Hunting Camps/Lake Houses/Cabins
Problems associated with nuisance bear and wildlife feeders is one of the most common complaints we get. Unfortunately, there is only one surefire solution to nuisance bears destroying wildlife feeders and that is to remove them indefinitely. Depending where the feeder is located, steps can be taken to minimize damage, but few if any will completely solve the problem.
Can I turn the feeder off until the bear moves on?
If bear sightings in your area are very rare and the bear is passing through, leaving the feeder off until the bear has moved on MAY resolve the issue. In areas where bear sightings are more frequent, as soon as the feeder is refilled the bear (or another bear) will return.
For feeders in the field, away from cabins or campsites, there has been some trial and error tests done by private landowners to minimize damage to feeders from bears. Elevating the feeder high beyond what any bear could reach, with heavy smooth metal legs that are spaced very wide to give the feeder a wide enough stance that it cannot be overturned seems to be the most successful measures taken. Also regular application of a slick substance such as heavy axle grease may aid in keeping the bear from climbing the legs to reach the feeder.
For Feeders around cabins, lake houses or campsites (anywhere people stay); feeders must be removed from the area completely. Wildlife feeders in the field may can be fortified to be somewhat bear resistant, but the feeder continues to do its job by dispensing the feed where the bear still has access to it. This gives the bear a reason to come to your cabin or campsite on a regular basis; this will have the same effects of intentionally feeding bears and habituating them to humans. This not only puts you and anyone else in the area in potential danger, it also increases the likelihood of property damage including the bear tearing into your cabin or vehicles. The take away message is bears, wildlife feeders and hunting camps/lake houses DO NOT MIX.
Many of the extended stay hunting camps I have been to have a community dumpster. This dumpster is generally placed in a central location for everyone to use and is picked up by a waste disposal company.
Smaller dumpsters can be modified with a reinforced locking lid that keeps the bear out or may be replaced with a certified bear proof dumpster. These have both been used across the U.S. with great success.
Large, open top dumpsters can be more difficult. The only effective means of bear proofing these larger dumpsters is to place it behind an electric fence. These fences have been used around beehives and gardens with great success. (Certified Bear Proof Products)(Electric Fence Construction)
- Securing Cabins/Structures while away
Whenever your hunting camp or cabin will be left unattended for an extended period of time, it is always recommended that you do not leave any garbage (inside or out), make sure all wildlife feeds, bird seed, or seed for planting is securely locked up allowing as little smell as possible. Always be sure to clean up any outdoor cooking areas such as fire pits, smokers, or barbecue grills and secure them inside if possible. Take special care to thoroughly clean any areas where harvested animals have been processed and take offal remains far away from the cabin site.
If extra security is needed for a very long duration of absence, windows/doors may be boarded with thick plywood or “unwelcome” mats may be constructed and placed in front of windows, doors and at the top or bottom of staircases. (Make Your Own "Unwelcome Mat")