Home & Garden Attractants

black bear attractant
black bear attractant

Securing Bear Attractants

black bear attractant

Stay Safe at Home

Homes in Wyoming can contain various attractants that can draw both grizzly bears and black bears. These might include bird feeders, improperly stored pet food, and the presence of fruit trees with fallen or ripe fruit. Responsible management of these attractants is crucial to preventing human-bear conflicts and fostering a safe coexistence with these magnificent creatures in Wyoming’s bear country.

Tips Around the House

Bird Feeders

Teton County and the Town of Jackson require residents to ensure that bird feeders are inaccessible to bears at all times of the year. The following tips can help you prevent bears from gaining access to a bird feeder on your property.

  • Take bird feeders down between March and December when bears are most active and birds have abundant natural foods.
  • Hang bird feeders at least 10 feet above the ground and 4 feet away from any supporting structure.
  • Equip all bird feeders with a catch pan at least twice the diameter of the feeder.
  • Consider using birdhouses, birdbaths, and native vegetation as alternatives to attract birds.


Compost is an often overlooked attractant. To secure your compost consider a bear-resistant compost bin, an enclosure, or an electric fencing system designed for bears. Compost bins and enclosures should have sturdy lids and locking mechanisms that bears cannot easily open. The following tips can reduce odors associated with compost:

  • Do not compost food scraps, meat, dairy, or other strong-smelling items.
  • Stick to composting yard waste and non-food items.
  • Rotate your compost regularly.
  • Regularly clean the area around your compost bin to eliminate any food residues.
black bear attractant

Chicken Coops

Using electric fencing around your chicken coop is the most effective way to prevent bears from gaining access to your chickens. To keep your chickens safe from bears:

  • Install and properly maintain a permanent electric fence around your coop.
  • Remove spilled feed and other food sources around the coop area and lock chickens inside the coop at night.

To learn how to build an electric fence watch this video: How to Build a Bear Fence.

If you need assistance please contact Bear Wise Jackson Hole at: (307) 739-0968.

black bear attractant

Fruit Trees

Teton County and the Town of Jackson prohibit the planting of new ornamental fruit-bearing trees and shrubs (including crabapples and cherries) and require that you promptly harvest ripe fruit and remove fallen fruit from existing trees and shrubs to prevent attracting bears. The following tips can help prevent bears from getting food rewards from existing fruit-bearing trees:

  • Installing electric fencing around fruit trees.
    • Electric net fences are easy to install and great for seasonal attractants like fruit. Here’s how: How to Build a Bear Fence.
  • A local cider company, Farmstead Cider, may be available to help you harvest and remove fruit: Harvest Helper.
  • Replace existing ornamental fruit-bearing trees and shrubs with native vegetation.
    • Cost-share programs may be available for replacing ornamental trees and shrubs with native plants. Visit Teton Conservation District: Conservation Planting Program.
black bear attractant


To properly secure beehives and protect you bees and honey, consider:

  • Installing an electric fencing that meet specifications for bears, or enclosures around the beehives.
    • Watch this video to learn how you can build an electric fence: How to Build a Bear Fence.
    • Enclosures should be chain-link fencing or similar that have a top and are anchored to the ground.
  • Regularly inspect the hives and surrounding area for any signs of bear activity or attempts to access them.
black bear attractant

Pet and Livestock Feed

Pet and livestock feed are often overlooked as a bear attractant, but there are ways to prevent bears from gaining access. Here are some tips:

  • Store feed and feed your pets and livestock indoors.
  • If feeding outdoors, only put out the amount of food your pets or livestock will consume in one sitting.
  • Clean up any spilled food immediately, and bring in pet food bowls at night to avoid attracting bears.
  • If you observe bear activity near your property bring pets and livestock inside at night if possible.

Wildlife Feeding Ban in Teton County

Teton County regulations prohibit the feeding of all wildlife and require bird feeders to be unavailable to wildlife at all times of year. All attractants, including grease from food service, chicken coops and feed, apiaries, compost, livestock, and fish food must be made unavailable to wildlife. If these attractants cannot be stored in a bear-resistant building, an effective tool for the homeowner is electric fencing.

The regulations also prohibit planting ornamental fruit-bearing trees and shrubs, such as crabapples. Existing ornamental, non-native fruit trees shall be managed by harvesting ripe and fallen fruit or fencing to prevent wildlife access.

Teton County wants to remind residents that most violations are handled administratively through a notice and are complaint-driven. Neighbors are encouraged to report any violations they see that may attract bears and other wildlife before conflicts occur by calling 307-733-3959.