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Can Bears Climb Fences? (Plus 7 Ways to Keep Them Away)

Can Bears Climb Fences? (Plus 7 Ways to Keep Them Away)

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It’s a good idea to be wary of bears because they can pose a danger to you and your family. If you’ve spotted them in your area recently, it’s going to be wise to try to stay away from them.

Some people might be wondering how to escape from them if they stumble upon one. Can bears climb fences or will you be safe if you have a fence between yourself and the bear?

Yes, Bears Can Climb Most Fences

If you think that a fence is going to keep you safe from a bear, you’re sadly mistaken. Bears are capable of climbing most standard types of fences, and they’ll be able to climb up a sturdy one to get to the other side.

Fences that are softer or aren’t as durable will be able to be easily pushed down by a bear. It’s possible that a bear could just barrel through a fence or smash it if climbing isn’t an option.

Essentially, you shouldn’t think of fences as something that can keep bears out of your yard unless they’re very tall or too slick for bears to climb. A normal type of fence isn’t going to be able to pose much of an issue to a bear.

Bears are very good climbers, and it’s hard to build a fence that would be able to keep them away. You also have to consider that they’re capable of digging under fences in many instances.

For example, black bears are known to be very capable diggers, and they could easily tunnel under a fence if they wanted to get to the other side. If you have food in your yard that is attracting them, they might do whatever it takes to get to it.

What Can You Do to Keep Bears Away?

Now that you know that fences aren’t going to keep them away as well as you hoped, it’s going to be wise to figure out what other options you have. The best way to prevent having issues with bears is to avoid encountering them, and this means that you want to keep them off of your property.

Keep reading to look through several ideas that can keep them away from your yard. These methods should work well enough, and they’ll likely go look elsewhere for food.

1 – Put Trash Cans Somewhere the Bears Can’t Reach

Bears might be coming onto your property to try to dig through the trash for food. You might be able to keep them from coming around by placing your trash somewhere else that can’t be reached by them.

One good idea is to place your trash cans in an enclosed area such as a garage. You could keep the trash cans in the garage and only transfer trash to the designated pickup area when the garbage truck is supposed to arrive.

This might seem like an annoyance in some ways, but it’s a lot better than being startled by bears in the morning while you’re trying to leave for work. Keep your trash somewhere safe where it won’t attract them.

2 – Keep Compost in an Enclosure

Compost piles can attract bears as well because they might think of it as a snack. If you have an open compost bin or pile, that could be causing them to come to your yard.

You should put your compost in an enclosure where it won’t be able to be reached by bears. Many people keep compost in secure wooden bins that have a lock, and this is a lot better than having it all out in the open.

3 – Clean Your Grill

Even something such as a dirty grill could be attracting bears. They might be able to smell the leftover bits of meat on the grill, and this could be the cause of your problems.

Take the time to thoroughly clean your grill after using it to avoid issues such as this. It should make your yard less appealing to them.

4 – Remove Bird Feeders

If you have bird feeders or deer feeders on your property, you might want to remove them. Even if you like watching the birds and attracting deer to the area, it might not be worth the risk.

Bears will see these feeders as an opportunity to grab a snack, and it’ll be hard to keep them away from the feeders. If you are going to use these feeders, it’d be wise to keep them as far away from your home as possible.

5 – Use Ammonia

Ammonia is something that bears don’t seem to like at all. If you can use this scent to your advantage, it might be able to keep them from wanting to go near your property.

One good idea is to soak towels in ammonia and place them in bins or trash cans around your property. This could work very well, but the scent of ammonia isn’t pleasant for humans either.

You don’t have to place the ammonia in a trash can, but you should hang an ammonia-soaked cloth somewhere at the very least. Some people have soaked towels with it and hung them up on clotheslines to try to keep bears at bay.

6 – Vinegar Might Work Too

Vinegar is another scent that bears don’t like, and this could be more pleasant for humans than ammonia. Even so, strong vinegar smells won’t be enjoyable on your property.

If you’re worried about bears, putting up with the scent of vinegar is a small price to pay for peace of mind. You can use the same method with vinegar that is suggested for ammonia, and it’ll work to make your yard less appealing.

7 – Consider the Types of Trees That Are in Your Yard

Having certain types of trees in your yard could be attracting the local bear population. Bears will look for various fruits that they can snack on, and if you have fruit-bearing trees in your yard, they’re going to appeal to them.

One solution would be to eliminate the food source from your yard for safety purposes. You might not wish to do this if you like having apple trees or other types of fruit-bearing trees, though.

If you use the other tips above, you might not have to remove the trees from your yard. But this could be an option when you’re worried about bears and whether they’re being attracted to the yard by the fruit.

What to Do If You See a Bear

If you see a bear, it’s best to stay away from it. However, if it notices you, it might not be a good idea to run away.

Depending on what type of bear you’re seeing, it’s going to be better to try to scare it away. Black bears can be dangerous, but they still don’t typically attack humans.

This doesn’t mean that a black bear won’t attack you, though. If you act scared, try to flee, and show weakness, a bear that is in a frenzy might choose to attack you since it will view you as prey.

Luckily, bears are typically easily scared off by humans, and you can often scare them just by making a lot of noise. It’s also best to make yourself appear as large as possible to deter it from wanting to get near you.

This can be done by spreading your arms and standing as tall as you can. If you do get attacked by a black bear, experts recommend fighting back instead of playing dead because this gives you the greatest chance of survival.

Hopefully, the methods for keeping bears away above will keep you from coming into close contact with one. Just be safe and do what you can to make your property less appealing to the local bear population.


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