Give Them Space.
We share our valley with wildlife which has thrived here for millennia. Out of respect for wildlife, please refraining from approaching animals when possible.
What does giving wildlife space look like in best practice? For starters, always stay at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves, and at least 25 yards away from all other animals, including bison, elk, and moose.
This might mean turning back, or finding the long way around if you encounter a moose on a trail. It might also mean keeping your dog under control while recreating on the Bridger-Teton National Forest. Staying alert on trails is always good way to prevent an unnecessarily close encounter.
And remember, even though they may seem calm, wildlife can be unpredictable and dangerous. For example, bull bison and moose may become especially aggressive during the rut (breeding season). Females may become protective and act defensively when they feel their young are threatened.
Oftentimes the safest and most responsible way to view of wildlife is from inside a vehicle.
View from a Distance
Help set an example for others by viewing wildlife from a distance which is safe, responsible, and respectful.
Don’t Feed The Wildlife
It is against the law to feed wildlife in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park. Even if animals appear tame, feeding wild animals can have unintended negative consequences.
Moose – The moose is a beloved species in Jackson Hole. However, supplying moose with artificial food sources can alter their digestive systems and lead to death. Food rewards can also lead to aggressive behavior.
Photo: Steve Morris
Foxes – Foxes can become habituated and conditioned to human food. Habituated, embolden foxes may lose their fear of humans can be a safety concern. Habituation and reliance on human food sources can lead to starvation or being outcompeted by other foxes for resources.
Bears – Individuals that gain access to human food may lose their natural fear of human. This may result in aggressive behavior directed at people which will result in the animal having to be killed.
100 Yard Pledge
The #100 yard pledge was launched to promote safe, responsible wildlife viewing, especially during COVID-19. It encourages photographers and wildlife viewers to set good examples and keep wild bears wild by promoting responsible behavior.
Learn how you can take the pledge at Friends of the Bridger-Teton website.