A Second Cheat Sheet for Becoming Bear Smart
Springtime in bear country is an exciting time as bear’s emerge from their dens, young cubs get their first taste of sunlight, and plant & forest life begin their cycle of food production yet again. It is also the time of year when bear’s are very hungry and natural food sources can be scarce.
Hungry bears living in proximity to restaurant or BBQ smells, poorly stored garbage, or any other enticing food smells will attract and forever alter the life of bear if they learn to find food sources other than what is natural to them in the wild. They’re called food-conditioned bears and, all-too-often, these bears meet a sad end due to human-bear conflicts.
Following is part two of our Cheat Sheet for Becoming Bear Smart that, if practiced, will actually save the life of bear. Click here to see Part 1 and the first 20 Bear Smart Hacks.
1. YARD: Dandelions and clover are natural bear attractants. Get rid of ’em.
2. Remove native & non-native plant species from around the home that bear fruit (pun intended).
3. PETS: A well-trained dog can warn you when a bear is nearby. An untrained dog can cause conflict.
4. BBQ utensils, plates, etc., should all be moved inside and the BBQ cleaned immediately after use.
5. SUMMER LIVING: Don’t burn citronella candles. The scent attracts bears.
6. PETS: Small pets like cats or rabbits should be kept indoors, especially at night and especially in grizzly country.
7. Keep your compost clean and odor free.
8. Harvest vegetable gardens as quickly as possible when produce ripens.
9. Never attempt to deter a grizzly bear on your own.
10. Know your local Conservation Officer’s phone number. In BC the phone number is 1.877.952.7277 or #7277 on your cell.
11. BACKCOUNTRY: Hang food between two trees.
12. In campgrounds, utilize bear safe food boxes and containers.
13. An item to carry while hiking and camping in the backcountry is bear pepper spray.
14. Keep a “bare” campsite; not a “bear” campsite.
16. Never take food into your tent.
17. CAMPING: Grey water (from doing dishes or washing) should be disposed of at least 100 meters from any human-use area.
18. When camping, keep your fire pit and cooking stove clean and free from food residue.
19. Never compost oil, fish, dairy, or meat.
20. Bear’s do not understand English or French. They understand the language of dominance and submission. Submit to a bear who is threatened. And be dominant to a predatory bear. Know the difference.