Action plan for a BearWise year

Remember all that stuff you meant to take care of before spring? Bear alarm clocks will be going off soon, so now’s the time to put those plans into action. Here is a quick reminder list of things that could attract bears. Your goal: clean up, lock up and store securely.

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Need a better can or a better plan? Check out bear-resistant containers, DIY options and other ways to make sure bears can’t get their paws on your garbage. Learn More >

Birdseed, Nectar

Bird feeders are carry-out containers for bears. Planting a bird garden or adding a water feature are bear-friendly ways to attract more birds and no bears. Learn more >

Pet food, livestock feed

Animal feed is tasty, nutritious and a concentrated source of calories. Invest in bear-resistant containers for storing livestock feed, or plan to store it inside a sturdy, locked building. Learn more >

BBQ grills, smokers

YUM! Smells like dinner five miles away. Here are some tips for keeping your grill or smoker from turning into a carry-out counter for bears. Learn more >


Vehicles with food, trash, scented items

Many bears have learned to open car doors or get in the hard way. It’s time to deep clean vehicles and add a small trash box or bag for easy daily cleanup.

Fridge, coolers on the porch

Easy to recognize, easy to open. Time to relocate.

Read more about spring cleaning >

Fruit trees, berry bushes

Fruits and berries are important natural food sources for bears. They don’t know they’re supposed to keep their paws off yours.

Veggie gardens, compost

Who wants a bear harvesting their produce or digging through their compost?

Learn how to keep bears away from these edibles >

Chickens, small livestock

Chickens, eggs, small livestock such as goats and pigs, newborns and young animals all attract bears. Protect them inside a locked, bear-resistant building or enclosure, or surrounded by electric fencing.


It would be tough to design a better bear food than a beehive full of honey and larval bees. Locate hives wisely and protect them with electric fencing or netting.

Learn how to protect them >

bear running by house

Want to be a good neighbor to people and bears?

Pass along a friendly reminder with a BearWise door hanger. It will do the work for you.

BearWise®. Created by bear biologists. Supported by State Wildlife Agencies.
Dedicated to helping people live responsibly with black bears.
Copyright © 2018-2023 BearWise | All Rights Reserved. To reprint, redistribute or excerpt without changing or altering content in any way, please credit: Courtesy of BearWise® | and notify us where this article will be used. To request written permission for any other use, please contact us
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