Summer is here on BC Route 7 which means it’s time to get back to beautifully warm days of camping, hiking, fishing, and more exciting outdoor adventures! And, as we get back to all the sunny spots that we love, so does our beloved wildlife! Let’s be sure to treat our wildlife with the utmost respect to keep both them and us safe this summer. Keep reading below to learn all about what you can do to avoid potentially dangerous wildlife encounters, and, if you are faced with one, how you can stay safe.
Many of us love to see our wildlife thrive and want to capture these moments to remember forever! But it’s important to remember a few things to not only keep yourself and other people safe but the wildlife too. The safest thing for all parties is to avoid encounters altogether. Wildlife is best left alone and it’s best for them to not even notice your presence. Here are some tips for you to keep in mind regarding encounters and avoiding them.
Leaving No Trace
Leaving no trace has a big impact on mitigating wildlife encounters, here are a few ways that you can leave as little of a trace as possible.
1. Pack in – Pack out
Do whatever you can to leave as little behind as possible on your hikes, camping trips, or other outdoor adventures. Any food waste or other garbage can attract wildlife and lead to encounters for you and/or other visitors.
2. Dispose of Waste Properly
If you do have to leave garbage or food waste behind, make sure you dispose of it properly. Many of our recreational outdoor areas have easily accessible, animal-proof bins.
Use proper human waste disposal methods too. Find out before you go adventuring if there are restrooms available for use. If there aren’t, using a cathole will usually suffice. For more information on proper cathole and other human waste disposal practices, visit Leave No Trace Canada.
3. When on Hikes, Stay on the Trail
Busy trails are often avoided by some wildlife. Staying on the trail will lower your chances of an encounter while also keeping our ecosystems healthier!
Watch for signs of wildlife during your outdoor exploring. Things that you can look out for are tracks, droppings, bear claw marks on trees, etc.
Have at least one adventure buddy or a group!
Keep your pets on a leash at all times.
Keep food sealed as often as possible, out of reach of animals, and away from your site.
Know before you go. Research what kind of wildlife you can expect to find on your visit so that you are prepared to handle any type of encounter.
Stay alert and aware of your surroundings.
What to do During a Wildlife Encounter
Stop, stay calm and assess the situation. Often, the wildlife is just passing through and will simply move on.
Do not approach the wildlife. Give them plenty of space.
Do not give the wildlife food.
Do not scream or run.
If you find an isolated young animal, do not try to help it. Parent animals can sometimes leave their young alone for a little bit, but they are very rarely in trouble or danger.
Any aggressive animal behaviour should be reported to the Conservation Officer Service (1-877-953-7277)
Not quite the same as our wildlife but equally important to consider are farm animals. There are quite a lot of farmlands throughout the BC Route 7 region, meaning that many of our lovely places to explore border farms. You may find yourself just on the other side of the fence from delightfully cute farm animals that look like they’re begging for a snack or a nice head scratch. But you should never approach farm animals that are not part of an organized function as they could be aggressive and/or it could be against their owner’s wishes.
If you’re looking for some farm animals to hang out with this summer, here are a few places along BC Route 7 where you can do so!
For more information on being bear aware this season, check out our Bear Aware blog which will give you plenty of useful knowledge on bears, bear behaviour, and bear encounters!
Now that you are prepared to experience the wildlife of BC Route 7, you just have to decide where to go! In case you need a bit of inspiration, visit our website to see all the great things there are to do this summer along the Scenic Route!