Spring brings bears out of their long winter rest and they wake up hungry! If you live in bear country, it’s time to start thinking about them again.
Momma bears with young cubs are especially hungry, working hard to feed those youngsters. Unfortunately, many of the bears’ natural food resources are not yet available. Bears have good memories for where they found food in the past and often return to check on these locations even if the food has been removed making it a good idea to not have your space associated with those memories.
Here are some tips for avoiding conflicts with bears:
🐻 Make sure bird feeders are bear proof or better yet, create bird-friendly habitat in your yard
🐻 Keep garbage cans in a secure building instead of outside, storing especially fragrant food scraps in the freezer until garbage day. Don’t put garbage out for pickup until morning. If you won’t be around on garbage day, ask a neighbor for help.
🐻 Bears can be attracted to a compost pile. If you do compost, keep it far away from the house.
🐻 Don’t leave pet food outside. This can attract bears and a lot of other wildlife, too! If you feed your pets outside, do it when you are also outside or put out just enough for a meal, and don’t leave it out overnight.
🐻 When grilling, cook off or scrub off food remains from grill racks after cooking. Clean off grill areas that may accumulate food or grease.
🐻 If you see a bear around your home, make noise so it knows you are there. Most bears will run away when they see a person, but wildlife can act unpredictably. Never approach a bear, especially a bear with cubs.
For more information about how to protect your living and playing space from bears, check out our Black Bear Fact Sheet: https://dnr.wi.gov/files/PDF/pubs/wm/wm0582.pdf