• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Mike Haasl
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Dave Burton
master gardeners:
  • jordan barton
  • Greg Martin
  • Steve Thorn
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Jay Angler
  • Kate Downham

Building for bears

 
pollinator
Posts: 1327
Location: Bendigo , Australia
83
dog gear plumbing earthworks bee building homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Is it possible to design and build in such a manner the bears cannot damage things.
Of course that means stronger and smarter design, no loose bins, heavier chook sheds etc.

I have read a lot about the experiences people have with bears.

It seems its always a surprise when they arrive and smash the homestead up.

Has any thought been given to live with the bears by building in such a manner they cannot smash things?

Sure it means things may cost a bit more, but thats better than having to do rebuilds or live in fear.

I am aware bins are great fun for them, but they seem to be left sitting round as if a bear was not in the neighborhood.
I here of chook sheds built to hold chooks in but not bears out.
 
master steward
Posts: 8501
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
2429
hunting trees books food preservation solar woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You bet it is.  It's also expensive and time consuming.  I would liken it to building your homestead to handle a category 3 hurricane.  Sure the house might be worth building to that level.  After that you need to assess each area and the likelihood a bear will want to tear into it.  Garbage cans and honey stuff is a clear risk.  Chickens/chooks maybe less so.  Apple trees, maybe more so.  Veggie garden, less so.

So I think that's why you hear about people being surprised by bears even if they live in bear country.  It's just that the bear operated a bit outside the expected likely activity range for the bears in the area.
 
John C Daley
pollinator
Posts: 1327
Location: Bendigo , Australia
83
dog gear plumbing earthworks bee building homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ummmm!
 
pollinator
Posts: 3110
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
312
forest garden solar
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
http://www.bearsmart.com/managing-communities/best-practices/
Attractant Management
Birdfeeders
Fruit Trees, Berry Bushes
Gardens
Compost
Pet food, livestock feed
Pets
Barbecues
Livestock
Beehives
Property
 
master pollinator
Posts: 1593
Location: southern Illinois.
322
composting toilet food preservation homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I lived in black bear country for a while.  We only had two incidents in 4 years.  One tried to climb in through the kitchen window.  My wife chose a baseball bat over a rifle and clobbered it across the nose.  It left.

The second incident was more vague. One night there was a explosion outside our bedroom window around 2 am.  The next morning the yard was covered with bear fur.  I think bear may have been exploring our place.  We only had a Cocker Spaniel as an inside dog. But,a wolf/Husky mix who lived in the woods had befriended us as a half grown pup and occasionally visited us. I suspect it was his doing. I will never know for sure.  I checked  the dog the next time he came around, and he didn't have a mark on him. If it was him, he blindsided the bear,and thebear didn't know what hit him.

My experience is that a good livestock guardian dog is the best bet in black bear country.
 
pollinator
Posts: 313
Location: Yukon Territory, Canada. Zone 1a
72
transportation hugelkultur cat books cooking food preservation bike building writing rocket stoves wood heat
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Compost:
I've talked before, on other threads, about the compost system I've adopted to keep bears out: All fresh food scraps go into a large rotating drum made out of an old oil boiler tank. Heavy metal. After a month, when things are not recognizable as 'food' the pile gets moved to a more traditional pile and the boiler gets filled up again with 'fresh' goods. We've had several bears wander across the property, but never have they even stopped to sniff the pile. maybe just luck?

Chickens/ small livestock:
This may sound callous, but I'd rather loose some chickens than have to destroy a bear. Obviously I don't want either animal to lose it's life unnecessarily, but a wild bear is infinitely more precious than a 'one of a billion' rhode island red. Conservation officers will often try to trap a bear and relocate... but often that doesn't work. A fed bear is a dead bear. I'll attach a drawing of what I'm currently building on what was my unproductive garden beds- I'm hoping some rotational chicken ground work will liven up the soil! It's a two layer fencing system of 6' hardwire fronted by a 9 strand electrical barrier. Visual and behavioural deterrents.

Garbage:
I try to rinse anything really stinky off before it goes into Steel drums with a banded lid. I store the drums in the garage until it's a dump day. Households that eat a lot of meat (and put byproducts in the garbage) definitely attract more animals than others.

Oddball things:
Bears will be attracted to; Dog bones in the yard, gasoline in a jerry can, barbecue grills, soaps toothpastes deodorants, scented bugspray, sunscreen... don't leave any of that out on the deck or in the front yard. Bring it all inside for storage.

Mostly bears are just curious and want to check things out, and they don't mind crushing a flimsy wall or two if it's in their way.
Fencing-(rough)-29-Deep-Creek.JPG
Yukon WildWise fencing proposal
Yukon WildWise fencing proposal
 
gardener
Posts: 3190
Location: Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
859
forest garden trees woodworking
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Chris Sturgeon wrote:
Oddball things:
Bears will be attracted to; Dog bones in the yard, gasoline in a jerry can, barbecue grills, soaps toothpastes deodorants, scented bugspray, sunscreen...



Anything rubber.  Wheelbarrow tires, rubber boots (especially if smelly), canvas-coated rubber firehose...

When my family had a small placer mine on the 70-Mile River in Alaska, we had a constant problem with black bears tearing up our small placer mine diggings at night (our camp was a mile or two away from the works).  They kept stealing our mining boots, biting holes in our wheelbarrow tires, and dragging our water hoses off into the woods.  There wasn't any food garbage there; we brought our lunch in containers we took away again, and always had a pack-husky (to carry the lunch to the diggings and our sluice-box fines back to camp) who ate every dropped crumb.  
 
John C Daley
pollinator
Posts: 1327
Location: Bendigo , Australia
83
dog gear plumbing earthworks bee building homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So, what do the bears do with the rubber products?
 
Chris Sturgeon
pollinator
Posts: 313
Location: Yukon Territory, Canada. Zone 1a
72
transportation hugelkultur cat books cooking food preservation bike building writing rocket stoves wood heat
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
"So, what do the bears do with the rubber products?"

They chew, sniff, lick, chew some more, stomp and stare. Bears are more like people than any other animal I can think of in that they are incorrigibly curious. They aren't afraid of much- so when they get an idea to investigate something, they are not dainty, nor cautious.
 
Dan Boone
gardener
Posts: 3190
Location: Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
859
forest garden trees woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Chris Sturgeon wrote:"So, what do the bears do with the rubber products?"

They chew, sniff, lick, chew some more, stomp and stare. Bears are more like people than any other animal I can think of in that they are incorrigibly curious. They aren't afraid of much- so when they get an idea to investigate something, they are not dainty, nor cautious.



All of this ... plus, judging from where we sometimes found our stuff, they carry it off for distances up to a mile so they can lay up in some quiet shady thicket to do all that stuff in peace and at leisure.
 
John C Daley
pollinator
Posts: 1327
Location: Bendigo , Australia
83
dog gear plumbing earthworks bee building homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
haha, sound like bogans to me.
We only have to deal with giant kangaroos, snakes, monitors and neighbours
gift
 
Companion Planting Guide by World Permaculture Association
will be released to subscribers in: soon!
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic