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Old 06-09-2019, 04:04 PM
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Default Black Bear Experts???

I live at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains a couple of miles from Shenandoah National Park so black bears aren't in short supply around here. I've had numerous visits from black bears in the 10 years I've lived here and in the last month specifically. I don't put my trash out in the cans until Friday AM just before the truck comes but neighbors don't always wait so that's one bear attractant. I do hang bird feeders but bring them indoors at night when the bears usually show up.

I usually get them inside in a timely fashion although I lost track of time several weeks ago one evening and had one feeder yanked apart. Last night, I'd taken the feeders inside early and got to see what a huge disappointed bear looks like. Did I say this thing was really large? It ambled around my cabin seeming to be in no big hurry, came up onto my front deck, looked at the space where the feeders normally hang and turned around and walked off.

It got me to wondering how black bears go about foraging for human scraps. Do they have a regular routine as to where and when they go searching for food? Do they memorize where various opportunities have previously been fruitful? Is there a local ursus that knows that yours truly hangs bird feeders with his favorite sunflower seeds in front of his window? Anybody know the feeding habits of the black bear? Inquiring minds want to know.

The picture below is that of my first black bear sighting at my cabin several years ago, and you can see the bird seed dribbling out of its mouth....
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Last edited by RP; 06-09-2019 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 06-09-2019, 04:23 PM
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LyleGorch LyleGorch is offline
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Old 06-09-2019, 04:41 PM
marty bradbury marty bradbury is offline
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Bears in general have very good sense if smell and yes a memory and routine also. The black bear are also the only bear (except the polar) to stalk a human for dinner. Never back down from a black bear if confronted. Get rid of the feeders.
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Old 06-09-2019, 04:43 PM
nitram nitram is offline
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Just don't feed 'em. It keeps bringing them back. Even in Banff they tell tourists not to feed the bears because, if you run out of snacks, the bears don't give up. And THAT'S the problem.
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Old 06-09-2019, 06:36 PM
frets4fun frets4fun is offline
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They just talked about this in Northern MI. They said DON'T FEED.....it doesn't matter the time of day, with their sense of smell, any feeders will keep them coming back.
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Old 06-09-2019, 07:27 PM
Inyo Inyo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RP View Post

I do hang bird feeders but bring them indoors at night when the bears usually show up.

I usually get them inside in a timely fashion although I lost track of time several weeks ago one evening and had one feeder yanked apart.
Speaking of bears and bird seed, here are three YouTube videos about a woman who recently survived a black bear attack on a hiking trail near Aspen, Colorado; after officials captured and euthanized the bear, a necropsy revealed a stomach engorged with bird seed.





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Old 06-09-2019, 08:38 PM
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I'm starting to see a trend here...
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Old 06-10-2019, 03:40 AM
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LyleGorch LyleGorch is offline
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A college kid was killed by a bear as he tried to feed the bear a bagel here in NJ.
(No cream cheese jokes)
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Old 06-10-2019, 03:50 AM
KenL KenL is offline
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I studied up on bears when I moved to Colorado 2 years ago. One thing that I thought was interesting was the fact that bears don't really live anywhere. They just ramble about in search of food. If they find a food source, they will stick around until it runs out.

Otherwise, they wander.
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Old 06-10-2019, 04:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenL View Post
I studied up on bears when I moved to Colorado 2 years ago. One thing that I thought was interesting was the fact that bears don't really live anywhere. They just ramble about in search of food. If they find a food source, they will stick around until it runs out.

Otherwise, they wander.
I wonder how large a range they cover...
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Old 06-10-2019, 04:49 AM
Murphy Slaw Murphy Slaw is offline
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Quote:
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(No cream cheese jokes)
Sigh......
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:14 AM
JCave JCave is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marty bradbury View Post
Get rid of the feeders.
I learned the hard way to bring feeders in at night. Both seed feeders and two suet blocks come in every night.
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Old 06-10-2019, 12:06 PM
reeve21 reeve21 is offline
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I had one hibernate under my porch one winter. They don't really go to sleep, they are in a "torpor" and will awaken from time to time, especially if aggravated
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Old 06-10-2019, 12:26 PM
JCave JCave is offline
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By the bear scat, they've been very comfortable in our yard.

Every year we have several reports of bears breaking into cars. Yep, leave a donut, they'll find it.

Our feeder problems began with raccoons. We had over a dozen of them fighting over one feeder. Those things make so much noise at 3:00am.

Last edited by JCave; 06-10-2019 at 01:07 PM.
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Old 06-10-2019, 05:31 PM
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I grew up just outside the Great Smokey Mountains National Park, where the bears are native. I did quite a bit of hiking in the park and surrounds and learned from the Rangers what you have to do to stay alive. Bears do keep a good memory of where they have had success. That means that every backcountry campsite is a target and a draw. You can't bury trash in the area of a BC campsite, you have to suspend your packs from a tree limb away from your tents, and you can't have any food in your tents, in order to keep them away from you. In public places where ignorant touristas leave food and food trash about and attempt to feed the bears, the Rangers often have to catch and relocate the bears to remote locations because once they find a place that yields food or scraps they simply will hang around forever unless they are relocated.

What does that mean to you? You've got to get rid of the bait if you want to get rid of the bears. Put away your feeders and keep waiting to put out your trash as you are.

Best luck,

Bob
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