Be Aware Of Bears This Spring Across the Northland
With the Northland honoring stay-at-home orders, people are finding their garbage cans filling up faster as we eat more at home. The Minnesota DNR says to be aware of bear activity.
Bears are coming out of hibernation and as their metabolism gradually ramps up, they will begin looking for food at a time when berries and green vegetation are scarce.
There are things you can do to help prevent any conflicts with bears:
Around The Yard
- Any time you feed birds, you risk attracting bears. Avoid feeding birds from April 1 to Nov. 15.
- If you still wish to feed birds, hang birdfeeders 10 feet up and 4 feet out from the nearest trees. Use a rope and pulley system to refill birdfeeders, and clean up spilled seeds.
- Do not put out feed for wildlife (like corn, oats, pellets or molasses blocks).
- Replace hummingbird feeders with hanging flower baskets, which are also attractive to hummingbirds.
- Do not leave food from barbeques and picnics outdoors, especially overnight. Standard coolers are not bear-proof.
- Clean and store barbeque grills after each use. Store them in a secure shed or garage away from windows and doors.
- Elevate bee hives on bear-proof platforms or erect properly designed electric fences.
- Pick any fruit left on trees from last fall and collect any fallen fruit promptly.
- Cover all compost material added during the winter by turning the piles or covering with leaves, shavings, manure or other compostable material. If you compost household food scraps, consider securing it with an electric fence.
- Harvest garden produce as it matures. Locate gardens away from forests and shrubs that bears may use for cover.
- Use native plants in landscaping whenever possible.
- Store pet food inside and feed pets inside. If pets must be fed outdoors, feed them only as much as they will eat.
- Store garbage in bear-resistant garbage cans or dumpsters. Standard rubber or plastic garbage cans are not bear-proof.
- Keep garbage inside a secure building until the morning of pickup.
- Properly rinse all recyclable containers with hot water to remove all remaining product.
- Store recyclable containers, such as pop cans, inside.
If you do encounter a bear, you are encouraged to act with caution and give them space.