Keeping bears away

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Alaskajohn

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After an uneventful spring and most of the summer, I've had three bear encounters this week on my property. Its not too surprising that they are close, since we live among wild blueberries and a host of other berries that they love. The first of the berries are starting to turn ripe and that is what they are after. So they are about. Fortunately we have never had one try to get in our house as we do what you need to do to minimize them wanting to come in.

We've tried all sorts of tricks to try to keep them away. Most of the tricks are stuff the wife thinks of. She has wind chimes on every outbuilding (2 dozen windchimes easily) with the hopes that the human noise keeps them away. She puts moth balls on the avenues of approach. She keeps fresh coffee ground in cans around the house as she hears that masks human food smells. We have a great dog that always stays close and barks only at bears and wolves (and humans, but the human bark is different). When the bears are near we bang a 2 foot long 2x4 on the deck fencing, and if they get close enough, I chase them off with a BB gun (don't worry, I have a real gun on me too). This has worked well in previous years and I've got my BB gun on the deck loaded for another year of having to deal with them.

I have most of the brush cut back more than 100 feet (or more) from the main structure and major outbuildings, and they tend to stay at the edge of or in the brush. They do often stroll right through the middle of the open area. I suppose I can extend where the brush is cut back, but this will only help a little.

Are there any other good tricks that can discourage them from getting to close? Its the natural food that grows in the wild that brings them near each "fall" as the berries ripen. Mostly black bears and an occasional brownie in my parts.

Probably something I will always have to deal with.
 

Sourdough

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Well.......after three or four months of "Lollygagging" in a Portland, OR. suburb the .475 Linebaugh finally arrived yesterday, by "special carrier" to administer pain and suffering to four legged problems.

I have kind'a decided that living with large number of bears is roughly similar to what I expect come post catastrophic SHTF.

I live with them, till I need to kill them and dump them into the river. Knowing full-well they live with me till they can kill me and eat me. It does add substantial situational awareness training to "all" of our lives.
 

Alaskajohn

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Well.......after three or four months of "Lollygagging" in a Portland, OR. suburb the .475 Linebaugh finally arrived yesterday, by "special carrier" to administer pain and suffering to four legged problems.

I have kind'a decided that it is roughly similar to what I expect come post catastrophic SHTF.

I live with them, till I need to kill them and dump them into the river. Knowing full-well they live with me till they can kill me and eat me. It does add substantial situational awareness training to "all" of our lives.
You need to deal with them for more of the year than I do, and your bears are bigger. The good news for me is that there is a bear-preferred food source that brings them close for 2 months as the gorge on the more than abundant berries. I always get a bear tag as I will eat black bears if I am forced to kill one and its in season, but I would only eat a brownie if it was the only food source available to survive on.
 

Neb

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After an uneventful spring and most of the summer, I've had three bear encounters this week on my property. Its not too surprising that they are close, since we live among wild blueberries and a host of other berries that they love. The first of the berries are starting to turn ripe and that is what they are after. So they are about. Fortunately we have never had one try to get in our house as we do what you need to do to minimize them wanting to come in.

We've tried all sorts of tricks to try to keep them away. Most of the tricks are stuff the wife thinks of. She has wind chimes on every outbuilding (2 dozen windchimes easily) with the hopes that the human noise keeps them away. She puts moth balls on the avenues of approach. She keeps fresh coffee ground in cans around the house as she hears that masks human food smells. We have a great dog that always stays close and barks only at bears and wolves (and humans, but the human bark is different). When the bears are near we bang a 2 foot long 2x4 on the deck fencing, and if they get close enough, I chase them off with a BB gun (don't worry, I have a real gun on me too). This has worked well in previous years and I've got my BB gun on the deck loaded for another year of having to deal with them.

I have most of the brush cut back more than 100 feet (or more) from the main structure and major outbuildings, and they tend to stay at the edge of or in the brush. They do often stroll right through the middle of the open area. I suppose I can extend where the brush is cut back, but this will only help a little.

Are there any other good tricks that can discourage them from getting to close? Its the natural food that grows in the wild that brings them near each "fall" as the berries ripen. Mostly black bears and an occasional brownie in my parts.

Probably something I will always have to deal with.
Aside from bear boards(? Boards with nails through them pointing up ward) I cant be of much help but I can share a story from my youth.

Sea Story time

We lived on base at Tindal AF base when my father was stationed there. There was a game preserve where they kept ammung other animals wild hogs in a large pen and were fed with (guessing now) refuse from the mess hall.

My buddy and I would visit it often and I can't recall ever seeing an adult there so we had free run of the place. The wild hogs caught our attention because there was an old boar with tusks and one blind eye. We named him Kruschev

There often was scraps that had fallen outside the fence. We would through it into the pen and the hogs would be on it in a second only to be displaced by Kruschev. We compensated by throwing the cabbage heads to hogs far displaced from Kruschev to give the other hogs a chance.

And then my buddy got his BB gun (his father would lets us run the bullets he cast through dies). Or course a pair of 12 13 ish teen males knew just what to do with it (I cant recall ever trying to use it for stationary target... ever).

While the BBs never broke the skin the sting was enough to get their attention. It wasn't long before we realized the sound alone was enough to get Kruschev running away (he was our primary target because he was so mean).

While I can freely admit how stupid we were...

We eventually learned that we could climb into the enclosure armed with BB gun and heard them as we wished. And then we ran out of BBs!

No fear.

The sound alone was enough to get them running.

Going with the thought that bears are similar to hogs...

If you persist in training the bears to avoid your place with the BB gun, and train all of the local bears that your place stings.

I will omit the amendment of how cruel young males can be when unsupervised.

Ben
 

Rebecca

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Remembering now that I only have eastern black bears. I believe the reason (and I have no proof) they stay well out of any cleared areas on the property is that I have more dogs than any normal person ought. In three years I have only had a bear come in once, and in the middle of the night. I pick them up on the trail cams and see them on the road...but never close to home.
 

UrbanHunter

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I don't have much experience with Bears, the closest I've come is watching them at a National Park or the 1 time I had a sow with 3 cubs cross where I was bow hunting in early fall.... Never had to actually interact and would prefer not to....
 

Biggkidd

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We had a bear cub that lived in our yard one year until it got big enough to move on. When he first showed up he would have fit in a 5 gallon bucket with room to spare. We concluded his mother was killed close by, we are surrounded by hunt clubs. We like having animals for neighbors so we did feed the little fella. We see bears quite a few times a year sometimes even have conversations with them. I personally haven't had an issue with one yet! The one extremely large one I posted about in the other thread was the only time I was truly scared of one. That joker was a large as a cow but all the fur made it look even larger. One thing they have taught me is they don't like gas cans or plastic gas tanks. I can't tell you how many they have eaten over the years we have lived here. One ripped the tank clean off my pump at the creek and it's been replaced several times due to chew holes!
 

Sourdough

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Remembering now that I only have eastern black bears. I believe the reason (and I have no proof) they stay well out of any cleared areas on the property is that I have more dogs than any normal person ought. In three years I have only had a bear come in once, and in the middle of the night. I pick them up on the trail cams and see them on the road...but never close to home.
Somehow the bears know you are from Africa.
 

Sourdough

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he would have fit in a 5 gallon bucket with room to spare
Interesting that it lived, that size bear was less then five and half months old, more then three months old. Lucky to have found your yard.

It must have showed up in mid or late April or May.
 

Biggkidd

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Interesting that it lived, that size bear was less then five and half months old, more then three months old. Lucky to have found your yard.

It must have showed up in mid or late April or May.
Late February or early march best I can remember
 

Peanut

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Bears... geez! That'd be all I need. Around here wild hogs are dangerous and a nuisance! Over the last decade gators have moved this far north, actually north of me now... Ya'll can keep the bears!
 

Grizzleyette___Adams

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Hogs n gators! Once upon a time that is all the four-legged problems I had to deal with. (Oh those were back in the good old days Before The Bears.)

Then I moved to my BOL over two decades ago and have had to deal with 500 - 600 lb bears (I know, I know... "babies" compared to Alaskan bears), mountain lions, hogs, and also lots of skunks have tested positive for rabies around here (but that's another story).

The bears make me pure-D miserable because the Wildlife Game & Fish commission decided many years ago to use my area as a dumping ground for nuisance bears. They are trapped and dumped here because I live in a Federally designated wilderness area.

O. M. G. Those bears are not normal because they are acclimated to humans and have been trained by their former humans as a source of food supply: garbage cans, bird feeders, pet food bowls, and even ez-to-open outdoor freezers in sheds.

They are afraid of NOTHING. They laugh at scare tactics that are less than lethal. They have destroyed and broken into homes, RVs, vehicles, destroyed fruit trees, garden crops, and more in my area.

They have made my life miserable because there are so MANY of them. Generations of bears trained by stupid people. Those bears have trained their cubs, which grew up and trained their cubs, and so on for years. And fresh numbers of bears are dropped off all year long, every year.

I have tried almost everything, including never, ever being a supplier of any kind of food, and installing custom-made heavy window shutters well over an inch thick. (One bear tore my shutters off the kitchen window one afternoon while I was cooking gumbo. :oops: ) I keep a shotgun handy (it's the best I can do with what I've got). I garden with the same shotgun slung across my back.... It is no fun. These bears are aggressive towards humans as well.

I really should invest in $$$ for solar electric fencing but that takes $$$ I don't have.

So yeah. I am keenly interested in picking up some ideas from this thread. Frankly, I am growing weary and *exhaustipated by these circus bears. If they were at least normal, I could deal with them as normal wildlife.

*exhaustipated definition: too tired to give a crap.
 
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elkhound

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elkhound

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Alaskajohn

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Aside from bear boards(? Boards with nails through them pointing up ward) I cant be of much help but I can share a story from my youth.

Sea Story time

We lived on base at Tindal AF base when my father was stationed there. There was a game preserve where they kept ammung other animals wild hogs in a large pen and were fed with (guessing now) refuse from the mess hall.

My buddy and I would visit it often and I can't recall ever seeing an adult there so we had free run of the place. The wild hogs caught our attention because there was an old boar with tusks and one blind eye. We named him Kruschev

There often was scraps that had fallen outside the fence. We would through it into the pen and the hogs would be on it in a second only to be displaced by Kruschev. We compensated by throwing the cabbage heads to hogs far displaced from Kruschev to give the other hogs a chance.

And then my buddy got his BB gun (his father would lets us run the bullets he cast through dies). Or course a pair of 12 13 ish teen males knew just what to do with it (I cant recall ever trying to use it for stationary target... ever).

While the BBs never broke the skin the sting was enough to get their attention. It wasn't long before we realized the sound alone was enough to get Kruschev running away (he was our primary target because he was so mean).

While I can freely admit how stupid we were...

We eventually learned that we could climb into the enclosure armed with BB gun and heard them as we wished. And then we ran out of BBs!

No fear.

The sound alone was enough to get them running.

Going with the thought that bears are similar to hogs...

If you persist in training the bears to avoid your place with the BB gun, and train all of the local bears that your place stings.

I will omit the amendment of how cruel young males can be when unsupervised.

Ben
Oh yes, we definitely have bear boards, but we put these in place when we head into town and they are put away when we come back. There was one bear last year that I had to hit with the BB gun 3 different times before he got the message. But that was really due to us as we didn’t take down the bird feeder that we set up during the winter in time, and he was coming back looking for bird feed. We need to put away the bird feeders early april and simply didn’t last year.
 

Alaskajohn

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I always see electric fences on shows about keeping bears away.
That might not be feasible off-grid.
We‘ve thought about this, but we would need to fence in an area about the size of a football field. Solar power would be an option. Moose walk through our property daily and the wife didn’t want to disrupt them so I kind of wrote that off due to this.
 

elkhound

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Hogs n gators! Once upon a time that is all the four-legged problems I had to deal with. (Oh those were back in the good old days Before The Bears.)

Then I moved to my BOL over two decades ago and have had to deal with 500 - 600 lb bears (I know, I know... "babies" compared to Alaskan bears), mountain lions, hogs, and also lots of skunks have tested positive for rabies around here (but that's another story).

The bears make me pure-D miserable because the Wildlife Game & Fish commission decided many years ago to use my area as a dumping ground for nuisance bears. They are trapped and dumped here because I live in a Federally designated wilderness area.

O. M. G. Those bears are not normal because they are acclimated to humans and have been trained by their former humans as a source of food supply: garbage cans, bird feeders, pet food bowls, and even ez-to-open outdoor freezers in sheds.

They are afraid of NOTHING. They laugh at scare tactics that are less than lethal. They have destroyed and broken into homes, RVs, vehicles, destroyed fruit trees, garden crops, and more in my area.

They have made my life miserable because there are so MANY of them. Generations of bears trained by stupid people. Those bears have trained their cubs, which grew up and trained their cubs, and so on for years. And fresh numbers of bears are dropped off all year long, every year.

I have tried almost everything, including never, ever being a supplier of any kind of food, and installing custom-made heavy window shutters well over an inch thick. (One bear tore my shutters off the kitchen window one afternoon while I was cooking gumbo. :oops: ) I keep a shotgun handy (it's the best I can do with what I've got). I garden with the same shotgun slung across my back.... It is no fun. These bears are aggressive towards humans as well.

I really should invest in $$$ for solar electric fencing but that takes $$$ I don't have.

So yeah. I am keenly interested in picking up some ideas from this thread. Frankly, I am growing weary and *exhaustipated by these circus bears. If they were at least normal, I could deal with them as normal wildlife.

*exhaustipated definition: too tired to give a crap.
alot of folks dont understand just how many black bear are in eastern half of the u.s. we harvest 1,000's of bear every single year. the population has only got higher and higher the last 20 years to the point seasons had to be extended and closed counties open a good number of years ago but still population is growing more each year. theres as many bear in appalachian chain as anywhere i traveled with excaption of a few southeast islands of alaska. i mean even east tenn now has official recorded data of both male and female mtn lion as well per tenn dnr officials. elk are less than 50 miles from me now too. its only a matter of time till they hit my wilderness area.wild elk were on my family property in 1959 and i think its going to be that way again in the not to far off future. i wont even go into the number of whitetails.
 

Cabin Fever

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We actually see, on average, a dozen black bears walk across our yard every year. No telling how many we do not see. (BTW, we have the photos and videos to prove it).

We do nothing to attract the bears, our garbage is in the shed, and our bird feeder comes in every night. The bears have never tried to enter our home or fenced garden. These bears are scaredy-cats. We make the slightest noise and they go running off into the woods.
 

Alaskajohn

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Bears... geez! That'd be all I need. Around here wild hogs are dangerous and a nuisance! Over the last decade gators have moved this far north, actually north of me now... Ya'll can keep the bears!
I was never very comfortable around gators when I lived on the bayou. Every time the creaks and rivers rose with heavy rain then you’d have half a dozen suddenly hanging out in the yard, and same with the snakes. Honestly, I’m much happier dealing with bears for some reason.
 

Alaskajohn

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alot of folks dont understand just how many black bear are in eastern half of the u.s. we harvest 1,000's of bear every single year. the population has only got higher and higher the last 20 years to the point seasons had to be extended and closed counties open a good number of years ago but still population is growing more each year. theres as many bear in appalachian chain as anywhere i traveled with excaption of a few southeast islands of alaska. i mean even east tenn now has official recorded data of both male and female mtn lion as well per tenn dnr officials. elk are less than 50 miles from me now too. its only a matter of time till they hit my wilderness area.wild elk were on my family property in 1959 and i think its going to be that way again in the not to far off future. i wont even go into the number of whitetails.
Agreed, when I was a pup in Appalachia, bears were always an issue. The hound dogs and granddads 30-06 kept them at bay most of the time, but they were always there. It’s a major hassle in Alaska if you have to kill a bear in self defense. But apparently this wasn’t an issue when I was back East in the early 1960s and any bear that got close was shot and served for dinner, and someone got a nice new rug.
 

Biggkidd

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Bear skin rug reminded me of a lady in town who occasionally wears a bear skin coat. She killed it or rather it killed her brand new F150 as in total loss. I think she said it only had 200 odd miles on it.
 

backlash

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I found this bear site years ago. Dr. Lynn Rogers, Ph.D. is amazing.
He actually goes into the woods and interacts with wild bears. Even sows with cubs.
He can hand feed them, do health checks, and play with the cubs and he does not tranquilize the bears. He just gains their trust. At first, I thought that was so much BS, there is no way he can actually lay his hands on a bear with cubs but he does.
Here's a couple of sites that you might like.


 

Alaskajohn

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I found this bear site years ago. Dr. Lynn Rogers, Ph.D. is amazing.
He actually goes into the woods and interacts with wild bears. Even sows with cubs.
He can hand feed them, do health checks, and play with the cubs and he does not tranquilize the bears. He just gains their trust. At first, I thought that was so much BS, there is no way he can actually lay his hands on a bear with cubs but he does.
Here's a couple of sites that you might like.


Is he he related to Timothy Treadwell? o_O I will leave that stuff for the experts.
 

Newbri

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We don't have bears here. We do have leopards, pretty skittish forest elephants, chimps and further south, gorillas.
Recently there were some protests in another province from the farming communities against environmental groups. Pretty much not being able to thin out the animal population, is bad business for the farms with the animals destroying crops. That was a bad event. Very bad. It ended up with a forest ranger dead.

Closer to the city though, we don't have predators expect crocs in some rivers and lakes. They quickly become food.
 

Aerindel

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I have 20-30 bears a summer in at my place.

I've never found a 'trick' that works.

Just old school home defense. Dogs. Walls, Alarms and someone to respond when the alarm goes off.

Those trip wires that use a hand grenade top work pretty well for alarms.
 

SoJer

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Have only had 2 'close encounters', both from (I'd guess..) 'teens' that were just looking for food, but.. Up on our Porch (at the old Family cabin we rented for many years up in Sequoia..) was 'close enough' for comfort, and what worked for us was banging a Crescent wrench on a typical galvanized trash can lid - Something about that 'metal on metal' sound was effective (apparently..)

..Thus, wondering if maybe a large, DIY, simplified version of one of those 'Mechanical monkeys', ie:


..that would be either 'remotely', and/or 'trip line'-activated, but Much larger, and Only for the purpose of repeatedly / Loudly bashing together two of the galv'd can-lids.. Could be done with a beefy motor, a couple 'DIY cams' / bearings / armatures, and some heavy-duty springs.. I'd have to think about the construction, but.. Doable. :cool:

..and, of course, the 'monkey costume' would not be "needed", but.. Then again, that thing's face Is pretty freakish.. :)

Another idea might be (for an encounter within 10-12 meters) some of these: ..since they only contain airsoft BBs (so, nothing 'risky' for Yourself, as-with a Real grenade..) but they are Loud, and I'd assert 'fire safe', given there's not much of a 'fireball' or anything, just a good, solid 'report' / airsoft-BB-blast..

..'Course, these are ideas coming from some guy sitting on his couch, and Not from anyone Living in 'Bear Country', so.. YMMV.. :) Though, we (where we're Currently living..) actually Do get 'neighborhood incursions' from decent size Blackies, at least 1-2x a year.. Same with a few Mountain Lions, here/there.. (and Coyotes roam our 'hood, every nite, actually..)

..Still, clearly a solid Shotgun / two, and/or at Least a 45-70, is a Must, for ya'll living in the 'Real World'.. :cool:

.02
jd
 

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