There has been a bear sighting in Horseshoe Bay. Attacks by black bears are extremely rare, and defensive attacks are less frequent than offensive attacks. However, we should take proper safety precautions.

Removing the Attractant Removes the Bear

To achieve the most effective and long-lasting solution in avoiding unwanted nuisance black bear behaviour, we must practice prevention rather than apply “after-the-fact” responses to a bear that has already gained access to foods or adapted to its availability. Once a black bear has become used to eating foods associated with humans, it usually develops into a “problem” animal and must be either relocated or destroyed.

You may be able to discourage bears from becoming human-habituated and food-conditioned by applying the following principles of “Good Housekeeping”. Remember that bears have an insatiable appetite, and their behaviour is driven by their search for food. So please, do your part in deterring black bears from becoming a nuisance, a danger, or being needlessly destroyed.

General Attractants

Barbecues: If not maintained properly, barbecues can attract bears. Replace lava rocks with ceramic bricks for ease of cleaning. Remove the grease can from gas and charcoal grills after every use. Turn the grill on “High” for several minutes to burn off food residue and grease. Clean barbecue pits and grills thoroughly with an ammonia-based cleaner to mask the smells before leaving them outside. When not in use, wrap barbecues in plastic and store them inside a secured garage or shed.

Birdfeed: Remove all bird feeders from April through to November. Birds have ample natural foods in the summer and do not need supplemental feed. If given a choice, a bear will choose this high quality and dependable year-round food supply over natural foods. In bear country, bird feeding accounts for 36 per cent of all nuisance problems. Do not place any food to attract wildlife.

Odours: With the exception of ammonia, Lysol, camphor and other such strong smells, everything smells like potential bear food.

Pet Food: Do not feed family pets outside. An empty dish left outside will have the leftover scent of food including morsels of uneaten food. Store animal feed indoors in airtight containers.

Campsite Maintenance

  1. Keep your campsite clean and put everything away.
  2. Do not burn food scraps or fat in an open fire.
  3. Keep all food stored in your RV or vehicle.
  4. Garbage should be in tied plastic bags. Loose garbage can attract bears.
  5. Do not dispose dishwater around or near your campsite.

Tips on what to do if you encounter a bear: