There is always the potential of a bear encounter out at the property, the last few summers I’d see one almost every time I drove out to the property.
I not all that comfortable hiking in the bush along as I’ve always been a little bit paranoid when it comes to bears.
Not always, but some of the time I will insist that we bring the rifle with us, especially when we are doing over night trips.
Once time I remember we had the travel trailer set up, the rifle was leaning up against the trailer and we were about 40 feet away sitting by the fire having a beer and relaxing after a day of work.
We were quiet, just chilling and I look up and say “Bear” it was walking into camp oblivious to us being there and there he was standing right beside the rifle.
Scott got up and yelled “outta here bear” twice and I got up quickly grabbing my phone….. because I was going to get a picture of course, but by the time I turned around the bear was nowhere to be seen.
I think he was used to having the place to himself and didn’t expect to come upon any humans.
There had been signs that a bear had been around. A couple big piles of scat right near the front door of the main cabin.
After this encounter we came across bear scat twice more in the yard area. Scott says to me “if you are going to have pets you need to clean up after them”
Well I’m pretty cautious now when I go up there on my own and so I thought I better to some research.
I don’t know if I heard it somewhere or just thought if a person were to mark their territory (pee around the perimeter) that the bear would not be interested in coming around.
Well that’s easy I could do that!
So I did some research on this and it seems there are claims that it works and some that it doesn’t. Brings up another question.
Is there a difference between male and female urine to a bear? Well the people that believe it works say that there is no difference between the sexes.
Some things people have said are:
Urine smells and bears are interested in anything that smells
The salt in urine will attract bears
A few people have said to pee high in a tree
Scent trees surrounding your area with your urine, but 100 to 150 feet away
The Inupiaq Eskimo’s used a urine fence others swear by it
One-man claims he shoots his rifle off a few times into a tree and leaves the shell casings behind. He felt the noise and scent of the shell casings keep the bears away.
So for me the jury is still out
Not sure I’ll rely on the urine fence
Here are some other things I learned:
Spring, summer and early fall are the times bears are around, I need to be aware of my surroundings. Is there bear scat around? Are any of the trees marked up? Just look for signs.
A bear’s sense of smells is better than a dogs, it’s said to be seven times stronger than a bloodhound.
Natural food area will attract bears such as berry patches.
If there has been a mild winter it can mean that game such as deer are stronger which in turn leaves the bears out seeking food.
Also if there is a late winter or dry spring there will be fewer berries. These conditions can produce hungry bears and those we don’t want to run into.
Soaps, lotions, deodorants, food all these scents can attract bears so be careful to put these things in containers that have tightly sealing lids.
I have learned that bears don’t like noise like the one Scott yelled at; it took off in a shot.
So I am planning on hanging up some wind chimes this spring particularly near the main cabin and one outside the small cabin.
Hopefully that will keep the bears away from me.
2 thoughts on “Bear in the Yard”
First of all, should I say, “Holy Bear Poop!” I would have been terrified to have a bear that close. I even grew up in bear country and never encountered a bear so close.
Your article is well-written with some great tips on how to be safe while moving around and living in areas where there are bears. I had never heard about the “urine fence” for a bear, but have seen a documentary about it for a wolf pack.
That was my first encounter with a bear and I’m hoping not to have anymore. That’s interesting about the urine fence for a wolf pack as well (we have wolf and cougar in the area as well)