This is Bear Territory
Bears are intelligent creatures who learn quickly, and what we've taught them is that cars—and sometimes cabins—are excellent food-delivery systems. Bear-proof garbage containers (bear boxes) have gone a long way to preventing break-ins and dangerous interactions, but problems still arise when humans aren't smart. The trick is not to leave anything that they can smell—even non-food items like sunscreen, toothpaste or chapstick—in your car, or outside of the cabin at night.
Bears hibernate during winter, so while they're awake from May to December, always remove everything with an odor from your car: ALL trash, back packs, coolers (even empty ones), gum, candy, and items such as lotion, toothpaste, sunscreen, and chapstick. We know of a car that got "beared" because of a lollypop stick with the candy all licked off. Everything else was removed from the car, but that one soggy cardboard stick crammed in an ashtray made for an expensive trip to the body shop. You might consider leaving your car unlocked during bear season so they can just open the door, smell inside (but fail to find anything), and not rip out your windows.
Put full trash bags inside the protected bear-boxes just outside of the garage, on the shoulder of the highway. There are three cans for your use, and a backup set of cans behind you in case first ones are full. DO NOT leave trash bags on the ground by the garage or the house, ever.
Please keep the grounds around the house, especially the beach and the stone porch, free of trash, food, and sunscreens overnight, when the bears are most likely to come snooping.
Bears may look cute, but don't kid yourself: they are wild animals in their natural habitat and should be treated with great respect.
For more information, visit the Bear League's website. Their mission is to protect bears and humans alike. If you spot a bear and want to report it, or have a bear emergency, please call the Bear League's 24-hour hotline: (530) 525-7297
DO NOT LEAVE FOOD OUT FOR THE BEARS OR FEED THEM.
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