Bears!!!

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: General Composting Issues: Bears!!!
Author: Annestewart (Annestewart)
Monday, April 25, 2011 - 9:17 pm
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At the cottage area where I frequent the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and every other organization states NOT to compost becuase it will attract bears. Surely they mean "if you don't compost correctly, then you will attract bears". I need evidence and proof in order to change all their literature, as I'm involved with several associations and I hope to make some changes. Can anyone point me in the right direction to find more evidence that proper composting won't attract bears (or other similar animals)? A big thank-you for information :-)

Author: Crooner7 (Crooner7)
Monday, April 18, 2011 - 2:31 pm
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I just joined this forum and this issue is one I have been wondering about. This summer will be our first summer on our property in Colorado. We were there two weeks last summer and tried out the humanure toilets, using the cheap hassock model from Wal-Mart. I was pleasantly surprised my wife took to this very well. (surprised her, too)

Anyway, we are not in an area where bear sightings are frequent and I haven't seen any sign of bear activity, but do not wish to invite any, either. I guess my question is whether bears would be attracted to the compost pile or not. If we add food scraps to the bucket, as the poster above mentioned, rather than on the pile, maybe that would make it less attractive? I would really like to hear if there are any experiences with this.

Author: Joe (Joe)
Sunday, September 26, 2010 - 1:05 pm
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From email:

Been using your humanure composting toilet for three years now, works so great! It's in our motor home which we live in half the time and it is far, far better than their regular toilet system. But the reason I'm e-mailing you is that we have a terrific bonus! Our house is in the boonies and there's a black bear problem in that they visit everyone's compost heap and tear up the insubstantial ones, even getting into the stronger ones when they're really hungry. But guess who's compost they tried out a couple of times but never touch anymore? Ha ha, works so well and I have great compost at the end of the year.
By the way, we do have apple trees that the bears get into and leave their deposits under if I don't harvest them in time, like this year, so their dung just gets added to the pile and I bet they don't like that either.

Author: Pcinca (Pcinca)
Saturday, September 12, 2009 - 2:07 pm
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Kardea, this is an interesting question and only experience will tell. I have raccoons, possums, cats, and birds looking for worms and beetle grubs in the finished compost, but they leave the biologically active pile alone do to the heat and ammonia smell that is emitted if the active pile is stirred up. I would think that bears would be turned off by that also as rotting feces, urine and food scraps are not appetizing to most animals.

Author: Kardea (Kardea)
Friday, September 11, 2009 - 3:42 pm
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I make my move off grid next summer and black bears are going to be an issue.
I want to know what experiences others have had with a humanure compost pile that is mixed with other compostable stuff?
My thought are to build a wooden bin with a lid on it that can be latched.
I add the compostables from the kitchen into the toilet bucket so that it comes in contact with the contents of the bucket. The theory in my head is that if the stuff that would be yummy to bears is mixed with the other contents of the bucket; that they would be turned off of it.
Is there anyone that can give me some instructions?
Getting a cement bear proof composter(those are the only ones I have seen) is not something that I really am interested in getting.(only if there is no other choice)

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