How to discourage a bear. (Need answer fast!)

How do I discourage a bear from coming around?
I have some free-range chickens that run around the place and yesterday one of them was raising hell about something so I got a .22 and ran outside expecting to see a coyote/cat/some other predator. Instead, I bumped into a black bear. Even allowing for my automatic “holy shit!” reaction, it seemed like a huge damn bear. I set a record for the 30 meter backward dash and got a better rifle. The bear walked away while I was in the house.

Anyway, what will actively discourage a bear? I don’t have anything that would encourage him, no trash where he can get at it, nothing to eat at all except the chickens running around. I don’t want to shoot the bear but I don’t want him wandering around here either.

Any ideas?



No berries? The times we have seen black bears they were eating blackberries along the edge of our yard.

Nothing will, short of killing it. A dog might help. You should call Fish & Game or whoever your local game management office is, and tell them you have a problem bear.

No berries yet, too early here.

Yeah, maybe I’ll do that. Do they trap it and move it somewhere or what? I hope they wouldn’t just shoot the thing as that is what I’m trying to avoid.



Reverse psychology.


Not exactly sure what you mean but I don’t see the bear laying on a couch and telling me about his rotten childhood or how he got weaned too early or whatever.



In western PA the game Commission brings over a huge trap on wheels. They also set up a flood light that goes on when the trap is tripped, hopefully waking you up so you can contact them.

A friend went through this after a bear destroyed his swimming pool liner. The bear was tagged and relocated, but managed to return after a few weeks.

They look like this.

You have chickens and presumably chicken feed. That would attract a bear.

When I lived out in a rural area, I had a leftover bag of chicken feed after the foxes ate all my free range chickens. I came home one night and it was gone, so I started to follow the trail of spilled grain. Then I realized that anything that had picked up and carried an 80 bag of chicken scratch into the woods was not something I wanted to discuss my missing grain with.

The bear returned the next morning to clean up his leftovers. I let my dogs chase him off, but I was told later that was a bad idea, not for the bear, but for the dogs if the bear turned.

A pic-a-nic basket.

ETA: As a distraction of course. It won’t discourage a bear, just redirect him.

According to this, an electric fence. NYT also had a recent piece on this topic.

Reverse psychology would be going out into your yard and saying stuff like, “This yard makes a gooood bear playground! I sure hope some bears come around here soon!”

I’m pretty sure Munch was joshing you. :wink:

Make sure the porridge is too hot. This will encourage him to go out for a walk.


Well, I’d think the bear would raise enough hell at being trapped to wake me up. Maybe I’ll give this a try if I can’t do anything myself.

Thank you


We don’t have bears here but keep other predators away with poultry electranet from Premier1, a midwestern company which is the gold standard in livestock electric fence. If it works for mountain lions, coyotes, bobcats and stray dogs, it will work for bears. The problem with most electric fencing is that, while it keeps predators out, it does not keep chickens in. Mine will walk right through my goat fencing, which has 4" x 6" openings. Feathers are highly insulating, and even beaks and feet are dry, hence not very conductive. Electranet is very easy to move around, it is designed to be a portable temporary fence.

It will cost a lot more than your chickens.


Interesting. I hadn’t thought about him eating the chicken feed. I had a dog for a while but had to have him put down due to advanced age and various complications with that. Maybe the dog smell is why I hadn’t seen the bear earlier.




I’ve got the gear for an electric fence so I’ll give that a try first and see how he reacts. I’ve only seen him once so maybe he was just passing through.

Regards and thanks


Dogs help sometimes. What I have to do is shoot a large caliber rifle in their general direction. That usually gets them to scadadle.

This won’t help since you have chickens, but to keep them out of our shed (we keep our trash in there) we crush up moth balls and spread them around the door and steps.


I figured he was, it just tickled me to think of a bear undergoing psychotherapy of some sort. :stuck_out_tongue:




Yowsa! Yeah, I could buy quite a few chickens for what that stuff costs. I’m going to try a very basic electric fence to see if I can’t get this thing to leave peacefully.




Great idea. Mothballs are cheap and easy and with luck the bear will dislike the smell as much as I do. I don’t mind shooting rifles around the chickens. For some reason it doesn’t seem to bother them that much. At least small caliber rifles. Don’t know about shotguns or really large rifles.

Thanks again