BearWise helps people live responsibly with black bears

BearWise helps people live responsibly with black bears

Recent BearWise Articles

Fall is power-eating time for bears

Bears’ appetites are biologically programmed to go into hyperdrive in the fall because they need to put on a thick layer of life-sustaining fat before they turn in for the winter. This annual power-eating marathon is called hyperphagia. Hyperphagia is in full swing now because many fruits and berries (soft mast) are still available, calorie-dense acorns […]

Do you feed your pets outdoors?

Pet food is a super-concentrated source of protein, fat, nutrients and calories. That’s why pet food is super-attractive to bears. In fact, pet food is one of the top three things that attract bears to neighborhoods and homes. A bear’s daily calorie needs quadruple in late summer and early fall. That means a bear that […]

How to attract birds, not bears

Watching birds is a great hobby the whole family can enjoy. Watching bears destroy your bird feeders isn’t nearly as much fun. You can’t blame the bears; the average seed feeder can hold a whopping 18,000 calories in a handy carry-out container. Hummingbird feeders are like energy drinks for bears. Bears are naturally shy and […]

BearWise® is the black bear program you can trust for sound information and smart solutions that help people, neighborhoods and communities prevent problems with bears.

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Six At-Home BearWise Basics

Never Feed or Approach Bears

Intentionally feeding bears or allowing them to find anything that smells or tastes like food teaches bears to approach homes and people looking for more.

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Secure food, garbage and recycling

Food and food odors attract bears, so don’t reward them with easily available food, liquids or garbage.

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Remove bird feeders when bears are active

bear raiding a bird feeder

Birdseed and grains have lots of calories, so they’re very attractive to bears. Removing feeders is the best way to avoid creating conflicts with bears.

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Never Leave Pet Food Outdoors

dog food and bears - bearwise

Feed pets indoors when possible. If you must feed pets outside, feed in single portions and remove bowls afterwards. Store pet food where bears can’t see or smell it.

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Clean & Store Grills

clean grill bearwise

Clean grills after each use and make sure that all grease, fat and food particles are removed. Store clean grills and smokers in a secure area that keeps bears out.

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Alert Neighbors to Bear Activity

bear safety - bear on the porch

See bears in the area or evidence of bear activity? Tell your neighbors and share info on how to avoid bear conflicts. 

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Do you spend time outdoors…

…hiking, walking, cycling, jogging, camping?

Read how to Be BearWise Outdoors.

A black bear sow and her two cubs stand in a forest clearing - Ontario, Canada

BearWise Educational Materials

The Black Bear Comeback

bears in a meadow - bearwiseBlack bears once roamed over all of America’s forested lands. But after European settlement, their numbers and habitat in the Southeast dwindled. Thanks to new attitudes and enlightened conservation and management efforts, black bears are making a dramatic comeback over much of their historic home range. Now that bears are returning to areas they used to call home, it’s up to people and communities to learn how to peacefully coexist with these amazing animals.

 

BearWise shares ways to prevent conflicts, provides resources to resolve problems, and encourages community initiatives to keep bears wild.

The BearWise® program was developed by black bear biologists and is supported by State wildlife agencies. Read more About BearWise.

The BearWise® name and logos are registered trademarks of SEAFWA, the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.