Forum Index » Chaff » Bears eating our cabin. Why?


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Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Bears eating our cabin. Why? on 06/13/2010 20:08:51 MDT Print View

So, some black bears enjoy destroying our little cabin. Its been going on for a few years, starting with just a little nibbling on the corners. Well, this weekend, they really did some damage. Those boards on the ground lay as we found them.

Food is not stored inside, and the place is kept tidy and clean. Plus, if they REALLY wanted inside, they could do it.
Any ideas of how to prevent this?

boards

damage

damage2

damage3

claw

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Bears eating our cabin. Why? on 06/13/2010 20:32:18 MDT Print View

The bears are just trying to see if there is any food inside the pinata, out of curiosity. Also, it is likely that they smell something that humans can't. For example, the adhesives used in some building materials smell good to bears and rodents. One good porcupine can chew through 3/4" plywood.

--B.G.--

Jonathan Brian
(brokesomeribs) - F
bears on 06/13/2010 22:12:51 MDT Print View

Your best bet would probably to contact the conservation/wildlife biology department of a nearby university. Alternatively, the same department in an area that has a big bear problem. Philmont Scout Ranch or the Adirondacks come to mind. See what they recommend.

Maybe get a canister of bear spray and coat the exterior boards? On second thought, it would probably get washed away after the first rain. You need some sort of deterrent. Maybe an electrified mesh over the siding?

Edited by brokesomeribs on 06/13/2010 22:13:21 MDT.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Re: Bears eating our cabin. Why? on 06/13/2010 22:26:13 MDT Print View

Note to self. Build cabin out of rocks, concrete. Man that sucks. Just what you need, more work.

Justin Carter
(orangebananas) - F

Locale: San Francisco East Bay
Tyvek on 06/13/2010 22:34:00 MDT Print View

I think they were after the Tyvek to make some ground cloths.

Edited by orangebananas on 06/14/2010 00:00:22 MDT.

Dont Wantto
(longhiker) - F
coating with bear spray?? on 06/13/2010 22:57:06 MDT Print View

I'm think 'bear spray' is actually attractive to bears if not sprayed into their face. It's just made of pepper like pepper spray or mace .. or at least has the same chemical (Oleoresin Capsicum).

It's bad when sprayed into your eyes .. otherwise it smells delicious! (to you and the bear)

The labels on the canister note that you should not spray or test objects in bear country with it. If you do use a can briefly without emptying it, you have to wipe down the nozzle and everything to make sure you don't walk around smelling like peppers.

Edited by longhiker on 06/13/2010 22:58:14 MDT.

. .
(biointegra) - MLife

Locale: Puget Sound
Re: Bears eating our cabin. Why? on 06/13/2010 23:05:29 MDT Print View

I had not yet seen this, but there are numerous different kinds of insects that crawl up behind the gaps underneath lap siding that would make a tasty treat. It is not usually a good idea to caulk in between wood joints underneath lap-siding boards because they need to breathe in order to dry out behind them. Have you called your insurance company? I would, just to see what they have to say; I doubt they will have encountered it before and may have a laugh. A fiber cement or MGO board siding would be the only semi-reasonable retrofit option that I could see off the top of my head, but your siding looks like it is almost brand new. I think they were scouring for insects - they do the same thing to pine and cedar in the forest.

P. P.
(toesnorth) - F

Locale: PNW
Re: Bears eating our cabin. Why? on 06/13/2010 23:51:33 MDT Print View

+1
They are after bugs, would be my guess. Every time a bear rips into something around here, there are bugs, grubs, or old food/seeds to be found.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Paint on 06/14/2010 00:14:26 MDT Print View

You need to stop painting the cabin with peanut butter and honey!!! ;-)

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Paint on 06/14/2010 16:30:26 MDT Print View

Yeah, our first guess was the stain on the cedar siding, but I'm really thinking bugs are the reason.

That, and they've found the cabin to be a good scratching post. In the pictures you can see where some of the stain is lighter. Those darn bears are just scratching their butts on it!

Bear spray will probably attract them.

Someone actually suggested to spray the walls with ammonia or bleach. The guy said that if one bear hunter doesn't like another bear hunter, he'll spray bleach on his baiting location and the bears will never come back to it. So, we're gonna try ammonia, since bleach will probably make a mess out of things.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Paint on 06/14/2010 16:37:37 MDT Print View

Just get a real strong rope, and a real sturdy tree limb.......

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Off-topic on 06/14/2010 16:42:12 MDT Print View

OBTW, the opposite of ammonia or bleach is possible. Suppose that your worst enemy were camped a mile away from you. You get some Oil of Anise and pour it on an old cloth rag, then tack it up on a tree near the enemy's campsite. Bears will come from miles away to see what it is, because (supposedly) that smells like a bear sex attractant.

I don't know, but I don't think I want to be hanging around after that.

--B.G.--

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Off-topic on 06/14/2010 17:07:27 MDT Print View

Bob, I think I know a few people who I wouldn't mind dousing in that and dropping them off in the middle of the forest!

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: Re: Paint on 06/14/2010 17:20:36 MDT Print View

Just get a real strong rope, and a real sturdy tree limb.......

I think more than the typical 40-50 feet of rope will be needed.

. .
(biointegra) - MLife

Locale: Puget Sound
Re: Re: Re: Re: Paint on 06/14/2010 17:51:18 MDT Print View

That may not even work...

bear house

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Paint on 06/14/2010 17:53:27 MDT Print View

Now you see why a food hang may not be quite as good as a bear canister.

--B.G.--

David Olsen
(oware)

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Pinesol on 06/15/2010 17:28:46 MDT Print View

Pinesol soaked wooden blocks work for keeping skunks and
raccoons out of crawl spaces. Perhaps paint on a bit of
pinesol?

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Pinesol on 06/15/2010 19:31:49 MDT Print View

Aaron, nice picture! Did you take that?

David, thats interesting. I wonder whats in the Pinesol that repels them?

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
here are more of that bear on a rope on 06/18/2010 08:54:08 MDT Print View

http://izismile.com/2009/03/11/little_adventure_of_a_bear_4_pics.html

David Olsen
(oware)

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Re: Re: Pinesol on 06/24/2010 10:28:05 MDT Print View

I don't know, but if it doesn't hurt the siding, it might be
worth a try.