I love the summertime in Steamboat. The flowers bloom, the grass is vibrant green and all my furry forest friends come out to play. There are lots of wild animals that call Steamboat their backyard, too, and even though they look cuddly and fun, I always have to remind myself to keep my distance.
The safest way to view wildlife in the Yampa Valley is from a distance. If you see an animal, it’s fine to take a picture — just use the zoom feature on your camera instead of getting close. They might look docile, but they are wild animals that will defend their territory, and that might mean you could get hurt.
Let me introduce you to some of my friends. While exploring the mountains of Steamboat, you might run into moose, black bears, elk, deer, mountain lions, foxes and other kinds of animals.
It’s important to remember this is their home, too, and we need to share it with them. Here are some good tips for avoiding interactions with wildlife.
1. Keep your distance. You don’t want to scare them. Just let them be, and certainly don’t attempt to pet them. I asked them once, and they really don’t want to play with you.
2. Never EVER feed wildlife. Not only does it put you in an unsafe situation, it is also harmful to the animals. If they eat human food, they may become accustomed to it, and it can potentially damage their natural foraging/hunting skills. Also be sure to dispose of your trash in a wild-proof trash container. Most of the trash cans around town and at the resort are wild-proof, so just drop it in there and don’t leave your trash out for rummaging.
3. Keep your pets safe. Did you know that the number one enemy of the moose is the wolf? Guess who looks a lot like a wolf … me! Moose often mistake family dogs as wolves, and that can lead to an attack. Keep your animals on a leash, and go the other direction when you see wildlife.
4. Animals are protective, just like you are. If you spot a baby bear, keep an eye out for the mama bear. Most black bears will send their cubs up a tree for safety, but its best not to get in between a mama and her cubs.
It’s likely that you could spend your entire vacation and not see any of my friends, but in case you do, it’s good to know how to react.
The other animal you are very likely to encounter in Steamboat is the Colorado family pet— otherwise known as my friends the dogs. Steamboat is a dog-loving community, and you’ll often see them out on the trails and in town having fun. Remember to always ask permission to pet someone else’s dog.
From all my furry friends in Steamboat, have a great time here!
Bear, Steamboat Resort’s safety dog
Bear’s Sniffin’ Out Safety blog archive
Find more tips at Steamboat.com/safety