Grizzly bears are back for the season.
The first out of hibernation at Denali National Park and Preserve north of of Anchorage was reported a week ago in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. Closer to Alaska's largest city, grizzly tracks were sprouting up across the Front Range of the Chugach Mountains. One was tracked from near the McHugh Creek drainage, north across the head of the Potter Creek drainage and on north toward aptly named Bear Valley.
It stopped along the way to dig the remnant of a scapula from a summer moose kill out from under three or feet of snow and gnaw on it.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game says everyone who lives in Alaska, including city dwellers, should be aware of the potential of running to bears and have an idea of how to deal with them. The Anchorage Bowl is home to dozens of black and grizzly bears despite a human population approaching 300,000. Though bears are most likely encountered on the edges of the city or in and around Far North Bicenntennial Park, they have been tracked just about everywhere in the community. The state guide to "Living With Bears" can be found here: And it might not be a bad idea for anyone planning to venture outside of the city for a hike to read Fish and Game's "The Essentials for Traveling in Bear Country,'' and perhaps buy some bear spray and study how to use it.