Does deer repellent work on bears?
The short answer is NO. There is no scientific evidence that any product or formulation that can be sprayed on plants or scattered on the ground repels bears. Research shows that many products meant to keep deer, rabbits and other critters out of your gardens have strong odors that can actually attract bears.
Most manufactured products meant to deter critters as well as most home-brews contain ingredients like rotten eggs and other scents that smell absolutely enticing to a bear.
The best way to prevent conflicts with bears is to avoid attracting them to your home and property in the first place. Follow the BearWise Basics and learn what attracts bears and how to secure all attractants. If you have a hobby farm or orchard, chickens, beehives or small livestock, electric fencing is your most reliable method of deterring bears.
What about bear spray?
Bear spray is a powerful deterrent, but it’s not a repellent. Bear spray has been widely shown to be the best and safest way to deter an aggressive bear. Bear spray’s potent formula leaves an oily residue behind. A motion-activated camera that documented a field study in Great Smoky Mountains National Park showed several bears, deer, squirrels, wild turkeys and a coyote sniffing at bear spray residue.
Never spray bear spray on your veggie gardens, trash cans, coolers, campers, packs, tents, clothing or belongings. Carry bear spray when you’re out in bear country and learn how to use it.