Fall is a time when bears are on the move. Their goal is to eat as much as they can to fatten up before they hibernate for the winter. This means they will eat the first food they chance upon, even if it is in your backyard.
By following these simple steps, you can greatly reduce the chances of a bear being attracted to your property:
- Store garbage inside, and put it out the morning of pickup rather than the night before. If possible, use bear-proof containers.
- Remove bird feeders from April until late October. Bears will eat birdseed too!
- Store any food, barbecues and other items that could attract bears in an odour-proof container or bear-proof building. Do not leave them out in your yard.
- Bring pet food and feeding dishes inside overnight.
- Practice “BearSmart” gardening and landscaping. Bears are attracted to fruit trees and shrubs, including ornamentals. Pick ripening fruit as soon as possible.
At this time of the year, Fish and Wildlife officers are busy responding to incidents where bears have gotten into unnatural food sources left out in urban or residential areas. For your safety as well as your neighbours, and to help keep bears in the wild, please ensure your yard is free of items that would attract a bear to the area. For more information about BearSmart tips, please visit www.bearsmart.alberta.ca
If a bear persistently returns to your yard or community, thereby causing a public safety concern, promptly call your local Fish and Wildlife office (toll free by dialing 310-0000 first) or the 24-hour Report A Poacher line at 1-800-642-3800.