It’s about that time when we begin to see our big furry friends along the mountain range. Black Bears have always been a part of the abundant wildlife in this region of North Carolina and we happily cohabitate with these large neighbors each year. While a bear sighting can be equally as startling as it is interesting, we have some important tips to keep those a minimum and keep all of us at Rumbling Bald on Lake Lure “bear wise”.
Follow these six basic steps from NC Wildlife:
DO NOT FEED BEARS
This may seem like an obvious one, but bears are not domesticated pets. However, they are intelligent animals. If individuals intentionally provide a bear with free food, the bear will continue to come back for easy pickings. This trains the bear to stay around populated areas and increases interactions with even more bears.
REMOVE OR SECURE POTENTIAL FOOD SOURCES
Unintentionally feeding bears results in the same trained behavior as if you intentionally fed one. Garbage left outside is inviting a bear to a free feast as well. Instead move your garbage inside buildings where bears cannot enter, such as a supply shed or garage. There are also bear-resistant trash containers that allow for garbage to be kept outside your home, but under a secure latching system. You can find some models here.
DON’T LEAVE PET FOOD OUT
Pet food is also bear food. Even remnants of food on your pet’s bowl could entice a bear to approach your home. Store your pet’s food inside your home or keep it securely locked down. The last thing you want is your furry family member to run an increased risk of meeting a bear outside.
CLEAN OUTDOOR GRILLS
Spring and summer are the time of year we want to be outside in the fresh air too, which leads to cookouts and grilling out. After using your grill, clean it thoroughly to ensure all residue of grease and fat are removed. Otherwise, the smell will invite bears to poke around. If your grill is transportable, it’s always smart to take the added precaution of storing your clean grill in an enclosed location as well.
NO BIRD FEEDERS DURING BEAR SEASON
If you love bird watching, you might be bear watching this season when you leave out bird feeders. Much like how squirrels and dear love to indulge in bird feed, bears will too. The most failsafe way is to remove bird feeders in their entirety during bear season (March-November). However, bird lovers can take alternative approaches to keep feeders away from bears. Be sure to keep your bird feeders well away from your house suspended 10 feet off the ground and away from the trunks of trees.
Be on the lookout not just for yourself, but for your neighbors as well. Make a collective goal with your neighbors to diminish the attractions of bears to your area by following these above tips. Alert your neighbors if you have seen a bear in the area so everyone can be bear safe too.
Rumbling Bald on Lake Lure is located in a geographical area that has always been a home to the Black Bear. We live in their neighborhood as much as they live in ours. Rumbling Bald has installed numerous bear-resistant trash containers throughout our property with plans to add even more. Being “bear wise” is a continuously evolving situation and a challenge we undertake each day. Additional information regarding what to do if you encounter a black bear can be found here. Following these tips help us to live responsibly alongside our natural NC wildlife and to coexist around these mountain animals.