Bear Aware

 Living out in bush Alaska it's important to be aware of bears, wolves and other animals that might see you as a meal.

            Last year my wife and I were preparing to haul trash out to the village dump when one of our friends said they had seen bear tracks at the dump.  So warned, we drove the ATV out to the dump with a trailer full of trash keeping our eyes open for any movement.  Only ravens greeted us as we piled trash on the burning heap that is the village dump. 

          Today as I spoke with Caitlyn, a first year teacher at our school, I noticed this poster on the cabinet behind her.  It warns, “Don’t attract bears to your home,” and goes on to say people should close and lock all doors and windows that bears could climb through.  It also warns to protect smokehouses, beehives and chicken coops. 

          These are things that the vast majority of Americans never think about, but bear awareness is just part of life in rural Alaska.