Bear Business

Posted by on Thursday, July 24, 2008 at 10:34 am

I am regularly asked about bears. The chances of you seeing or encountering a black bear are low however bears live in the bush and our camps are in the bush. Bears are seldom a problem but occasionally one will wander by our cabins. If they find nothing to eat, they move on. Bears are very happy eating berries. If someone advertently or inadvertently is careless enough to provide a bear a meal, the bear can become a problem.

Black bears are nothing like friendly cartoon bears. They are smart, curious, powerful and potentially dangerous.
Black bears prefer to avoid people. The most common encounter is the one you didn’t know happened. The bear heard or smelled you, and left.
Remember, at our camps, you are a visitor in the bear’s home range, so do all you can to avoid encounters.

A few facts about bears:
Black bears can range in colour from blonde through brown to black.
There are no grizzly bears in Ontario.
Once bears learn to access human food, we have few options besides destruction of the bear.

If You Encounter a Bear Do not approach the bear. Slowly back away while watching the bear and wait for it to leave.

Most problems between black bears and humans occur when bears are attracted by the smell of and rewarded with an easy meal. When bears pick up a scent with their keen noses, they will investigate it – even at our outpost property. If bears are rewarded with food, they will return as long as the food source continues to be available. Also, it is always wise not to settle in for a shore lunch near fresh -still warm – bear scat. Scat is the solid by-product of bear food and is usually black in low piles with lots of seeds in it.

Here are some tips to help avoid Bear visitors.

Never purposely feed bears (or other wildlife) or try to approach them
Keep garbage in the cabin until the bag is full then store it in the shed. Do not leave the garbage bags on the deck or outside.
Remove grease and food residue from barbecue grills, including the grease cup underneath, after each use
Do not leave cooking grease/oil outside at night.
Do not pour grease or bacon fat in the fire place or fire pit. When grease or fat burns, the dinner bell is rung for the bears.
Dispose of fish remains and extra food daily at the designated spots across the lake – not behind the cabin or off the dock.
You are responsible for your own personal safety. Take precautions when you are in the outdoors.
Be sure that all your garbage flies out with you
Do not burn cans, tinfoil or other items which really is garbage.

Visit to learn more

Bear Bells are handy to have as well as an air horn but Pepper Spray is absolutely prohibited on aircraft. You can imagine the fun you would have on board if it was accidently discharged while flying. Remember you will be on board with your stuff and if it can distract or disable a bear imagine what it can do to your pilot.