A Local's Guide to Avoiding Bears in Your Back Yard
Keeping Animals Wild is Everyone's Responsibility!
Bears can be attracted into townsites and yards by a variety of attractants. As a local, it is our responsibility to reduce the likelihood of bears being drawn to our neighbourhood by taking an active role in reducing a variety of natural and human related enticements. However, it is not illegal to leave bird feeders filled when bears may be feeding, or to do other things which may attract wild animals to your back yard. At the same time, a neighbour that keeps a bird feeder out of season endangers everyone living in the community. A bear attracted by a feeder may end up injuring someone. If you have a neighbour that is not considering the safety of the bears and the community, try talking to them. If you don't feel comfortable, than why not leave them a note. Click here to view a bear warning that you can print out to leave at your neighbour's house
sure that you do not store garbage outside or in your vehicle. Pickup truck
toppers are not bear proof, and we must remember that it is the smells that draw
the bears to a specific location.
mountain dwellers are also very ecologically minded, and compost can be a
critical part of waste reduction plans. At the same time, it is important to
limit what we place in our compost heaps. Avoid placing any meat by-products
such as fish, meat, bones, egg shells, dairy products or fruit into your
compost. Adding some lime to your compost can also speed up the decomposition
and reduce the smell.
nothing like a summer barbeque on the patio. The smell of a juicy steak can
permeate the air and attract much more than envious glances from non-barbequing
neighbours. These same smells can attract Master Bruin to your deck once you
head to bed. When you're finished your feast, make sure to burn the food off of
the grill, or at least clean the barbeque carefully. Also, if you store your
barbeque outside, be sure to use a cover as this will reduce the smell emanating
from it. Keeping your patio door closed when cooking indoors also helps to
reduce the smell of food in the air.
In the Mountain Parks, bird feeders have played a very serious role in attracting bears into townsites like Banff and Canmore. There is no legitimate reason to have feeders up in summer as there are plenty of natural foods available at that time. If you must have a bird feeder, be sure to wait until late November before filling it with seed, and don't forget to take it down before the bears come out in spring, usually by early March.
Also, be sure not to store your bird seed outside either.
Before you buy a new shrub or tree for your backyard landscaping project, make sure you are not just buying a plant that may attract bears to your yard. The following list of plants are known to attract bears and should be avoided:
Berries and Fruits
Grass and Grass-like Plants
Brome, Northern Awnless
Herbs and others
All Material © Ward Cameron 2005