There’s no question, in Los Alamos we live in bear country.  Every summer bears come down from the Jemez Mountains looking for things to chow down on, or maybe just to stroll through the area.

The American Bear Association has some great tips on living in bear country and even more on hiking and camping.

No bear really wants human contact, so whether you are walking the dog in the afternoon or hiking on one of our trails or through the Valles Caldera or Bandelier National Monument, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself from an unexpected encounter.  As simple as it seems, the best prevention is to let the bear know you are coming.  Talking among yourselves as a group, or even to yourself if you are alone will alert a bear that you are coming and likely it will move on to avoid you.  Metzger’s Hardware carries bear bells which jingle as you walk, making constant noise to help prevent you from accidentally sneaking up on a bear.

And, for peace of mind as you are out enjoying your outdoor activities, Metzger’s Hardware also carries a complete line of Frontiersman Bear Sprays.   With a maximum allowed strength and a 35-foot spray range, Frontiersman offers the most protection available in the event that you can’t avoid an encounter.