Bears in Boynton Canyon? O my!

The Arizona Game and Fish Department has recently received a number of phone calls about bear sightings in Boynton Canyon, a popular hiking spot in Sedona. Boynton Canyon is known for its picturesque red rock landscape and considered to be one of the seven major vortex sites for which Sedona is known.

Hikers and tourists visiting the area have reported seeing a mother bear and her cubs. Arizona Game and Fish believe there may be other bears, as well. Drought conditions often encourage bears to move closer to food and water sources, including campsites and suburban areas.

Shelly Shepherd, Public Information Officer for Arizona Game and Fish stated that people need to be aware that bears are active in the area as a cautionary measure.

Shepherd indicated that bear sightings in the area are not unusual, but warned that the behavior of a female with cubs can be particularly erratic.

You may choose to avoid the area completely or if you happen to encounter a bear, here are some suggestions:

  • Never get between a mother bear and her cubs.
  • Stay calm and don’t run. Running elicits a predatory response and the bear may just run after you.
  • Continue facing the bear and slowly back away.
  • If you are with young children, pick them up off the ground.
  • Speak loudly or yell and make loud noises with whatever is available.
  • If attacked, fight back.
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