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Garbage attracts big bear to Baxter's Jewelwood Drive area

Ashley Engholm of Baxter shared this photo of a black bear in her yard on Jewelwood Drive on Sunday. Ashley says, "(Photo) quality isn't great, but he was big (and) digging in my garbage can. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has tips...

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Ashley Engholm of Baxter shared this photo of a black bear in her yard on Jewelwood Drive in Baxter on Sunday. Submitted photo.

Ashley Engholm of Baxter shared this photo of a black bear in her yard on Jewelwood Drive on Sunday.

Ashley says, "(Photo) quality isn't great, but he was big (and) digging in my garbage can.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has tips and suggestions on their website regarding living in Minnesota's bear country and how to minimize problem interactions with black bears. You can download a .pdf file from the MnDNR with much information including how to construct a bear-proof garbage container - click here .

Tips to minimize bear problems:

  • Reduce garbage odors. Rinse food cans and wrappers before disposal.
  • Compost vegetable scraps.
  • Keep meat scraps in your freezer until garbage pickup day.
  • Wash garbage cans regularly and use lime to cut odors.
  • Keep garbage cans in a bear-proof container, or in a garage until morning of pickup.
  • Remove bird feeders in the spring. If you persist in feeding during summer, remove seed, suet and hummingbird feeders at night.
  • Keep pet food inside.
  • Keep barbecue grills and picnic tables clean.
  • Use an energized fence* to keep bears out of beehives, sweet corn, fruit trees and berry patches. Barking dogs, bright lights and noisemakers will sometinles discourage bears from coming into an area.
    *An energized fence is powered by a low-impedance, high-voltage energizer, which provides a short-duration, high-energy impulse.

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