Bears in the Kootenays

Living in bear country has its low points, stories like this about our area make the national news paper… Kootenay officers must shoot foraging bruins (see note at bottom of article)

In all, at least 87 bears have been shot by three conservation officers in the Nelson and Castlegar regions since the end of August.

“We’ve had virtually no rain this summer,” Mr. Butler said. “Because of the lack of berries, the bears are pretty hungry and in the fall they’ve got to be putting some weight on. In the Kootenays the bears are now down in the communities and they are foraging on whatever they can.”

Considering in the past couple of weeks, I’ve seen about 10 bears around the region, this statistic doesn’t surprise me. Bear Proof Bins are an option, picking as much fruit as possible off trees and off the ground is another, but would this make bears even more anxious and aggressive?

On a related note: Robyn went out the other day with our local “Bear Aware” coordinator Krissy, and then the next day with one of our friends Bradley to pick fruit off some trees in the area. We ended up with a couple of boxes of apples and pears, which we’ve been eating, and we canned over the weekend a total of 23 jars of pears and 9 jars of apples sauce. Our cold room is filling up nicely for the winter.


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Published by Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada.