Prevention – Bear Encounters

Prevention – Bear Encounters

It’s that time of year – all our friends and neighbours are returning to the Lake – boy was there a steady stream of cars coming into the Lake(s) today. Along with residents returning our bears are as well. Lots of visitors – especially a young ones sniffing around looking for food – berries aren’t out and boy is it hard to get anything from the dump now that we are in containers. So let’s respect our wildlife and not create situations where they become nuisances to everyone. Here is a number of things not to do. Main one is always do leave food out – it be wrappers/food in your vehicle, garbage, dog food, food left on patio tables. Take a look at this and adjust your habits etc. so as to not encourage them. If you are renting also leave this for them to read as well.

To check out who to contact for emergency/non emergency situations and hints and tips click here

While at the cottage:

At the cottage

Most human-bear conflicts occur when bears are attracted by smells and rewarded with an easy meal. When bears pick up a scent with their keen noses, they will investigate it – even at your cottage. If bears are rewarded with feasts of bird food, garbage or pet food, they will return as long as the food source is available. It takes all cottagers working together to eliminate these attractants and to stop bear problems.

Whether you are closing the cottage for the season, or just between stays, you can take a few simple precautions to avoid problems with bears and other animals.

Here are some tips to help avoid these unwanted visitors:

  • fill bird feeders only through the winter months
  • keep your pets on a leash
  • store garbage in a bear-resistant container with a tight-fitting lid, secure shed or garage
  • do not store garbage in plywood boxes, old freezers or vehicles
  • do not stockpile garbage — take it to an approved waste disposal site regularly
  • if you have garbage pickup, only put garbage out on garbage day, not the night before
  • keep meat scraps in the freezer until garbage day
  • remove grease and food residue from barbecue grills, including the grease trap, after each use
  • do not use outdoor fridges or freezers, including beverage fridges, as these may attract bears to your property
  • do not put meat, fish or sweet food (including fruit) in your outdoor composter
  • pick all ripe fruit off trees, and remove vegetables and fallen fruit from the ground
  • never purposely feed bears (or other wildlife) or try to approach them
  • encourage your neighbours to practice Bear Wise habits

Before leaving your cottage

When leaving your cottage make sure to:

  • remove your garbage: take it home or drop it off at an approved waste disposal site on your way
  • use a strong disinfectant to eliminate all odours from garbage and recycling containers and lids
  • never discard cooking grease outside: place it in a container with a lid, transfer it to a plastic bag and include it with other properly stored garbage
  • take your barbecue with you when you leave the cottage, or clean it and store it in a secure shed
  • do not leave any food or food scraps outdoors for pets or other wildlife
  • when packing up, remember to remove all the food from the inside of your cottage
    • a box of pudding or fruit-flavoured dessert mix is all it takes to attract a bear
  • do not leave scented products outside
    • even non-food items like suntan lotion, insect repellent, soap and candles attract bears
  • close and lock all windows and doors
  • if you are away for an extended period of time, have someone you trust check in and look for signs of a bear visitor or break in
  • if you rent your cottage, tell your tenants the importance of being Bear Wise