Bears are on the move, remember to be ‘bear aware’


By Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Special to The SUN
Bears are on the move throughout Colorado, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) offers a reminder that by taking some simple precautions, you can avoid human/wildlife conflicts and help to keep bears wild.
Here are helpful tips to prevent conflicts:
• Keep garbage in a well-secured location.
• Only put out garbage on the morning of pickup.
• Clean garbage cans regularly to keep them odor-free.
• Use a bear-resistant trash can or dumpster available from your trash hauler or on the Internet.
• If you don’t have secure storage, put items that might become smelly into the freezer until trash day.
• Don’t leave pet food or stock feed outside.
• Bird feeders are a major source of bear/human conflicts. Attract birds naturally with flowers and water baths. Do not hang bird feeders from April 15 to Nov. 15.
• If you must have bird feeders, clean up beneath them every day, bring them in at night and hang them high so that they’re completely inaccessible to bears.
• Do not attract other wildlife by feeding them, such as deer, turkeys or small mammals.
• Don’t allow bears to become comfortable around your house. If you see one, yell at them, throw things at them and make noise to scare them off.
• Secure compost piles. Bears are attracted to the scent of rotting food — and they’ll eat anything.
• Bears have good memories and will return to places they’ve found food.
• Allow grills to burn for a couple of minutes after cooking to burn off grease and to eliminate odors. Clean the grill after each use.
• Clean up thoroughly after picnics in the yard or on the deck. Don’t allow food odors to linger.
• If you have fruit trees, pick fruit before it gets too ripe. Don’t allow fruit to rot on the ground.
• Keep garage doors closed.
• Lock your doors when you’re away from home and at night.
• Keep the bottom-floor windows of your house closed when you’re not at home.
• Do not keep food in your vehicle; roll up windows and lock the doors of your vehicles.
• When car-camping, secure all food and coolers in a locked vehicle after you’ve eaten.
• Keep a clean camp, whether you’re in a campground or in the backcountry.
• When camping in the backcountry, hang food 100 feet or more from campsite; don’t bring any food into your tent.
• Cook food well away from your tent; wash dishes thoroughly.
• Talk to your neighbors and kids about being bear aware.
• If you keep small livestock, keep animals in a fully covered enclosure that is electrified. Don’t store food outside, keep enclosures clean to minimize odors, and hang rags soaked in ammonia and/or Pine-Sol around the enclosure.
• If you have beehives, install electric fencing where allowed.
For more information, go to the Living with Wildlife section on the CPW website: