Bears!!!

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pezblanco
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Bears!!!

Post by pezblanco » Sun Jul 15, 2018 3:03 pm

I've read that black bears are quite common in many places in the USA. I live at the edge of a national forest but still within the city limits (barely) of a city. My house is quite a ways from the street and you reach it by driving down a longish (150 feet or so) gravel driveway. The area around the house is left natural ... just woods. My neighbors all do the same and so the area is pretty natural. Next to the road, I keep the garbage can ... it is convenient to the road so I can wheel it out to the curb once a week for pickup. The garbage cans are these 96 gallon containers that look something like this:

https://www.webstaurantstore.com/rubber ... csQAvD_BwE

I'm sure many of you have something like this. These things are tough! They have to be right? When we first moved here, I put some bungee cords around the top so that critters wouldn't get in. A bear came through one night and pushed the bungees out of the way and strewed garbage around the house.

Sooooo .... I went on the internet and saw that you can "bear proof" you garbage can by putting in some bolts with wing nuts to bolt down the lid. I went and drilled 4 holes for 4 steel bolts. A bear came through about 2 weeks ago and beat the dickens out of the garbage can. Clawed it up, stove it in on one side, put a couple of tooth or claw sized holes in it but the ensemble held! VB (Victory Bear) day! But sort of a Pyrrhic victory .... the garbage can wasn't going to be very useful with much more of this type of abuse.

Aaaaaand so, last night, another bear went by and managed to rip the lid off from the back of the can where the hinges are up to where one of the bolts was holding the side the can .... and was able to scoop out the garbage to have a well deserved snack.

I'm beginning to think that my strategy of bear proofing the municipal garbage cans is not working out very well :D ... I can't have the bears start thinking that there is free food around or we could end up with a dangerous situation near the house ....

My constraints:

1) I have to use the municipal garbage cans for pickup .... i.e. I can't buy a bear proof can and have the city pick up my garbage from it.

2) I don't have a garage or any secure outdoor storage area for the garbage. Anyway having the garbage bin close to the house would still be a chore to get it up to the road.

3) For bear proof storage bins, I've only seen steel ones that can only hold 30 gal garbage containers ... they are expensive and are probably a bit of overkill. They have things like this at some national forest trailheads and in campgrounds.

4) I've seen a few wooden and plastic storage bins for garbage bins but I haven't seen anything that looks like it could shelter a 96 gal container and stand up to a 300 pound bear.

I'm at wit's end! Anyone have any ideas or experience with something like this???

(Please, no suggestions of shooting the bears .... it's illegal and I wouldn't do it anyway.)

wstrdg
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by wstrdg » Sun Jul 15, 2018 3:07 pm

maybe one of those motion-activated sprinklers, to scare the bear away? of course, your garbage collectors aren't going to be very happy if they get soaked

jminv
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by jminv » Sun Jul 15, 2018 3:15 pm

Are you certain about the municipality not allowing bear proof cans? I lived in a town with them and they were an option. You called and got on a very long waiting list for one (to encourage you to buy your own). There are brands that fit in with trash programs. You might be able to get an exception for them if you have small animal and they’re being aggressive etc if you talk to mayor/town hall/ trash company.

There are not really any other solutions to your problem other than to take the trash to the dump yourself. I did this while waiting for my bear proof can to arrive.

Are any of your neighbors baiting the bears? I know, it sounds crazy but I once had a crazy neighbor feeding them which made my yard unusable. She liked to watch them everyday (like a birder but a bearer i guess?). I couldn’t discuss the issue rationally with them (they were doing it on industrial scale it was bizarre) so I had to call wildlife department about it. After that and some time had passed bears came much less frequently.

retiredjg
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by retiredjg » Sun Jul 15, 2018 3:33 pm

I live in a place with bears. I do not keep bird feeders out in the summer any more ( :( ) and I do not put garbage outside year round.

If the garbage simply MUST leave the house, I put it in my car overnight - few bears, few bear incidents, our bears are not yet smart enough or hungry enough to try to break into a car.

I don't think that will work for you. Your bears sound more human acclimated and more aggressive about getting to human garbage than our bears.

Here's an idea you won't like but it will work. Put your garbage in a freezer. On trash day, take it out, put it in the wheeled can and wheel it to the curb while still frozen.

A small chest type freezer is not that expensive. https://www.lowes.com/pd/Haier-3-5-cu-f ... 1000372665


Or buy some bear proof cans to sit by the house and transfer the garbage to your wheeled container on garbage day. This is easy, but does not stop attracting bears to your house.

ThriftyPhD
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by ThriftyPhD » Sun Jul 15, 2018 3:35 pm

I had a relative who lived out in the woods. Any garbage left outside for long would attract bears. He built a box around the garbage cans using extra thick wood planks. A few times bears came around and left good size scratches in it, but the box held. After a while they moved on and stopped trying.

mouses
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by mouses » Sun Jul 15, 2018 3:35 pm

Do NOT move the garbage can closer to the house.

GrowthSeeker
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by GrowthSeeker » Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:14 pm

Any way to not put organic material in the garbage?

Thoroughly rinse out containers to be thrown away.
Not sure how much can go down the drain for the septic system (or sewer) to handle.
Items you must throw out in garbage that are organic and bears would be attracted to: put into plastic grocery store bags (that have no holes in them), get out all the air, tie a knot (double bag if it's really messy) then on your next trip into town throw that little bag into a public trash bin outside your place of work, or a gas station, or a WalMart.

That way your garbage can contents are much cleaner with much less organic material and bear food.
Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're NOT out to get you.

Kompass
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by Kompass » Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:21 pm

3) For bear proof storage bins, I've only seen steel ones that can only hold 30 gal garbage containers ... they are expensive and are probably a bit of overkill. They have things like this at some national forest trailheads and in campgrounds.“

National forests have a lot of experience with this and have done all the testing for you. It may seem like overkill but bears are very persistent, love a puzzle, and have allllll day. :twisted:
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brokendirtdart
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by brokendirtdart » Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:25 pm

I miss bears. Really not enough around where I live in a swampy, crawfish filled, Cajun type gulf state. Had tons of them around when I lived in Alaska, and fortunately got to see a lazy black bear wander across the street when I went up to New Hampshire at the end of May.

They are some clever critters, but I was used to dealing with clever raccoons. I found that if I treated them as big strong raccoons and "raccoon on steroids" proofed my stuff, I would be OK.

retiredjg
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by retiredjg » Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:26 pm

GrowthSeeker wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:14 pm
...then on your next trip into town throw that little bag into a public trash bin outside your place of work, or a gas station, or a WalMart.
While effective, this is not legal in many jurisdictions. Those cans are usually not "public" in terms of receiving home generated trash. They are only "public" in terms of receiving trash generated in the general vicinity. Or trash as generated by the people owning the trash bins and paying for their emptying.

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pezblanco
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by pezblanco » Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:33 pm

Some more information:

1) The municipal web site says no other cans allowed but I will raise the issue with them tomorrow when I talk to them about how to get another trash can. If they allowed me to get one, the one marketed by bearicuda looks good .... I don't know how much it costs.

2) I'm not sure that a sprinkler would scare them away ... the area is a high desert, it might even be an attractant in that case!

3) My immediate neighbors are really good about keeping garbage inside but they have garages and I don't. One did have all of his bird feeders attacked and destroyed including a deck chest containing bird seed ripped apart and partially devoured (bear granola!!) :D

4) I'm trying to avoid having this be a huge change in our lives/lifestyle ... so freezing garbage, keeping it in car to throw away at other places, are last resort ideas .... I'm sure they will work but I really hate to have to resort to that.

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pezblanco
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by pezblanco » Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:38 pm

Regarding the comment about "raccoons on steroids". I think that is a very apt description. In the upper midwest, I was used to dealing with raccoons and garbage issues ... hence my first attempt with bungee cords. But, seriously if you could see what they did to this very very tough garbage can .... it's really at a whole other level than "raccoon".

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pezblanco
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by pezblanco » Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:40 pm

Right now I'm trying to find some plans to build a stout wooden box or maybe a small wood fenced enclosure???

retiredjg
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by retiredjg » Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:46 pm

The easiest thing might be to put an electric fence around your trash can. Or around the enclosure for your trash can.

You and your family are sure to get zapped once or twice, but it will probably be effective against the bears. That's why beekeepers use them. :happy

livesoft
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by livesoft » Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:50 pm

While I don't have bears at home, I have recently encountered bears on separated occasions while camping. My research paid off and I was not hassled by the bears. Since your bear(s) know about garbage cans, I think you are pretty much screwed.

Back at my house, we have minimal garbage, say one 13 gallon kitchen trash can per week. So I first suggest that you stop creating so much garbage.

Next with so little garbage, you don't have to put your garbage out every week. We don't. You can use odor-proof bags and containers and have your garbage around the house longer.

Third, you can drop your minimal garbage off at the municipal dump and not rely on someone or something picking it up.

Fourth, you should have already contacted your local government officials and the Forest Service to get advice and inform them of your bear problem. I would not be surprised if some people could be ticketed for feeding the bears ... including you.

And I like the idea of an electric fence, but you shouldn't need it since you are not going to have garbage outside anymore anyways.
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retiredjg
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by retiredjg » Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:59 pm

livesoft wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:50 pm
Next with so little garbage, you don't have to put your garbage out every week. We don't. You can use odor-proof bags and containers and have your garbage around the house longer.
Might work where you live, but in the summer my garbage has to go somewhere twice a week. Otherwise, there will be fruit fly grubs crawling over everything!

It's pretty yucky. I take my garbage to the "transfer station" twice a week during much of the summer.

:(

Certainly agree with reducing the amount of garbage/trash generated.

BogleBike
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by BogleBike » Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:02 pm

This thread has a decided lack of comments regarding possible drops in the stock market. I guess that would be the least of your problems right now.

livesoft
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by livesoft » Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:03 pm

^I was a guest at my friends house out west last week. They generate even less garbage than we do and put the small amount of daily stuff in smalled sealed plastic bags before putting into kitchen garbage can. No ants, no flies, no smells. Sure, it requires a change in mind set, but just like backpacking nowadays and packing out one's used toilet paper and other hygiene products, it is just what one does.
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likegarden
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by likegarden » Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:06 pm

Some bears will not attack a garbage can when there is a paper towel drenched in Ammonia in it, Google for it. Or spray the garbage with Ammonia.

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akblizzard
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by akblizzard » Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:12 pm

We have black and grizzly bears around. At least weekly trips to the transfer station is about all I do. So not going to offer much help other than to suggest buying a $100 trail camera so you can at least have some fun capturing photos of the critters as they try to outsmart your trash can. I enjoy getting some good pics of my local critters.

MJW
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by MJW » Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:36 pm

You could try waiting up for the bears and admonishing them when they arrive. Appeal to their sense of common decency.

:idea:

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pezblanco
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by pezblanco » Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:56 pm

Our total garbage is maybe 2 13 gal containers per week. The 96 gal garbage can size was chosen by the city ... its far larger than we need. I did and have checked with the forest service about the bear issue. One thing they recommend is no composting (no bird feeders, keeping outside grills closed up, etc etc) so really, we have to put stuff like melon rinds and meat scraps in the garbage. That stuff rapidly goes bad and smells in a day or so. We do have a long established custom of taking the kitchen bag out every evening .... just to keep the kitchen tidy. Some of you are suggesting that has to change. Maybe so. I'm not ready to give in yet. The transfer station/dump is a very long distance from the house and it's not really practical to run my own garbage service.

I'll check out the ammonia and the electric fence ideas ...

Also, I've been thinking about getting a trail camera for a long time .... lots of deer/bears/coyotes/bobcats are around the house ... it would be fun to get some shots of them.

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pezblanco
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by pezblanco » Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:58 pm

MJW wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:36 pm
You could try waiting up for the bears and admonishing them when they arrive. Appeal to their sense of common decency.

:idea:
A hungry bear has no conscience. :D

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Re: Bears!!!

Post by Sandtrap » Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:03 pm

retiredjg wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:46 pm
The easiest thing might be to put an electric fence around your trash can. Or around the enclosure for your trash can.

You and your family are sure to get zapped once or twice, but it will probably be effective against the bears. That's why beekeepers use them. :happy
+1
zillion volt horse electric fence around our entire property on "no climb" wire mesh.
Critters do not like electric fences.
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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by Doom&Gloom » Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:05 pm

The ammonia trick has worked for us when an adventuresome dog manages to get loose in the neighborhood for a while. At least he focuses on other targets. I have no idea if it works for bears, but it's worth a shot--and a hefty dose of ammonia. Good luck!

retiredjg
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by retiredjg » Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:09 pm

The trouble with ammonia is how to apply it in such a way that the house humans don't come in contact with it and suffer burns or eye damage.

You'd have to be careful with this route.

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unclescrooge
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by unclescrooge » Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:30 pm

Could you use bright lights as a deterrent?

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CABob
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by CABob » Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:49 pm

unclescrooge wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:30 pm
Could you use bright lights as a deterrent?
Perhaps with a motion sensor to activate?
I would have thought that the forest service folks or the trash company would have some suggestions.
Bob

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2pedals
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by 2pedals » Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:57 pm

I think I would contact Patti Sowka the person that wrote this article. Her email is listed and ask for her suggestions.

Teague
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by Teague » Sun Jul 15, 2018 7:30 pm

Bring the issue to the attention of your local city or state government. If it's anything like where I live, some eager politician will sponsor a law that prohibits bears from unauthorized feeding from trash cans. This will then be claimed as an accomplishment for their reelection campaign.

But, sorry, I've thought about it and have no real viable suggestion. Good luck.
Semper Augustus

fourwheelcycle
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by fourwheelcycle » Sun Jul 15, 2018 7:39 pm

Will your town allow this one: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Toter-Bear-P ... 3=&veh=sem

We live in northern New England black bear country. My bird feeders are hung far enough out on tree branches high above the ground so bears cannot reach them from the ground or by climbing the trees - but they have certainly tried.

Many years ago my wife invited several colleagues and their families to a small conference and had to set up rental houses for them. One colleague and his family stayed in a house right across the street from us, in our neighborhood carved out of the woods. One morning he called the local police to ask if there was a zoo nearby, because a mother bear and two cubs had gotten loose and were in his yard! The police explained there was no zoo nearby.

btenny
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by btenny » Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:52 pm

I live in Tahoe and we have bears in our yard about once a week. They are big clever animals who learn fast and are persistent. They always visit our yard on garbage day. They live right here with us so we have learned it takes special precautions to stop bear issues both with garbage, the house and our cars and boat. If you do not take these actions you may find your car or house destroyed when a bear is looking for something to eat.

1. We clean up after every meal and wash all pots and pans and rinse all the dishes completely.
2. We put away all left over food in the refrigerator in closed containers.
3. We rinse and wash out recycle plastic and bottles and cans and put it in a recycle garbage.
4. We freeze all excess food waste that is not put into the garbage disposer or saved as left overs. Then on garbage day we take out this frozen stuff and put it in the trash garbage.
5. We keep two garbage cans (recycle and regular) inside a closed garage at all times.
6, We only take out our garbage in regular cans and put it on the curb during the mid morning on pick up day. This garbage has nothing edible it it that is not frozen. See above.
7. Our neighbors who live in the full forest use steel closed bear boxes like the link below to put out their garbage cans for pickup.
https://bearbox.org/
8. We are careful to never leave ANY food or snacks or candy bars or granola bars or left over wrappers in our cars or boat over night. It is fairly common for bears to trash a car or boat or two every summer.
9. If you have fruit trees in your yard bears will come and visit and eat your fruit and maybe break the tree. So plant carefully.

Good Luck.

btenny
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by btenny » Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:57 pm


drawpoker
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by drawpoker » Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:25 pm

pezblanco wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 3:03 pm

...... A bear came through one night and pushed the bungees out of the way and strewed garbage around the house.
Sooooo .... A bear came through about 2 weeks ago and beat the dickens out of the garbage can.....Aaaaaand so, last night, another bear went by and managed to rip the lid off from the back of the can......
Don't have any suggestions for you, just a question.

Are you sure it is different bears, not the same one, visiting your garbage?

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HomerJ
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by HomerJ » Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:34 pm

livesoft wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:03 pm
^I was a guest at my friends house out west last week. They generate even less garbage than we do and put the small amount of daily stuff in smalled sealed plastic bags before putting into kitchen garbage can. No ants, no flies, no smells. Sure, it requires a change in mind set, but just like backpacking nowadays and packing out one's used toilet paper and other hygiene products, it is just what one does.
I put out extra garbage, just because I can. I try to only use half of everything I buy and throw away the rest.

It's just what one does.
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motorcyclesarecool
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by motorcyclesarecool » Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:44 pm

It’s probably the same bear. For now.

Are you certain it is illegal to shoot a nuisance animal? Not even with a crossbow or bow & arrow? Bear / human interactions are terrible for the bear, who could teach her offspring to emulate. Having zero legal lethal recourse would be terrible wildlife management. Ask the game warden.

If there’s a legal way, Craigslist will likely be a good way to find someone willing to take on the job for free.
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CABob
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by CABob » Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:13 pm

Contact your local animal control. They may be able to help or have some suggestions. They might have someone who will come with a tranquilizer gun.
Bob

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chickadee
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by chickadee » Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:31 pm

You might try this solution, CanUnLock.

https://www.canunlock.com/

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pezblanco
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by pezblanco » Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:31 pm

btenny wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:52 pm
I live in Tahoe and we have bears in our yard about once a week. They are big clever animals who learn fast and are persistent. They always visit our yard on garbage day. They live right here with us so we have learned it takes special precautions to stop bear issues both with garbage, the house and our cars and boat. If you do not take these actions you may find your car or house destroyed when a bear is looking for something to eat.

1. We clean up after every meal and wash all pots and pans and rinse all the dishes completely.
2. We put away all left over food in the refrigerator in closed containers.
3. We rinse and wash out recycle plastic and bottles and cans and put it in a recycle garbage.
4. We freeze all excess food waste that is not put into the garbage disposer or saved as left overs. Then on garbage day we take out this frozen stuff and put it in the trash garbage.
5. We keep two garbage cans (recycle and regular) inside a closed garage at all times.
6, We only take out our garbage in regular cans and put it on the curb during the mid morning on pick up day. This garbage has nothing edible it it that is not frozen. See above.
7. Our neighbors who live in the full forest use steel closed bear boxes like the link below to put out their garbage cans for pickup.
https://bearbox.org/
8. We are careful to never leave ANY food or snacks or candy bars or granola bars or left over wrappers in our cars or boat over night. It is fairly common for bears to trash a car or boat or two every summer.
9. If you have fruit trees in your yard bears will come and visit and eat your fruit and maybe break the tree. So plant carefully.

Good Luck.
Thanks for the link to the bearbox .... that looks like the best solution albeit expensive ... i found one box big enough for a 95 gal can for 1400 dollars (from a different manufacturer) .... ouch. I'm going to try a local welding shop and see what they can do. Great videos of the bears at Tahoe!

I did read a bit about electric fences .... I'm thinking this will be a last resort. Evidently, it is hard to get good grounds in dry soil (as I said above, I live in a desert) and the bears typically don't feel much on their bodies due to their thick fur ... you have to try to get them to put noses or tongues to the fence, so strategies include smearing goodies on the fence itself etc etc ....

Regarding whether it is the same bear or not .... I'm pretty sure from the scat piles I've seen that there are at least a couple of different ones. The last two attacks might have been the same one though.

There is no way in the world, I would consider shooting or hurting the bears. They are not doing anything wrong. It's not their fault that I'm not keeping the garbage away from them. I view it as being totally on me ..... I'm determined to take care of it.
HomerJ wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:34 pm
livesoft wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:03 pm
^I was a guest at my friends house out west last week. They generate even less garbage than we do and put the small amount of daily stuff in smalled sealed plastic bags before putting into kitchen garbage can. No ants, no flies, no smells. Sure, it requires a change in mind set, but just like backpacking nowadays and packing out one's used toilet paper and other hygiene products, it is just what one does.
I put out extra garbage, just because I can. I try to only use half of everything I buy and throw away the rest.

It's just what one does.
Homer, I like the cut of your jib. :D

NYnative
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by NYnative » Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:16 pm

I've never seen a bear in the desert. In the Phoenix area we have coyotes, javalinas, an occasional wolf, rattle snakes (and a few other types), rats of all type, some huge, and far too many people. But bears?? The 110+ temps in the summer is not the right environment for bears.

drawpoker
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by drawpoker » Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:28 pm

pezblanco wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:31 pm

Regarding whether it is the same bear or not .... pretty sure from the scat piles I've seen that there are at least a couple of different ones......last two attacks might have been the same one though.........
Er, thanks. Clearly to be filed under T.M.I. category.

Rather than employing your, um, up-close and personal method here - how 'bout this instead.
Locate a vendor where the banks get those exploding dye packs they give out to robbers. You know, the ones that are set to explode a few minutes after they have been disturbed. Carefully position one every night in your garbage.

That will help immensely in identifying which bear is guilty. And which ones may be just bystanders. Or entitled to innocent spouse protections.

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pezblanco
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by pezblanco » Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:40 pm

NYnative wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:16 pm
I've never seen a bear in the desert. In the Phoenix area we have coyotes, javalinas, an occasional wolf, rattle snakes (and a few other types), rats of all type, some huge, and far too many people. But bears?? The 110+ temps in the summer is not the right environment for bears.
The high altitude deserts at the edge of forested areas are bear habitat .... Tucson has had several documented black bear problems. Another site about Arizona bears http://www.arizona-leisure.com/arizona-black-bear.html writes:

The habitat of black bears is primarily at elevations from 4,000 to 10,000 feet in light and heavy forested regions as well as desert riparian areas. They roam in territories of five to fifty square miles. Frequent sightings occur in the Arizona White Mountains region, along the Mogollon Rim areas of Payson and even close to Phoenix in the Four Peaks area.

Shallowpockets
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by Shallowpockets » Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:55 am

At some point in time there will be an incident that needs addressing. The incident will be a direct encounter, maybe injuries, between a person and the bear. Maybe not in your yard, but the fact that the bears are around your yard is sure that they are around others also.
Document your contacts with your city officials and the garbage company. Let them know this. Nothing says something now has to be done than a bear attack on someone, maybe a child. Then things will move. The first movement will be that the bear gets shot.

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Pancakes-Eggs-Bacon
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by Pancakes-Eggs-Bacon » Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:39 am

Is indoor composting an option? They make units that fit under the kitchen sink and larger units that could fit in a garage or basement. Turn all food scraps to fertile dirt. Less trash goes to the curb, and the trash that does doesn't smell.

Are you a big recycler? When I became more aggressive with recycling and compostng and rinsing out all plastic milk and food containers, I reduced my curbside trash by about 80-90%.

livesoft
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by livesoft » Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:50 am

For us, recycling just replaces curbside garbage with curbside materials in a recycling container.

As for composting, we do that, but there is very little to compost if one chooses food wisely and eats it. One example is an apple. Here are two apples, one before cutting to eat and one after. Note that there is no apple core, but only the seeds and bit of the stem and base area removed:

Image
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

Glockenspiel
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by Glockenspiel » Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:14 am

Can you build a sturdy fenced-in enclosure? Or a small shed? I would think with some 2x4s, plywood, screws, hinges, and metal lock, it would be sturdy enough to deter the bears from attempting to get in?

MI_bogle
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by MI_bogle » Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:50 am

pezblanco wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 3:03 pm
I've read that black bears are quite common in many places in the USA. I live at the edge of a national forest but still within the city limits (barely) of a city. My house is quite a ways from the street and you reach it by driving down a longish (150 feet or so) gravel driveway. The area around the house is left natural ... just woods. My neighbors all do the same and so the area is pretty natural. Next to the road, I keep the garbage can ... it is convenient to the road so I can wheel it out to the curb once a week for pickup. The garbage cans are these 96 gallon containers that look something like this:

https://www.webstaurantstore.com/rubber ... csQAvD_BwE



My constraints:

1) I have to use the municipal garbage cans for pickup .... i.e. I can't buy a bear proof can and have the city pick up my garbage from it.

2) I don't have a garage or any secure outdoor storage area for the garbage. Anyway having the garbage bin close to the house would still be a chore to get it up to the road.

3) For bear proof storage bins, I've only seen steel ones that can only hold 30 gal garbage containers ... they are expensive and are probably a bit of overkill. They have things like this at some national forest trailheads and in campgrounds.

4) I've seen a few wooden and plastic storage bins for garbage bins but I haven't seen anything that looks like it could shelter a 96 gal container and stand up to a 300 pound bear.

Honestly, given these constraints, pretty much your best (only?) solution is keeping the trash in the house until the morning of trash collection. The chest freezer idea earlier in the thread is a great one. Freezing the trash will reduce odors for you, and for the bear, and make storage during the week easy.

Bears are smart, determined, and once they are habituated to a food source and people, they become really bad nuisance animals.

vested1
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by vested1 » Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:02 am

I agree that a bear box is you're best solution. Be prepared for a lot of claw marks from frustrated bears. Position the bear box as far from the house as practicable.

Alternative which may be cheaper: If you don't have room in the house for an additional chest freezer, and since you don't have a garage, consider purchasing a strong shed to house the freezer and empty garbage containers. Run electrical to the shed through buried conduit. Freeze the garbage as suggested, transfer to the garbage cans on garbage day, and wheel it out to the garbage collection area immediately.

One of the worst/best areas for bears in the lower 48 is the high desert in the Mammoth area of the Sierras. It's common to see black bears in broad daylight every day. If someone shoots a bear they are in deep trouble unless it was the result of a life threatening situation, something that can be avoided almost 100% of the time. Every home and business has a bear box for garbage, all dumpsters are bear-proof, but are still able to be emptied by a garbage truck.

Those moving to bear country should treat this as a necessary expense, a small price for living in paradise.

CurlyDave
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by CurlyDave » Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:17 am

likegarden wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:06 pm
Some bears will not attack a garbage can when there is a paper towel drenched in Ammonia in it, Google for it. Or spray the garbage with Ammonia.
+1 on the ammonia.

But use more of it. About 1 cup added to the can each time you open it will stop them in their tracks. The lid has to be tight-fitting and in good condition or the ammonia will evaporate. If you can open the can without holding your breath you do not have enough ammonia. The bear can smell it without opening the can...

You can keep a gallon bottle near the can and they will not bother the bottle.

We had a bear problem and I called Fish & Wildlife (used to be Fish & Game) to get a depredation tag to shoot the bears. But the woman there told me about the ammonia trick. I was very skeptical -- I am thinking "bullets" and she is saying "laundry products". But it worked very well.

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Will do good
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Re: Bears!!!

Post by Will do good » Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:04 am

Do you have a extra freezer in the house?

My DW keeps fish/meats and bones frozen in the freezer (in smaller bag) until the day of garbage pick up. This way our garbage doesn't smell and the raccoons don't come around anymore.

Edit: btenny is correct, you don't need an extra freezer. DW use 2-3 Gal bag to freeze leftovers in our frig/freezer. But if you do have an extra freezer like some folks it just make it easier.
Last edited by Will do good on Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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