The temperatures are rising and bears are getting more active in the Northland.  They're out looking for food sources wherever they might find them, even in area neighborhoods.

Black bears, the only species that live in the wild in Minnesota, are generally shy and will run away from human encounters.  However, they are potentially dangerous due to their size, strength and speed.

With that in mind, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources offers these tips to help avoid any conflicts with bears:

Around the yard  

  • Do not feed birds from April 1 to Nov. 15. Anytime you feed birds, you risk attracting bears.
  • If you must 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. 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 fruit from trees as soon as it’s ripe and collect fallen fruit immediately.
  • Limit compost piles to grass, leaves and garden clippings, and turn piles regularly.  Do not add food scraps.
  • 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.

Garbage  

  • Store garbage in bear-resistant garbage cans or dumpsters. 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.

Caution is the key when it comes to interactions with bears, so doing what you can to avoid any conflicts is best.

You can follow the link below for even more information.