It Is A Great Time For Rim Country Hikes


Cool mornings and warm afternoons are perfect in the springtime for extended hikes along the numerous trails of the Rim Country.

With the above-average snowfall, some of the trails and two tracks have been impassable or closed until recently.


If you come across a black bear while hiking, it is a good idea to give him space without showing fear.

Like many outdoorsmen, I enjoy wandering the numerous canyons in the area and getting familiar with new country thatas not seen my footsteps.

Chances are good that you will see wildlife if you are walking fairly, deer and turkey are fairly common occurrences along many of the trails, and make great on-the-spot photo shoots for an amateur like myself. Early mornings and late afternoons are no doubt the best times to see Arizona wildlife.
Well, this past week I did one of those point-to-point hikes, whichs intriguingn the new country thatas traversed, and my aging body received some quality exercise.

If you enjoy hiking, I would encourage you to keep it up as long as a doctor is first consulted to ensure you are healthy enough to do a little walking on uneven terrain.o sustain quality of health longer, it is a wise choice to have some kind of disciplined exercise program.
Hiking is not only a form of recreation but is also a great exercise program which works on your legs, hips and cardio-vascular base. The Rim Country is perfect for this kind of workout.

As I was huffing and puffing up a ridge line, with the family dog leading the way, I had quite a surprise! The dog growled andan in front of me about 10 yards when I looked up to see a very mature black bear. Instead of charging, the bruinlimbed the nearest tree to get a birdseye view of who was infringing on his territory. called the dogo mend backstepped, keeping eye contact with the bear the entire time until I was out ofhe canyon -- his living room.
f youome in contact with a blackearn the wilds of Arizona,t is a good idea to give him space without showingear. In most cases, the bear wants to get away from you as much as you want to get away from him.

I asked longtime Payson resident and bear hunter Tony McNeeley for some safety tips dealing with the bruins of Rim Country. He responded, "Give them space. Back out of the area and keep some eye contact."

I was pleasantly surprised, that I had done just what he recommended.
Tony was quick to add, "If a hiker comes upon a sow with cubs, the situation could become tense.If the bear bristles or pops its teeth, it is also wise to wave your arms and yell as you are retreating to safe ground."e has been in close contact with hundreds of Arizona black bears and he mentioned, "The only bears to fake chargere sows that are likely trying to protect their cubs."

Tonylso added, "The Arizona black bear can come in a variety of color shades such as chocolate brown, red, blond and, of course, black -- and all of them can get your attention in the woods. If you come upon one hiking, give them space. In most cases they will try to get away from you."

The bear population under the Mogollon Rim is healthy,ith the possibility of a bruin per square mile, according to a study done by Al LeCount, a noted blackear expert.hese units have been managed by a quota system in that when a certain number of sow bears have been harvested, theunting season closes for that particular year.

It is possible to see bears on any of the local trails, so be bear-safe and practice a couple of simple tips as you are enjoying the Arizona outdoors, God's creation.

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