If you care about bears, The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife encourages you to take the following steps to prevent problems from occurring:
- Remove all food attractants. Don't leave food unattended. Bears are creatures of habit and will return to spots where they have previously found food. They also have a keen sense of smell and will travel long distances to reach an easy food source.
- Take in all bird feeders at night, including hummingbird feeders, and sweep up any seed on the ground. In areas where bears are a problem, avoid feeding birds during the summer months.
- Keep all garbage inside your house or closed garage, and only place it outside just before garbage pick-up.
- Use bear-resistant garbage cans.
- Clean cans. If bears have previously ransacked garbage cans, clean cans with hot water and bleach or ammonia to remove odors.
- Double bag all garbage. Use of ammonia-soaked rags in and around the cans may repel bears.
- Take feed inside. Keep all pet food and livestock feed inside the house or garage.
- Fence off areas. Use three strands of low-cost electric fencing as an easy way to deter bears from fruit trees, compost piles, beehives and garbage cans.
- Clean up barbecue grills and store them inside.
- Call a local ODFW office for a copy of the brochure Guidelines for Living with Bears, or visit the ODFW Web site at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/wildlife/living_with/black_bears.asp
If bears are a problem on your property or exhibit aggressive behavior, call the nearest ODFW office, Oregon State Police office or the Sheriff’s department.