By Kaitlyn Campbell
There have been recent sightings of bears on walking trails at Mid Michigan College in Harrison, and it has prompted the school to issue safety precautions.
Mid Michigan College spokeswoman Meghan Keen told The Morning Sun that there have been a handful of sightings of a mother bear and her cubs, but they have had no contact with anyone walking the trails.
Keen also said that she doesn’t think the sightings will affect the school’s annual Halloween tradition, Deadwood Grove Haunted Forest, which is going to take place on October 20, 21, 27 and 28 from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Poet Family Outdoor Education Center at the Harrison campus.
Mid Michigan College posted tips on their website, letting visitors know to stay alert on the trails and to keep dogs leashed at all times. They also provided a link to the United States Forest Service’s tips on what to do during a bear encounter.
Bear encounter safety information is posted on the trailheads, and the USFS advises to “stay calm, group together and pick up small children.”
According to the USFS, when encountering a bear, people should continue to face it while backing away from it slowly, talking calmly to identify as a human to the bear. If the bear continues to approach, try to scare it away by looking large and imposing, stretching the arms overhead and making loud noise.
The USFS says that it is also important to carry and know how to use bear spray. It is available at many outdoor retailers and is used to deter a charging bear.
Any bear sightings or encounters on the Mid Michigan College Harrison campus trails should be reported to email@example.com.