch while fishing, proper fish storage and cleaning
  6. How to hang a pack so a bear doesn't steal your lunch
  7. Hanging food, garbage & game overnight
  8. Importance of bear spray and how to properly use it
  9. Are all bear sprays the same?
  10. Different types of bear charging scenarios and what to do

Train the Trainer

Train-the-trainer is an excellent way for individuals to spread precious bear avoidance and wildlife stewardship techniques within your community, outdoor recreational groups, and by older students presenting the information to younger children. With this program you have the opportunity to help us reach a much larger audience than we can do on our own. It is easy to do and your efforts just may save someone's life during a conflict with wildlife.
We provide you with the knowledge, resources and tools to be a confident trainer. Our training courses and supporting materials can be used across North America. Our program can be tailored to various geographical regions and address species that live in your area. We also cover other wildlife safety issues in communities and provide ideas for helping to make a wildlife smart community for you and your neighbors.
The course covers the safety information contained in our website in an easy to use step by step manner. And, we also demonstrate how to set up a bear spray training course and a small hiking trail that illustrates how to spot bear and other wildlife activity signs.

Be Bear Aware Hands on Presentations

We love to do presentations! If you live in Montana, Idaho, Washington, or Wyoming we can come to your community, school, youth group, or outdoor recreation group. Our hands-on trainings are tailored to reach a variety of audiences - from kindergarten to high school students, hunters, outfitters & guides, hikers and campers. We also offer community and nature center programs that can reach a mix of young children to adults, experienced to inexperienced.
We utilize our bear avoidance educational trailer, black bear, grizzly bear, and rattlesnake mounts, and a host of display panels and educational brochures to provide valuable learning experiences and demonstrate safety techniques.

Topics and demonstrations include:

  1. Safety tips for hiking, camping, hunting and fishing
  2. How to view and photograph wildlife safely
  3. Living with wildlife, especially bears
  4. Recognizing bear and other wildlife signs in the woods
  5. Differentiating between the four North American bear species
  6. Bear and wildlife encounters along the road, on the trail, and at a distance
  7. How to carry and deploy bear spray and know when to use it
  8. Common bear charge scenarios and what to do during each type of encounter

We offer a hands-on bear spray training course that gives participants a run-down on the four common bear charge scenarios and what to do. Carrying bear spray is a very important safety measure in bear country and knowing when and how to use it can save your or someone else's life.

We can set up a mock camping site and illustrate a safer means for avoiding wildlife issues, especially with bears in your camp area. We focus on tent layout, minimizing odors, cooking techniques, proper food storage, and what to do if a bear enters your campsite.

Additionally, we can set up a short hiking course where participants can learn to identify wildlife and bear activity signs. Learn wildland areas that require special attention or precautions. The importance of keeping children and dogs close to you. And, what to do if you encounter a bear on or near the trail.

Our educational information is based upon 40 years of working and teaching in bear country from Florida to the Arctic Ocean. We work in partnership with state and federal wildlife and land management agencies. Our hands-on field experiences include all forms of wildlife including all four North American bear species, moose, deer, elk, wolves, bison, snakes, alligators and more. Our materials are reviewed and updated on a regular basis, so be sure to check back with us prior to your next trip.