The Black Bear Conservation Committee (BBCC) is encouraging hunters to become "Bear Aware" as they roam the Louisiana landscape this hunting season.
As the bear population in Louisiana expands, hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts may find themselves encountering bears more often. Unlike brown bears, black bears are normally shy and not aggressive. There has never been a documented bear attack in Louisiana. However, they are wild animals and should be treated with respect.
Here are some helpful suggestions from the BBCC for this hunting season:
-Bears and hogs look alike: KNOW YOUR TARGET!
-Bear diets come from vegetables, nuts, fruits, berries and insects.
-Feeding bears will only make them associate people with food, making them come back for more.
-Bears have an excellent sense of smell and are extremely motivated by food!
Prevent Bear Conflicts:
-Keep camps clean to prevent odors that will attract bears.
-Discard gut piles away from camp.
-Placing deer corn in piles or in open feeders will attract bears (and other undesirable wildlife).
-Using an automated feeder hung 8 feet or higher will decrease bear visitation.
-Electric fencing will deter bears while allowing deer access to feeders.
-Switching bait types from corn to soybeans prevents odors, and attracts less bears.
-Planting food plots is the best way to attract deer and minimize bear visits!
If You Encounter a Bear:
-NEVER PURPOSEFULLY APPROACH A BEAR!
-If a bear regularly visits your deer stand, scare it with rocks, a sling shot, or air horn.
-DO NOT RUN! This can trigger a bear's chase instinct.
-If a bear approaches you, stand your ground, raise your arms, yell at the bear, and make eye contact to scare it off.
-If an attack should occur, DO NOT PLAY DEAD, fight back aggressively.
To report a bear conflict, call: 1-800-442-2511 (24hrs/7 days a week).
For more information, please contact Jaime Thibodeaux, Outreach Biologist with the BBCC at 225-763-5457 or firstname.lastname@example.org.