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10 Ways to Attract Bears to Your Campsite

Camp Near a Carcass
A bear dining on a deer carcass in Yellowstone National Park.
A bear dining on a deer carcass in Yellowstone National Park.
Jeff Foott/Getty Images

From the outset, camping near a carcass won't seem like a very appealing prospect. After all, depending on how long the creature's been dead, it could cloud your campsite with a terrible stench. But camping near a carcass isn't merely unappealing -- it also greatly increases the likelihood that a hungry bear will plod into your camp.

Bears are just lazy enough to relish the opportunity of eating an animal that's already died. The odor of a decomposing carcass definitely will attract any bears in the area. In fact, a black bear in California is reported to have traveled in a straight line more than 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) to reach a dead deer's carcass [source: American Bear Association].

If you spot a dead animal on the trail, report it to the nearest ranger station. And don't even think about approaching the animal, no matter how curious you are. A bear may be lurking just out of your sight, guarding its find. And it won't be pleased that you're moving in on its lunch.

Your lunch, however, is fair game.