It’s that time of year: Black bears soon will leave their dens and become active. Though they’ll primarily forage on green vegetation, bears will eat from bird feeders, outdoor pet foods and garbage cans, if available.
Taking simple steps now can keep bears safely at a distance and prevent conflicts this spring and summer:
- Remove bird feeders or replace feeders with bird baths.
- Bring in outdoor pet foods and keep grills and patio furniture clean.
- Secure garbage cans indoors overnight; take them to the curb the morning of pickup.
Attract birds, not bears
Rather than leaving out a calorie-rich bird seed, swap out the feeder for a bird bath, nest box or bird perch. Even better, add a few native plants to your garden that will attract birds year after year. Visit the Audubon website to learn more about native plants that birds love.
Bring pet food indoors, clean grills
Pet foods, outdoor grills and patio furniture offer a buffet of smells for bears, whose noses are highly effective at sniffing out snacks. In fact, they can smell 100 times better than humans! While you might not be able to smell last year’s barbecue on the grill, a bear certainly can.
A humble homesteader based in an undisclosed location, Lars Drecker splits his time between tending his little slice of self-sustaining heaven, and bothering his neighbors to do his work for him. This is mainly the fault of a debilitating predilection for fishing, hunting, camping and all other things outdoors. When not engaged in any of the above activities, you can normally find him broken down on the side of the road, in some piece of junk he just “fixed-up.”