Preventing Bear Encounters

Preventing Bear Encounters

Tips for making sure you are not providing food for bears:

  • Store bird seed, pet food, grills and garbage in secure buildings or bear-proof trash cans.
  • If bears have been seen in the area, put up bird feeders, including hummingbird feeders. Make sure extra bird seed that has fallen on the ground is also picked up. Store seed and feeders in a secure building or bear-proof trash can. Bird feeders may only need to be put up for two weeks or so, but if bears continue to be seen in the area, bird feeders may need to be put up permanently during the spring and summer. Birds have plenty of food in the spring and summer, so this will not negatively effect them.
  • If you feed pets outside, only put out enough food for your pet to eat within the day. Clean up excess food and store pet food in a secure building or bear-proof container.
  • Make sure grills are clean, including the grease trap.
  • If you have trouble with bears getting into gardens, compost bins or beehives, consider putting up an electric fence.
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What to Do if You Encounter a Bear

If a bear comes into your yard you can teach him that your yard is not a suitable place for him to be. If you are a safe distance from the bear, such as up on a porch or balcony, you can yell, bang pots, honk car horns, whistle or make any other noise that will annoy the bear. You are teaching the bear not to like being in your yard.

If You Encounter a Bear While Walking in Town or on a Trail

  • Do not run or look the bear in the eye.
  • Back away slowly.
  • If necessary, make yourself look bigger (put your hands over your head or raise a backpack over your head) and yell in a deep voice.
  • Do not try to scare a bear off of food, if they are eating.
  • Keep dogs on leash. Do not let them chase a bear.

Reminder: Bears Cannot Be Relocated

It is expensive, time-consuming and risky for wildlife personnel to relocate bears. There are not enough suitable areas uninhabited by people and bears to move the bears to. Bears can also travel long distances and will often return to their original location.