The Missouri Department of Conservation warns us to be “bear aware” while outdoors enjoying the summer months.
Wildlife biologists say the American Black Bear is one of the largest and heaviest wild mammals in Missouri and although their population is steadily increasing in the southern half of the state, many Missourians are not used to seeing them.
They say that when you are out hiking to make plenty of noise like singing, clapping or talking loudly, they will usually move away from loud noise.
It is recommended that you travel in groups when enjoying remote areas and to watch for claw marks on trees and bear tracks.
If you do encounter a bear up close, back way slowly with raised arms and speak in a calm loud voice. Never turn your back on the bear and do not run.
For more information on how to handle yourself in bear country, click here.