Bears Are Stirring: It’s Time to Clean Up Attractants
- ADF&G Press Release

Cora Campbell, Commissioner
P.O. Box 115526
Juneau, Alaska 99811
Phone: (907) 465-6166 - Fax: (907) 465-2332

Press Release: April 15, 2014

Riley Woodford
, Juneau, (907) 465-4256
Cathy Harms, Fairbanks, (907) 459-7231
Ken Marsh, Anchorage, (907) 267-2892

Bears Are Stirring: It’s Time to Clean Up Attractants

(Statewide)- Governor Sean Parnell has proclaimed April “Bear Awareness Month,” and as bears emerge from dens Alaskans are reminded it’s spring cleaning time. To keep bears wild and neighborhoods safe, biologists suggest taking down bird feeders and placing trash, livestock feed and pet foods indoors or in bear-resistant containers.

Bird feeders stocked with seed and suet draw bears in early spring. Feeders should be taken down by April 15 and kept down through October. Storing pet and livestock foods, trash and other bear attractants indoors in a garage or sturdy shed or in bear-resistant containers further reduces bear visits. Owners of poultry, goats and other small livestock can discourage bear raids by erecting electric fences.

Bears that associate homes and people with food, often return. Feeding bears, even unintentionally, is illegal and leaving attractants out around homes, cabins or camps in a manner that attracts bears can result in fines.

Some tips to remember as bears wake up and become active include:

  • Garbage - Store trash inside buildings or in bear-proof containers; keep secured until the day of scheduled pickup. Encourage neighbors to do the same.
  • Electric fences - Electric fences can keep bears out of gardens, compost, and away from buildings, chicken coops, and domestic animals. For more information, contact your area department office or the visit the department webpage at
  • Barbecues - Clean barbecue grills, especially grease traps, after each use.
  • Pets - Feed pets indoors or clean up excess and spilled food between meals. Store pet food, livestock food and birdseed indoors or in bear-resistant containers.
  • Bird Feeders – Take feeders down April through October, store out of bears’ reach and remove spilled seeds.
  • Freezers - Keep freezers locked in a secure building or otherwise out of bears’ reach.
  • Gardens - Plant gardens in the open, away from cover and game trails. Only compost raw vegetable matter and turn over compost frequently.

For more information about coexisting with bears, visit To view the governor’s “Bear Awareness Month” proclamation, visit