Bear Safety

It's Our Personal Responsibility


The black bear is a long-time resident of Big Canoe and one of our most prevalent forms of wildlife. As Big Canoe continues to develop and encroach on wildlife habitat, the need for people and bears to coexist safely increases. Whether you are hiking or strolling through the neighborhoods, you may encounter a black bear. Black bears are most active from mid-March to November, but remain active during the winter months if non-natural foods are available. Their constant search for new food sources may draw them to your home. The residents of Big Canoe have chosen to live in harmony with their bears. We want our community to allow for bear activity, so that bears can pass through, but are not tempted to stop and get into trouble with people and their non-natural attractants.

Some Simple Bear Rules

Dispose of household garbarge in designated compactor sites.
Do not store food outside, even if inside locked freezer or refrigerator.
Don't leave trash, groceries, coolers or any odorous items in your car.
Keep garbarge securely inside prior to disposal - minimizing odors.
Feed your pets indoors. Store their food inside your home.
Bird Feeders strictly prohibited March 1 - December 1.
Clean the barbeque grill immediately after use, wash and store it covered.
Keep doors & windows locked & closed. Food smells invite bears.
Don't leave pet bones or treats lying around in your yard.
Bird feeders permitted from December 1 - March 1 but discouraged.

Respect the Bears


If you see a bear in a residential area, act responsibly! Remain calm; often the bear is just passing through, and if it finds no food, will simply move on. Keep well away. Do not crowd the bear –give it plenty of space. Warn others to be respectful. Bring small children and untrained pets inside. Let the bear know it is not welcome. Do not allow the bear to feel comfortable in your backyard. After ensuring the bear has a safe avenue of escape , make lots of noise to encourage the bear to leave. Learn more from the BearWise program below.

Be "Scent"sible About Bears


Bears live to eat, consuming up to 25,000 calories a day (10 times more than the average person). While they prefer natural vegetation, they will eat almost anything and will do almost anything to obtain food. Big Canoe is located in the midst of prime bear country. Therefore, we all have to be extra careful with what we leave accessible to bears.

Bears have a keen sense of smell and are driven to investigate. They are attracted by scents as diverse as vinyl and citronella. Bears learn quickly and will repeat behavior that leads to food rewards. Carelessly stored garbage, birdfeeders, or unclean barbeque grills are open invitations to bears.

Bears in pursuit of an easy meal may damage property or in rare cases injure people. Paying attention to common household activities will reduce encounters and contribute to a Bear Smart community.

You can learn more information below from educated volunteers. The Black Bear Project is a volunteer organization designed to promote the safety and protection of the American Black Bear here in Big Canoe. 
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