Bears are actively seeking out food sources at this time of year and it is best to reduce and eliminate attractants that may be around your home. Some attractants are, but not limited to:
- Garbage & Recycling bins
- Empty cans and bottles
- Bird seeds
- Unharvested Fruit
- Pet Food
- Water (In dry areas)
Invest in bear proof containers for your garbage. Even though these may be more expensive, they will reduce the hassle of bears tearing apart your garbage (and will save you the clean up). Homemade wooden enclosers may seem to work well, but in reality bears can tear through wooden 2x4's (and vehicle doors) with ease. Bears that seem to leave these alone are simply finding "easier access" garbage cans. Encourage your neighbors to invest in bear proof containers as well.
If you do not have the appropriate bear proof storage, you may want to consider freezing the small portions of garbage that becomes offensive (meat, fish, etc) until pick up. You may want to consider making more frequent trips to the dump (if applicable), and get your neighbors involved for a more efficient trip.
Be sure to clean up Barbeques after each use (burning off the grill completely), pick your fruit and berries when they are ripened, use bird seeds during the winter only (seeds have a high-fat content that bears love). If you feed your pet outdoors, try keeping the food area cleaned up,
Another good tip is to make sure that windows and doors are locked. Smells from cooking will surely attract hungry bears.
When you are outdoors, watch for signs of bears. These can be some signs that a bear has been around:
- Claw or bite marks on trees or logs
If you come across a dead animal, steer clear of it. Bears can attack to defend any food sources. Hiking with dogs is not a good idea. Dogs may provoke and aggrivate a bear to attack, and an unleashed dog may bring a bear towards you.
Make your presence known in the area by clapping, singing or talking loudly. Bear bells and other noise makers will help as well. If you have children with you, never let them play or wander around unsupervised. Teach your children not to make animal-like noises when playing outside and keep them close by.
You may be tempted to take pictures of bears that you see on the sides of the road and elsewhere. Remember that this is dangerous for you, other road uses, and other people nearby. Bears can easily tear apart car doors when looking for food and they can run as fast as horses. If you must take pictures of bears, remember:
- There is no such thing as a safe distance. The farther, the better.
- Keep your windows rolled up.
- Stay in your vehicle
- Pull far off to the side of the road to allow other road users to pass by safely. You can be fined for blocking lanes.
When you are camping, make sure to keep food sources away from your tent and sleeping area. Clothes that you cooked in can be an attractant, so be sure to change into clean clothes at bed time.
Proper disposal of your garbage still applies while camping. Do not keep garbarge around your camp area. Discard it according to the campground's policies. If there are no policies, use common sense. If bears can smell or see it, they will get it.
Like Humans, each bear is unique. Some are agressive, some are calm, but all bears are dangerous.