Sunday, 18 May 2014

Preventing or discouraging wild animals in your yard; bears included

Regular readers know we've had a deer carcass in the winter. The wolf and the coyote ate it and cleaned it up, which I documented every day (Fed. 20 - March 10th). I saw the wolf chase a deer into our yard, she seemed to feel safe here. [I saw a wolf in our back forty!Normal wolves and bears do not approach humans. Bear attacks are infrequent, but they do happen.
Coyotes and foxes are a lot less afraid! This is why they train people, like my daughter who does field work, how to act react when you encounter them.

Don't feed them!
We had a bear amble by while we were eating dinner last April! There was a bear attack, when we lived in Muskoka in 2010. They are very rare and they usually avoid humans. In all my forest walks I'd never seen one either here, in Lanark County, or in Muskoka. You just have to act like a human, they tell us. You should be bear wise in Canada.
Don't do what these people did in Coquitlam: casually watch it, then go after it with a stick:

I've written about our backyard bear, which visited only once, since the scattered bird seed, under the feeder, had been cleaned up by our wild turkeys!
Good article: Co-existing...

Co-existing with wild animals

The most important principle in avoiding conflicts with coyotes is to prevent them from finding access to easy food sources. Coyotes are opportunistic feeders that hunt birds, small mammals, amphibians and grasshoppers, eat carrion (dead animals), and also consume fruits and vegetables. Around human settlements, coyotes are usually shy and non-confrontational, but they will treat garbage, compost, garden vegetables and fruits (including berries), pet food, pets, poultry and small livestock as food sources, if they see them as an easy meal.
  • Always secure pet food, garbage and compost in containers with locking lids and store them in an enclosed structure. 
  • Keep your BBQs clean.
  • Make garbage and compost inaccessible to wildlife: 

    • Use heavy garbage cans with locking lids
    • Fasten lids with bungee cords
    • Put garbage out the morning of pick-up, not overnight
    • Never discard meat, dairy or egg products in compost piles.
  • Use motion-sensitive floodlights to startle and scare away wildlife
  • Keep pet doors locked at night
  • Do not leave pet food outside overnight
  • Keep BBQ grills clean and close BBQ lids after use
  • Close your doors, screens won't keep them out
  • Clean up animal feces (coyotes are attracted to it!).
  • Protect vegetable gardens with heavy-duty fencing, or grow vegetables in a greenhouse.
  • Pick fruit as soon as it is ripe.
  • Remove fruit windfall from the ground. 
  • Be aware that bird feeders bring birds, large and small mammals, such as squirrels (i.e. prey) to your yard.


  1. Calgary Herald ‎- 3 days ago
    A female Suncor worker is dead after being attacked by a black bear Wednesday afternoon at a work ... 
  2. An oilsands worker was killed by a black bear at a Suncor base north of Fort McMurray in northeastern Alberta. The adult male bear was later put down.

    By Erika Stark, CalgaryHerald May 8, 2014 11:28 AM.

4 comments:

Olga Hebert said...

I have seen a bear in the field behind my house. There is a corridor not far to the east of us and those nearer to it have seen bear very close to their houses.
I took down bird feeders because of raccoons. Raccoons have actually torn through the screens on my sister's kitchen and bathroom windows to get inside her house and steal bread. I don't want to encourage that kind of behavior.

William Kendall said...

Very good tips, Jennifer.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
Similar advice is given out in Australia - but dingo is the only real threat (and even that is debatable, truth be told)... in the'burb's it is Kookaburra and possum you have to watch out for. Maybe a snake or two. Then there's always the spiders... hmmmm....

Here in Dunoon, beware seagulls and pigeons. YAM xx

Roan said...

Excellent tips. Fortunately, we don't have bears around here.