Winter Adventure Guide: The hills are alive | ParkRecord.com

Winter Adventure Guide: The hills are alive

wildlife safety Be alert at dawn and dusk when wildlife is most active. Never approach, feed or try to touch wildlife. Always jog, hike or bike with a companion. Stay on designated trails. Wildlife usually stays clear of areas humans frequent. Make noise to alert wildlife of your presence. Refrain from wearing headphones, which can block out the sounds of nearby wildlife. Keep kids in the center of the group. Do not leave litter on the trail. Carry bear spray and know how to use it properly. Keep dogs leashed and do not let dogs “play” with wildlife. It is against Utah law to allow dogs to harass wildlife. Stay clear of animal carcasses near trails. They could be kills that are being guarded. Avoid placing yourself between a mother and her offspring. Give wildlife a lot of space.

They were here first: the elk and deer, bears and eagles, moose and marmots. And if you’re lucky, you’ll see them this winter in our mountains — their home. You might spot a porcupine on the side of a ski run, or an eagle riding the skies above the peaks or a moose ambling down Main Street. There are skunks, badgers, cougars, foxes and coyotes out there, some of them better seen from a good distance. Use your binoculars to watch bald eagles fish on the frozen lakes, or spot a herd of elk grazing the sage ridges above Promontory. And, keep your eyes on the new wildlife bridge at Parleys Summit. It just opened, but bears, cougars, moose, deer and lots of other species are using it to safely cross the road.

Just remember, these are wild animals. A good rule of thumb is to not get so close to any animal that you can’t blot them out with your thumb on an outstretched arm. Just make sure to respect them, give them some room and let them be. Here are a few pointers from Wild Aware Utah, a local educational program. You’ll go back home with photographs, not bruises.

For more information visit WildAwareUtah.org


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