Wyoming Game and Fish said Friday that the state's grizzly and black bears are "awake and active."

For some rural Wyoming residents and recreationists, that means being "bear aware." Already in 2020, there have been conflicts with bears resulting in human injury.

Bear Wise Coordinator Dusty Lasseter said even the most experienced recreationists can find themselves in a close encounter with a bear. It's imperative to stay diligent to avoid bear conflicts.

If you live in bear country, it's a good idea to keep garbage, livestock, pet food and birdseed properly stored and unavailable to bears. Barbeque grills should be cleaned and stored in a garage or shed if possible.

Those who may encounter bears while recreating should keep prepared and alert. That means hiking in groups and making noise. Hikers should learn to recognize areas of heavy bear use by knowing how to identify tracks, scat and diggings.

If you smell a carcass, avoid it, Game and Fish says.

Game and Fish also recommends carrying bear spray and keeping it readily accessible.

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