Bears’ internal alarm clocks start ringing in March, with many adult male bears emerging from their dens sometime this month. Next to wake up will be juveniles of both sexes, then female bears with yearlings and solitary females. Mother bears with newborn cubs are the last to poke their noses out into the world. After not eating or drinking for several months, it’s time for water, stretching and wandering around. Soon after getting their bearings, bears start looking for food.
Now is the time to double-check your to-do list and make sure there’s nothing that will attract bears to your home or property. A few hours of prevention now can save you a lot of time and trouble later.
Think Like a Bear
Walk around your yard and near your home to see if there’s anything “interesting”…
- Many meals’ worth of nutrients can be found in the average family’s trash. Is your trash is safely stowed in a bear-resistant container or stored inside a locked building until the morning of pick up?
- Calorie-filled bird feeders often attract bears to homes, so don’t take any chances. Bring your bird feeders in at night, or better yet, take them down and opt for other methods of attracting birds that don’t endanger bears.
- Have you stored bird seed outside over the winter? Opt for bear-resistant storage or bring inside.
- Don’t leave food, pet food, or anything else with an odor on your screened-in porch or deck overnight or inside a vehicle parked outside.
- Pet food is loaded with calories. Feed pets indoors or pick up food dishes as soon as pets have eaten and clean up any mess.
- Chickens and small livestock can be very tempting to a hungry bear. Keep them safely locked up at night or install an electric fence enclosure.
Thanks for helping keep bears out in the wild and away from homes and neighborhoods.