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Mushroom and berry pickers

While attacks by bears on people are rare, mushroom pickers are among those most at risk. They can encounter bears whilst going into forested areas looking for mushrooms in the early morning hours, often in dense young vegetation. If a bear feels threatened and has no escape route, because there are many mushroom pickers in the area, it might attack in self-defence. This most often happens in encounters between bears and people at a distance of less than 20 metres.

If you cannot see clearly in front of you and around to a distance of at least 50 metres, for example in dense young vegetation, increase your vigilance. Before going further, make some noise (e.g. whistle, clap): this gives any bear enough time and space to leave the area. If you keep together in a group, a bear has more chance of detecting your presence in advance and is more likely to leave.

These measures also apply to people picking raspberries, bilberries and cowberries, all of which are important food sources for bears. Collectors of cast antlers or wood should avoid obscure or rocky terrain, where they could stumble upon a bear den.