As early in the season as it is, the warm spring weather will soon awaken our ursine neighbours bringing them out searching for food. Make this the year that they won’t find food at your place.
“Many people think that bears are only going to get into human food in the fall,” says Sue Davies of Revelstoke Bear Aware, “but actually there is often quite a lot of foraging pressure from bears in the spring too. Bears that learn about garbage in the spring are often the ones that end up getting shot in the fall because they have had a whole season of getting more and more confident around humans and human foods.”
An early spring this year may mean that bears will be out early, so best to be prepared. This is the season (while doing your spring yard work) when it’s worth taking a critical look at your property to see if there is anything that might attract a bear.
10 Tips for bear proofing your yard:
- Secure garbage from bears, either in a bear- resistant container or indoors. Don’t put your garbage out before 6 a.m. on the day of collection;
- Harvest ripe fruit and pick up windfall fruit every day;
- Remove bird feeders during bear season (April – November) or use only small amounts of feed and bring in each night;
- Feed pets indoors. Store pet food and livestock feed indoors;
- Consider a properly installed and maintained electric fence to protect small livestock (such as chickens and beehives), fruit trees, and compost piles;
- Consider removing outdoor freezers and fridges;
- Do not put cooked food, meat, fish or cheese in compost. Keep compost piles working properly, smelly compost attracts bears.
- Clean barbecues after each use.;
- Do not feed wildlife; and
- Report all conflicts with bears to the Conservation Officer on 1-877-952-7277.
As soon as bears are out and about Bear Aware will be updating their interactive bear sightings map on their website (www.revelstokebearaware.org/bear-sightings/map/) and will be heading out with their bright yellow street signs to mark areas where bears have been seen. Please heed the signs, and make sure that there is no potential bear food available on your property.
Bear Aware is also hosting its 2016 Annual General Meeting this spring. Come along on April 14 at 7:30 pm to the Boulder Room at the Community Centre. The meeting will last about 1 hour and will be a great opportunity to have some input into the society and to support the society by purchasing your 2016 membership (single $10, family $20).
Please visit www.revelstokebearaware.org for more information on managing bear attractants or contact Bear Aware on 250-837-8624. To get the latest information about bears in Revelstoke, like us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/revelstokebearaware).
Bear Aware would like to thank BC Gaming, CBT, Lush Cosmetics, Revelstoke Credit Union, Revelstoke Community Foundation, and Parks Canada for their support of the Bear Aware Program.
To report bear sightings or conflicts with bears please call the 24-hour hotline at 1-877-952 RAPP (7277).