Bear Awareness Course

four bears on a BC highway
A “street gang” of bears on a BC highway

The Ken Maxwell bear awareness course is designed for individuals and employees working in the field — to help them know what dangerous situations are and keep them safe in the bush.

Why is This Course Needed?

Dangerous, sometimes fatal encounters with wild animals have increased in recent years.

Industry activities, along with the tremendous boom in recreational use of the back woods, are factors.

These encounters usually result in no serious harm, but they can turn dangerous as the animals become habituated to our noise, smell, activities…and to the garbage we leave around! From there it is not a long step until the animals think of us as food.

As these encounters increase, so does the probability that liability lawsuits will increase. It is important that due diligence be done to educate employees, students, tourists and other users of wilderness areas.

Who can benefit from this course?

  • Oil and Gas Industry
  • Seismic, Drilling, Production
  • Law Enforcement
  • Outfitters
  • Tourism Operators
  • Community Colleges
  • Forestry
  • Outdoor Enthusiasts
  • Bush Camp Operators
  • High Schools/Outdoor Ed.


Course Contents

  • Bear Spray
    How to buy; reading the label and understanding liabilities; effective use and distance; practice; carrying; storage.
  • Dangerous Situations
    To be safe in the bush you need to be able to recognize dangerous situations and avoid them. You should know the difference between a predatory animal and one that is telling you “you are too close to me!”
  • Bear and Cougar Identification
    A grizzly is more aggressive, more explosive, more ferocious and hates surprises.  Size and colour are not good ways of distinguishing between the two species.
  • Habitat Identification
    What does the habitat of large predators look like?  How do you know you are in bear country?
  • Attacks
    Defensive or Predatory. When do they occur? Where? What do you do if attacked?
  • Exam
    The presentation is followed by an interactive 30-question exam to reinforce key points.


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