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With all the bear reports that we have heard lately here is some information for you!
There are lots of things you can do to deter a black bear from approaching or hanging around your property. Provide negative feedback to bears when they approach your property, noisemakers, flares, pepper spray or projectiles. No matter which tools you choose to protect yourself and your property, use direct eye contact and a take charge ATTITUDE!
And always ensure that the bear has a clear and safe avenue of escape with no people or obstacles in its way. If it has no way to escape, it may interpret your efforts to scare it away as an attack and stand its ground in self-defense. Bear pepper spray is the most effective means of repelling a black bear in a non-toxic, non-lethal manner.
The aerosol can shoot bursts of atomized capsaicin (a red pepper derivative) up to eight meters, though the spray is most effective at short range. It is ideal for personal defense use when hunting, camping, fishing, hiking and biking or whenever enjoying the great outdoors in bear habitat.
Not all bear sprays are the same. Ensure that you are using a bear deterrent spray, not a personal defense product designed for use on people or dogs. Follow the directions and check the product’s shelf-life. Try to carry at least two canisters per group. Nothing can replace good sense and proper safety measures. People whose activities may possibly put them in a situation where they may encounter a bear or other wild animal should educate themselves and be aware of the potential for an attack.
To minimize bear problems on your property:
- Reduce garbage odors. Rinse food cans and wrappers before disposal.
- Compost vegetable scraps properly away from house.
- Keep meat scraps in the freezer until garbage pickup day.
- Wash garbage cans regularly and use lime to cut odors.
- Keep garbage cans in a bear-proof container or in an enclosed building until trash pickup.
- Remove bird feeders, seed, suet and hummingbird feeders at night or keep the feeders on a bear proof pole that is high enough so the bear can not reach it.
- Keep pet food inside.
- Keep barbecue grills and picnic tables clean.
- Use an energized fence to keep bears out of beehives, sweet corn, fruit trees and berry patches. (An energized fence is powered by a low-impedance, high –voltage energizer that provides a short-duration, high-energy impulse.)
- Barking dogs, bright lights and noisemakers will sometimes discourage bears from coming into an area.
If a bear comes into your yard:
- DON’T PANIC! DON’T SHOOT! DON’T APPROACH IT!
- Back away slowly.
- Go inside and wait for the bear to leave.
- Most bears fear people and will leave when they see you.
- If a bear woofs, snaps its jaws, slaps the ground or brush, or bluff charges: YOU ARE TOO CLOSE!
- Learn to tolerate bears. Many bears are killed or injured when not causing problems. Remember it was their yard before it was yours.
If a bear refuses to leave:
- Be sure you have allowed the bear an escape route.
- Make loud noises to scare it away.
If a bear is treed:
- LEAVE IT ALONE! The bear will usually go away when it feels safe.
- Have people leave the area.
- Remove your dog from the area.
These precautions will help reduce bear problems.
When you find a system that works, stay with it.
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