Spring in Alaska not only mean green-up or bud-burst, but this is the time when bears are starting to wake up. Carrying a bear spray is something I always do when I go for a short hike or so. That being said, there have been times when I have forgotten to bring it...luckily I have not seen any bears during those times. When we are out in the field we see bear tracks almost all the time, but no bears. Well, I did see the butt of a black bear running away once, and last year I warned a girl who was going to one of my field sites about the bears there.
My field site is really remote and brushy and it's extremely important to make lots of noise, and I did feel uncomfortable about her going there by herself.
I was thinking about her that morning after we left her and I just couldn't stop thinking about it while riding the ATV, and after about 2 hrs we ran into her on the other side of the larger watershed (my site is just a sub-catchment of the larger one). She saw us coming behind her so she stopped and I was like heey, you finished early. And she told me that she ran into a bear. Every time I take a bear safety class they always talk about the fact that you might think that you are loud, but you should actually really really be louder, so louder than what you think. The worst thing you can do is to surprise a mama bear with cubs.