Bear Activity: November 16 to November 22

(Banff National Park East Gate to Bow Valley Provincial Park)
For the period: November 16 to November 22, 2018
Welcome to the last weekly bear report of 2018!


Collared bear data is showing that most of the female grizzly bears are at or in their dens. There have not been any recent sightings of bears in the Bow Valley but bears in surrounding areas, moving around the landscape in search of food, are still being reported. Be vigilant when recreating outdoors and be prepared for possible encounters with wildlife. Remember to carry bear spray, know how to use it and to use it if required. Bear spray should be carried year-round and is also effective against non-hibernating wildlife such as cougars, wolves, coyotes and elk.


Cougars have been known to follow deer (their main food source) into residential areas at this time of year so please remember to be cougar smart. Cougar tracks normally do not have claw marks, whereas wolf, coyote and dog tracks usually do have visible claw marks. Animals such as deer, bobcats and coyotes are often mistaken for cougars, especially in dense vegetation. One of the best ways to confirm a cougar sighting is to look for their long skinny tail with a black tip.


It is still hunting season so please be aware of your surroundings and stay clear of dead animals. Hunters should always carry and use bear spray as the first line of defense, even if they are carrying a gun. Bear spray should be carried in an easily accessible location; you need to know how to use it and be prepared to use it.


*There are NO current bear warnings or closures in the Bow Valley (east of the Banff park gate to Bow Valley Provincial Park) but that does NOT mean that there are no bears in these areas. You should always remain alert while walking, hiking, running and biking, and remember that bears can be encountered anytime, anywhere!

Here is a list of some Annual Closures in Kananaskis Country.

A complete list of all warnings and closures is available here for anyone visiting Kananaskis Country and Alberta Parks.

A complete list of all warnings and closures is available here for Banff National Park.

For more information on areas in the Bow Valley frequented by bears at this time of year visit our human-bear conflict summary map.

The information above is based upon a compilation of bear information provided by government agencies and unconfirmed sightings reported by the public over the last week. It is not intended to be used as a real-time, complete record of where bears are in the valley.


North America’s three bear species – black bears, grizzly bears and polar bears – were caught on camera in the same area for the first time in Wapusk National Park. Situated on the west coast of Hudson Bay in northern Manitoba, Wapusk is best known for its polar bears but it also lies along the northern edge of the boreal forest, where black bears are well established. The species that was most surprising to the researchers from the University of Saskatchewan who set the cameras, were grizzly bears, providing growing evidence that grizzlies are expanding their range across Northern Canada. Check out the full article here.