Preventing Nuisance Black Bear Problems

Preventing Nuisance Black Bear Problems

Preventing Nuisance Bear Problems

There’s a rogue bear on the loose, being a pain in the backside, and scaring people. It’s probably a yearling that’s been through family separation and doesn’t quite know what to do with itself yet. Sows drive their yearlings away, sometimes violently, to prevent them from being killed by boars during mating season. If the youngsters haven’t mastered finding food they can become problems. Others can find food just fine but take advantage of easy opportunities. Gilman’s chickens looked pretty good and Betty’s dumpster was pillaged.

Maine has the highest black bear population in the lower 48 states, and the population in Maine is higher than biologists determined it should be. A short, easy winter means few bears died in their dens, and I thought it would mean they have enough food to not be jerks this year, but a few of them didn’t get that memo. They’re out and about and some are becoming nuisance bears. Preventing nuisance bear problems is easier than dealing with them after it’s too late, though sometimes we don’t know there’s a problem bear around until they make their presence known.
preventing nuisance bear. black bear, bear problems, problem bearsThanks to Betty Phelps for the photo. She didn’t know she had a bear problem until she woke up to this mess.

Prevent BEAR problems. Lock up your livestock and poultry like the Jack Link's Squatch wants to make them into jerky.Click To Tweet

Tips to Slow Down Nuisance Bears

  • Don’t put your trash outside. Secure it in a sturdy outbuilding or your basement, or take it away. Lock the dumpster. The doors not heavy enough to keep bears out. These big, silent creatures are strong.
  • Bring your grill in or at least clean it after every use. Burn off the food and bring in the grease cup, then give it a good cleaning.
  • Never leave food outside. Make sure everyone bring in their snacks and drinks.
  • Bring in your bird feeders from early spring until early to mid-November, and clean up the ground under the feeders.
  • Bring pet food and water bowls in as soon as the pet finishes eating.
  • Contain your livestock and poultry. Lock them up like the Jack Link’s Squatch is going to forget about jerky and munch on your critters. Lock them in before sunset. The bear that was hit by a pickup on Monday was hit before 5:30 pm.
  • Don’t leave any livestock and poultry food where a bear can get to it or be attracted by the smell. We keep food in 50 gallon drums that are tightly sealed and never have a problem.
  • Use the panic button on your vehicle’s key fob before you go outside to scare away any bears that might be in the yard. If you get up during the night for a drink, hit it again, for a second or two. This is best done if you don’t have neighbors too close.
  • When your dog barks at something you can’t see, let it bark. Bears are known as the “black ghost” because they move silently through the woods. The dog is likely to know a bear is nearby while you have no idea.

Bears and Dogs

  • Keep dogs and bears apart. Ava and Zoey are not afraid of bears. Instinct and experience don’t tell them to be careful enough, and their personalities tell them “oh look, a friend!” They don’t warm up to other dogs easily (they’re shy) but bears are a different story.

Preventing nuisance bear problems takes work. You have to stay on top of it and remind everyone in the household to do so, too.

2 thoughts on “Preventing Nuisance Black Bear Problems

  1. Hi Robin,
    Thanks for the tips. I’ve had the same experiences over the years with bear – and sometimes deer – hit on the road, as well as with rifle and bow. Critters are tough.
    We’re in the woods of northern PA, and our bear population is high here again, too. Our Game Commision loves to drop off their “nuisance bears” back up in here on our dirt road, and once they’ve been in a culvert trap, they live up to their name. We’ve been taking all the precautions you suggest for many years. Use a pair of 36 inch “hook sticks”, with 5 hooks on each, to bring our bird feeders in every night. Anything at all edible is connected to the garden electric fences, which helps.
    But the best medicine for an individual bear that’s used to breaking into cabins and other buildings here has been 12 gauge rubber buckshot. Not at all lethal, but it really stings, and will keep a particular bear away from our place for most of the summer when applied properly. Have used it for years. Shot one last weekend that was trying to pop the top off a birdhouse in the yard, to get the baby Tree Swallows inside.
    PS – We spent a week near Brookton, mostly kayak fishing, last September, and loved it – especially Spednik Lake. Fished there the whole day and had it to ourselves. If I’d seen your neck of the woods 40 years ago when we started homesteading this old farm, we would’ve kept heading north and would be your neighbors now! Can’t wait to get the yaks back up there and onto the “arm” of Grand Lake.
    Thanks for your blog. Just found it recently, and really enjoy it.
    God bless,
    Dave Harnish

    Acts 4:12

    1. I watched an outdoors show that dealt with nuisance bears. The wardens used rubber bullets and Karelian bear dogs, and now I want one of those dogs. We won’t have one, but I’d like to.

      I live 20 miles from Brookton and will be fishing on Spednic this weekend. Small world! I do love it out here. I’m glad you enjoyed your stay!

Comments are closed.

Comments are closed.