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Bear Mischief on 4Mile Lake

[15 Sept 2016] - BEAR reported on Hillside Drive (east side of 4ML). Returning 3 days in a row to feed on apple trees and garbage. Not disturbed by people. Keep pets on leash! Call police/911 if situation seems dangerous. [17 Aug 2015 - "Yogi" hit last night..37 Cedar road south end...shredded bin [James Ramesbottom] - last night (Sunday), Birch Glen Drive was again hit by the local bear. He hit every box from north Birch glen to south Hillside (20 cottages) - it was like a tornado hit the road![Jim Russell, 17aug2015] [13 Aug 2015 - Bear sited on Mike Vidas property (Birchglen Drive)] [July 31 2015 - We are at 395 Hillside and had a bear last night. The problem is, is that we had our garbage locked up in a strong Mennonite made shed. The shed is 50 in from the road so the bear was very close. I can't believe it could smell through the shed, then get it open. ] [July 8 2015 - Bear reported on Griffin Drive (west side) in residents yard!] 4ML cottagers have reported bears around the roads, fields and garbage bins. Bears are very good 'smellers'. They can easily smell food in bags or bins or shed. It's time to be very careful...and for everyone's safety keep your garbage indoors until your garbage day scheduled pickup!]

Additional Reports:

MNR BearWise HotLine

Call the Bear Wise reporting line: 1-866-514-2327 (April 1-November 30)

Bear Survival

MNR Reports

MNR "Cottager Do's & Don't's"

I spoke with Mr. Craig Dodds of the Ministry of Natural Resources this weekend, regarding Bears on 4ML. I have had many FMLA members contact me to report sightings of bears and/or Bear mischief. This past weekend, a small bear (yearling) was encountered by my neighbour (Birchglen Dr.) right down at his cottage - and this initiated my call to the Ministry, via the "Bear Hot Line".

While the Hot Line advice I received was, for all intents, of little value, I did in fact receive a return call from Mr. Dodds, of our local (Minden) MNR office on Saturday and again on Sunday (so they are trying!). Craig advised us as follows:

'bear on BirchGlen Drive' 'bears like bird feeders and full garbage bins'

  • If bear is on your property, a loud noise such as an air horn will cause him to leave

  • When walking on your road in evenings, speak loudly enough that a bear, if around, will hear you - he won't like to be surprised, but will stay away if he hears you coming.

  • Population of bears has not necessarily grown in recent years, but rather, the bears have migrated further south, and as previously vacant areas become more populated, the bears have found it easier to find food at residential garbage cans and garbage boxes.

  • Once a bear is 'successful' in finding food at a garbage box, he will remember the location and time of his 'success' and will return regularly. He will also take this same opportunity to search other (close) locations for similar 'success'.

  • MNR (Craig) is indeed, anxious to be advised of all Bear instances of "action". This means he WANTS to hear about a bear knocking over a garbage box, but doesn't need to hear about just a "sighting" that doesn't include any action by the bear. It is interesting to note that he has been officially informed of only TWO (2) bear mischief sightings on 4ML this summer! TO REPORT A BEAR INCIDENT - CALL BEAR HOTLINE - 1-866-514-2327

  • MNR (Craig) will consider appropriate action to deal with the bear, based on the situation, frequency of problem, and the "disposition" of the bear. (If the bear is deemed to be likely to get into trouble with people, then he will take action - "bad bear". If the bear seems content to only raid garbage boxes, then he will try to discourage through education (of the people, not the bear).

  • MNR position re: the increased bear mischief is that it is due to the increase of curbside garbage pickup and reduced community (bear-proof) garbage boxes.

  • Bear-proof garbage boxes (designed/fabricated with steel), and are available for approximately $800-$1000. (This is a lot of $…so I prefer discouraging the bears for a stretch of 1-2 weeks by keeping garbage out of boxes).

  • Best recommended way to get rid of the bear mischief is to not have garbage available to them in garbage boxes. If there is JUST ONE garbage box on a local road that has available food in it for the bear - he will return to that road day after day. Garbage should not be put in the garbage boxes until just before the scheduled pickup. THE BEAR WILL NEED TO EXPERIENCE 3 OR 4 "COMPLETELY UNSUCCESSFUL" VISITS to the local road, before he will give up and move to a better location. (So your entire road needs to be "on-board" with the "clean garbage box" procedure through a full week!)

  • The CoKL has been granted access to "funding" to help residents deal with Bear Mischief. He is not aware that the CoKL has used any of this funding. (Bear-proof garbage boxes, community garbage boxes, etc.)

Jim Russell

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