How do I deal with Bears?
Perhaps one of the greatest challenges that face the outdoor grower is the threat of bears. Not only is the bear a threat to your plants, but the bear is certainly a threat to you as well. Lets first start off with a little information on bears.
Although bears are primarily nocturnal, they may be seen at any time, day or night. The bear is territorial and usually occupies an area that is 20-25 square kilometers. This means that if you have a bear damaging your grow bags and digging up your plants time after time, chances are it is the same bear. Don?t let a bear?s appearance fool you though, they can weigh between 200 and 600 pounds, be from four to seven feet tall, yet they can run as fast as 50 km/h. The Black Bear is omnivorous which means that it eats both vegetation and meat, however their diet usually consists of leaves, nuts, and fruit.
Why are bears attracted to my plot? Repellants?
Bears are not really attracted to your plants like deer, but rather to the organic nutrients that you put into the soil to feed your plants. Bears have an incredible sense of smell, and will follow odors for kilometers. They are especially attracted to bone and blood meal, common ingredients used for growing marijuana. Bears are also attracted to manures, fish (fish emulsion), and composts that are used when preparing the soil for planting. Commercial composts are comprised of food and organic waste, cow manure is high in fiber and fats - exactly what a bear is looking for.
When using organic nutrients outdoors, consider using lime; not only does it stabilize pH, it also masks smells.
Another natural repellent for bears is chicken manure. Dried and composted chicken manure is a great nutrient additive for your plants, so spread the manure liberally to repel bears and it will repay you with nutrients later. After using chicken manure at my grow area, along with lime, I?ve never had a bear problem.
If you encounter a bear in the forest, stay calm and do not run. Running may elicit a chase response by the bear. The best available advice is to stand your ground. Stand tall, raise your arms and lift objects over your head to make yourself appear larger.
If a bear stands up when encountered, this does not indicate he is going to attack. Most likely the bear is curious and wants a better view or to sniff the air. Back away slowly, and leave the bear an escape route so he does not feel threatened. I have read that the bear feels threatened if he chomps his jaw, lunges, or slaps the ground with his paw.
An air horn can be effective when hiking in the forest. If you encounter a bear, simply shoot off a blast which will, in most cases, make the bear run away. Another item that you may choose to carry is a 5% capsaicin spray repellent which can be sprayed into a bear?s eyes, causing it to retreat.
Bear attacks on humans are very rare. Bears have been known to be aggressive when cubs are present, yet rarely attack humans. There are only two recorded human deaths as a result from an attack from a Black Bear, ever.
Hopefully this will help you when dealing with bears in the wild, and good luck to you!