BearWise helps people live responsibly with black bears

BearWise helps people live responsibly with black bears

Recent BearWise Articles

What are bears up to this winter?

Rest and repair: January finds bears across much of North America tucked snugly into their dens, living off the fat reserves they worked so hard to accumulate while their bodies rest and repair injuries. Exactly how bears do this is a mystery that scientists would love to solve. Just imagine if humans were able to […]

Bear den locations may surprise you

When you think about a bear den, what comes to mind? A hollow tree? A cozy cave? How about a pile of abandoned tires? Or under your porch? Bears can den up in all those places and many more. Bears are flexible, creative and opportunistic; they will crawl into dens just about anywhere they feel […]

Six outdoor tips for a BearWise fall

Fall is the favorite season for many people (29%, according to a recent YouGov survey). Cooler, crisper days, less humidity and a landscape painted in shades of yellow, orange and red all make fall a prime season for many outdoors activities. For bears, fall is “last chance to eat a lot” season as they continue […]

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.