Winter is almost here, but remember the amazing number of huckleberries people enjoyed this summer? Well, apparently many of the bears took advantage of that berry crop and stayed up top to enjoy the huckleberries rather than foraging for garbage and fruit down in our communities.
As a result, according to WildSafeBC, the summer of 2013 was a quiet season for conflict with bears.
There were 103 calls about black bears and four calls about grizzly bears to the Conservation Officer Service in 2013. This was a decrease from 249 calls about black bears and 10 concerning grizzly bears in 2012.
The bears are starting to den up now but people may still see other animals, such as cougars and coyotes near homes over winter. The public will still need to manage their wildlife attractants over winter.
Garbage may still attract skunks, raccoons and coyotes (not to mention rats), and bird feeders may attract many of the same animals.
Deer love the sunflower seeds offered in bird feeders and may browse whatever remains in winter gardens. While you may not begrudge the deer this winter food, remember that hungry cougars may stalk those deer right into your yard.
In some circumstances it may be wise to discourage deer from becoming too comfortable near your home in order to keep the cougar from your yard. Coyotes may be attracted to pets, pet food or livestock.
It is said that in coyote country only indoor cats survive. Keep an eye on your dogs too. Coyotes have been known to draw dogs into the bush only to turn as a pack to make a meal of the dog.
WildSafeBC, like the bears, is now going into hibernation. You can still learn more about identifying and managing wildlife attractants near your home by visiting www.wildsafebc.com.