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Categorized | Outdoors

Bear essentials

Bear essentials
Bears commonly are attracted to bird feeders for their access to easy protein and fat calories. Food can erode the natural fear of humans that bears have.

If you live in northern Michigan, learning the “bear essentials” is the key to coexisting with wildlife.

Black bears have a big appetite, an excellent sense of smell and the ability to remember a food source year after year, which is why preventing conflicts with bears is necessary.

You can help your community reduce bear conflicts by following these simple steps:

  • Remove potential food sources, like bird feeders, from your yard.
  • Keep pet food inside or in a secured area.
  • Keep garbage and odor at a minimum by removing trash often, storing trash in a secured area and cleaning the container with disinfectant.
  • Keep grills and picnic tables clean.
  • Protect apiaries (bee hives), fruit trees and gardens from bears with electric fencing.

Watch the Bear Essentials video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6c1c3qw7dg for more tips on how to avoid conflict with black bears.

It is safer for both bears and people to keep wildlife at a distance. While putting out feeders for bird watching during the winter is a fun and safe activity, feeders can attract more than songbirds during the spring, summer and fall months. Removing them now reduces the risk of attracting bears or other curious wildlife to your property.

Additional tips and information on how to handle conflicts with wildlife are available at Michigan.gov/Wildlife.

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