Bear problems : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I have a serious problem with black bears raiding my fruit orchard. I have had many people tell me "shoot them", but before I can do that I must see them. I've tried fencing them out, but short of a concrete wall I don't see that working. I've had to repair fences too often! They come around once or twice a year and the day seems to change each year. The neighbor has 1200 Asian Pears...he has enough of an attraction to hold them there, but not me. And my favorite neighbor often is not able to shoot them. I've considered a trap, but the details are pretty ugly. Does anyone have some thoughts about how to deal with this problem?

-- Nick (, July 18, 1999


Call your county game warden. He will trap (or shoot?) your problem bears.

-- walt (, July 19, 1999.

Walt, Thanks for the suggestion. All that good ole boy would do was laugh and give us a depredation permit. Nick

-- Nick (, July 19, 1999.

My husband put up an electric fence to keep the raccoon out of our sweet corn. Would a bigger electrified fence work for your bears?

-- Bonnie (, July 21, 1999.


Animal wardens are paid to help people like you. If I were in your shoes I would contact my representatives in the state legislature, the State commissioner in charge of animal wardens, and my county administrator (and supervisor). The good ole boy will be trapping bears in no time.

-- walt (, July 22, 1999.

The first thing in hunting a bear is to find out when and where they are on your property. This can be solved with the same device. A trail timer it can be found in most archery magazines and stores for about $25 or borrow one off of a freind who is a hunter. Set up the timer on known trails, to find out the animals traveling patterns. Once you are pretty sure of the animals routine. Set up on the animal. But please don't do this alone and only if you are a good shot. A wounded bear at night is more danger than you'd want. Scott Buehler

-- Scott Buehler (, July 22, 1999.

Dear Nick, Electric wire fencing (at a proper height and spacing) is the answer for you. It is the easiest and safest alternative for you, and the most humane. Make sure you ask the dealer about the specifics on proper height and spacing. This is key. Then, for the few first days, spread peanut butter in a few places on the wires, preferably in the path of your bear traffic (make sure you turn off the juice for this and then don't forget to turn it back on). This will "train" the bears as well as deer (if your fence is high enough) and other critters to avoid the area. We have huge population of bears here and this seems to work for people around here. Good luck. Sincerely, K. Reynolds

-- K. Reynolds (, July 24, 1999.

Thank you one and all for your responses to my problem. There are several good ideas presented and I will make use of them.

-- Nick (, July 24, 1999.

Dear Nick,My problem was solved with the bears easily with the electric wire fence. When installing the wire wrap bacon strips on the wire.When they wrap their tounge around the bacon they get a good shock. The bacon is still there and no bear problem any more.

-- Mary Welshko (, November 21, 1999.

Keep your dogs ( or get dogs) outside near where you want the bears to stay away from. It works here in Northern MI. Unless the bears are starving or have never seen a dog, then they should be afraid.You also could hook up a spot light on a motion detector and shoot them yourself with that permit they gave you. Keep your house dark and when the light goes on get your gun ready.

-- (, November 29, 1999.

You must know some diehard hunters who would sit for days to hunt .If not ask several friends if they do.By the way bear meat is great

-- Patty Gamble (, January 05, 2000.

If you use an electic fence, make sure it's a good hot one, and well- grounded. My husband lost all sixteen of his beehives last summer in a series of bear raids -- the bear went through the electric fence. (And, yes, he is going to keep going with the bees.)

-- Kathleen Sanderson (, April 12, 2000.

Nick, either the electric fence or the hunter idea is good- maybe even both. We have hunters around here (NW WI) who would just LOVE to hunt a bear legally. And we have kept bears out of our bees with electric fence. If you keep the ground under the fence wet it really intensifies the charge. Just keep your dogs and other animals away from the fence, they could get hurt.

-- Peg (, April 13, 2000.

If you're wondering what breed of dog is ideal for bear..keeping them away,etc...try a catahoula leopard or a blackmouth cur. They have been used to hunt bear and definetly can keep the bears outta your area. Just be alert for a lot of barking :) Of course, I'm biased because I've had both breeds but they can be really used for anything from guarding the property, watching the kids, livestock herding (w/exception of sheep and goats), drug detector, and much more.


-- Ted Hart (, January 10, 2001.

Make lemonade.Are you in a big hunting state? Advertise your property for bear hunting,for a fee, in the legal season. Put up blinds where you want them to hunt.Have them sign liability exclusions,of course.

Bear are very difficult to keep out,but the stout electric fence is a good idea if you don't have a large area to enclose.Have the same "good old boy" get you info on constructing such a fence,and if he doesn't,contact the wildlife biologist for your state.Some states even have a specific bear biologist.

-- sharon wt (, January 10, 2001.

We have many large predators here -- grizzly and black bears. An old timer told us to put a red light bulb in the tree when the fruit ripens and the bear will leave it alone. We were having nightly visits, we used bear bangers, dogs and lots of yelling. The bears stopped climbing and damaging the trees as soon as we put the light up. I know it is hard to believe, but it worked for us. Since we live in bear country we have told others about this and it has worked for them as well. Might be worth a try. We used a plain red bulb and made a cover out of an aluminum pie plate to keep the rain off. It wasn't pretty and it might start rumors but... By the way,we have apple, cherry and pear trees.

-- Cindy Clarke (, February 22, 2001.

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