It's that time of year again. The black bear migration. They're spotted every year in Hudson, and surrounding areas (right, Fairlawn?). Our Buckeye Bears are just moving to another area where there's food. So, they won't bother you if you won't bother them. With that said, here's what you can do to avoid any unwanted bear squatters in your yard. Tips courtesy of the Ohio Department of Wildlife:
Bird feeders and other wildlife feed: Remove feeders, including hummingbird and suet feeders.
Trash receptacles: Store your garbage either in a garage or a secure container.
Pet food: Keep pet food inside, especially at night.
Grease from grills: Clean out grease traps after each use; store grill in garage or shed.
Secure beehives: Place electric fencing around beehives.
Crops: Pick fruit from berry bushes as soon as possible; scare bears out of agriculture fields as soon as damage occurs; contact your Summit County Wildlife Officer.
What if you encounter Mr. Bear? Here's what to do according to the Ohio Department of Wildlife:
Black bears are usually fearful of people, therefore bear attacks are a rare occurrence. Bears do not attack or kill children or pets as long as the bear is given its space and not cornered. The first thing to do when you see a bear is REMAIN CALM. Generally, black bears are non-aggressive and prefer to flee from the area as soon as they are aware of your presence.
If you encounter a bear, and it is not aware of your presence, simply back away from the area slowly. If the bear is aware of your presence and it does not leave the area, avoid direct eye contact with the animal, give the bear an easy escape route and again, simply back slowly away from the area. Always avoid running or climbing trees, which may provoke a chase. An easy way to remember this is to be AWARE:
Act calm and do not run.
Warn the bear that you are near; talk in a firm, calm voice.
Allow space between you and the bear. Step aside and back slowly away. Do not make the bear feel trapped or threatened.
Raise your hands above your head to appear larger if the bear approaches. Clap your hands or shout to scare the bear away.
Exit the area.