Wildlife officials trying to trap bear after it approached a tent above Bountiful

Jun 2, 2023, 7:00 PM

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is trying to trap a bear in Bountiful Canyon. After a man c...

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is trying to trap a bear in Bountiful Canyon. After a man claimed a bear approached his tent early Thursday morning while camping. Photo credit: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

BOUNTIFUL, Utah — Utah wildlife officials are on the lookout for a bear following a human-bear encounter early Thursday morning at a campsite in Bountiful Canyon.

According to Utah Division of Wildlife Resources spokesman Mark Hadley the incident happened at Buckland Flats where a father and son were camping. 

On Thursday at roughly 12:30 a.m., Hadley said the father heard some sniffing coming from outside the tent that woke him up. 

“All the sudden he felt something starting to push in on his tent, on the side of the tent where his son was sleeping,” Hadley said. “He could tell something was pushing in on the side of the tent. So he started yelling.”

Hadley says the animal then walked over to his side and started to push in on the tent.

“The dad said he could actually feel a paw press down on his foot,” Hadley said. 

Hadley says the father had a .22 caliber rifle in the tent with him.

“He did not shoot at the bear,” Hadley said. “I don’t know what direction he shot at. His intention was not to shoot at the animal. He just wanted to make some noise and hopes it would scare it away, along with his yelling.”

Hadley said that appeared to be the trick that worked as the bear then ran off.

Hadley said the man and his son immediately packed up and went home.

Additionally, he said the DWR has set a trap to catch the animal. Hadley said if they can catch it, they will move it further back up the canyon.

He said a lot of signs have been posted to warn other visitors about the bear. 

“It’s an area that it’s not surprising to see a bear up in that area,” Hadley said. “So it’s really not a surprise. But the fact that the bear came up to a tent, we’d like to trap the bear and move it if we can.”

Hadley says bears typically will eat vegetation. However, he warns they have no problem eating human food.

“It’s really, really important that when we go up in the backcountry, we’re up there camping,” he said. “We want to make sure that we keep our camp areas really clean. We want to make sure that you don’t leave food out where a bear can get to it. Definitely don’t want to have any food inside your camp with you.”

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Wildlife officials trying to trap bear after it approached a tent above Bountiful