Feeling confident and safe in wild spaces means knowing how to respond appropriately in encounters with some of our more intimidating wildlife. Kyla West, Artemis Ambassador and Wildlife Conflict Specialist for the state of Washington, dishes on animal behavior and what backcountry travelers should know to stay aware. We’ll touch on moose, mountain goats, bears, cougars, and wolves and share some of our favorite encounter stories. 

  • 2:30 – Time on your hands? Sourdough is in right now. 
  • 5:30 – On being a ‘wildlife conflict specialist’
  • 6:20 – Animals should know you’re coming. Don’t be a ninja out there. Be a Sasquatch!
  • 8:45 – Look for clues a carcass is near. See carrion birds like eagles and ravens? 
  • 9:30 – Common problem: Off-leash dog agitates bear, decides to run back to owner, owner now sees bear coming in. Yipes!
  • 11:00 – Are we having more predator encounters? Not necessarily. Our ability to share encounters is quicker than ever.  
  • 14:15 – Other tips: Know when animals are moving around on the landscape, like dawn and dusk; Carry bear spray; Know your animal sign, like scat and scrapes
  • 15:00 – Bear spray vs. firearm
  • 17:00 – Greater Yellowstone Coalition has a practice bear on wheels for spray practice
  • 23:30 – Moose are maybe the only exception to the ‘don’t run’ rule. 
  • 27:00 – Why so many mountain goat selfies?
  • 28:00 – “Hey, Goat. How’s your mom?”
  • 30:00 – Urine: an inadvertent salt lick
  • 33:00 – Bears… in a nutshell, avoid carcasses and leash your dogs. If you do have an encounter, don’t run. That’s what prey does.
  • 35:00 – Get scrappy with a black bear, play dead with a grizzly bear… and BEAR STORIES! 
  • 46:00 – Accidentally catching a bear cub in a biologist’s trap. Where’s mom?
  • 52:00 – Some of us go from bear avoidance to trying to find bears when the hunt is on. 
  • 53:00 – Cougars & wolves, unlikely encounters… but possible, none the less
  • 55:00 – Want to train yourself up on cougar behavior? Get a house cat.
  • 55:30 –  The cougar who played with a cardboard box
  • 1:06:00 – Wolf encounters 
  • 1:13:30 – Appreciate the moment, but keep wildlife wild.
  • 1:17:00 – What’s your signature song… like, if you want to let an animal know you’re there?
  • 1:25:00 – An ‘Arteman’ joins the fan club!