Black bears are intelligent, persistent and very resourceful.
Bears that have learned that our garbage, garages and back yards are good food sources can be very persistent in their pursuit of an easy meal. If you’re building in bear country, you can give yourself built-in bear protection by following some bear-smart building guidelines.
Doors with gracious lever handles are easy for bears to open. Bears are very dexterous, but they can’t get a grip on round door knobs, and have trouble with doors that open out instead of in.
Windows and sliding glass doors should be double or triple paned, with sturdy locks.
Decks and patios are often home to barbecue grills, and these days elaborate outdoor kitchens. Grills smell like food long after the burgers are gone, so if you can design a simple way to roll your grill inside, you can avoid tempting bears. If you’re putting in an outdoor kitchen, you need locking storage for anything with an odor you plan to leave outside.
Discovering a bear sitting on the sofa downing a gallon of ice cream isn’t what most people mean when they say they want to be closer to nature. So get bear smart, and prevent problems for yourself and the bears.
To read more practical tips for coexisting with bears, get Linda Masterson’s book, Living With Bears, by clicking here.