Spring Into Preparing for the Black Bears
Be Bear Wise
Spring is here and so are the bears! We have already had several bear conflicts in recent weeks: a bear was found in the garbage and another one in a chicken coop. So it is time to prepare for the black bears seeking food in our residential neighborhoods.
Bears season in Sooke typically begins between March and April when they are lean and hungry. They eat the early shoots of skunk cabbage, grasses, horsetail, clover, and dandelions. They do not gain much weight on this diet and can continue to lose weight well into June and even into July.
Bears will stay low in the valley bottoms during this time and will eventually go up to the hills in search of spring green-up and summer berries.
Let’s keep them moving to the hills by not attracting them into our neighborhoods with non-natural food, We don't want to invite them to stop and stay.
We live in bear country and should learn to expect to deal with bears. Preventing and/or reducing conflict with bears requires us to modify our behaviors. Be proactive and remove any bear-attracting food sources and odors.
Bears are opportunistic omnivores and will return time and time again to a readily available food source. If the attractant is secured or removed, the bear will move on.
What you can do:
* Always store garage indoors. Put your garbage tote only at the curbside between 5 a.m. and 7 p.m. on collection day and never the night before.
* Reduce odors by freezing the smelly stuff, disposing of the bag on collection day.
* Rinse out all recycling material to reduce odors.
* Set up an electric fencing system to protect chickens and livestock.
* Don’t use bird feeders during bear season
* Ensure you have odorless compost by liming, turning frequently, cutting food into small pieces, layering greens with browns and never add meat, fish, fats, or oils.
* Consider digging a hole in the ground and bury your compost
* Feed pets indoors, keep all bowls indoors.
* Keep BBQs clean and grease free by burning an extra 5 minutes after removing food; remove or clean barbecue tools.
* Move fridges and freezers indoors or lock them.
* Talk to your neighbors about managing their attractants.
There is a great deal of misinformation concerning bear biology and behavior. Wild Wise Sooke
can provide you with helpful info, educational intervention about reducing conflict with bears and help you make changes that respect, enhance and conserve wildlife. We can also assist you with electric fencing options. This keeps our community and the wildlife safe.
Contact Debb Read
for more info.