Bear activity in town winding down

FORT FRANCES—With autumn in full swing, the number of bears reported in town has been declining, local bylaw enforcement officer Dave Egan said Monday.
“It’s slowed down considerably,” he noted, adding the reported sightings have been few and far between in recent weeks.
The most recent call was last week, when the bylaw enforcement department responded to a one-year-old bear reported in the 700 block of Church Street.
That bear had to be tranquilized and relocated.
“That was the first one in a long time,” noted Egan.
But police did have to shoot a bear reported at the Lakeview Trailer Court on Sept. 23-24.
“That was a very large bear. There was fear for human safety—that’s why it was necessary,” explained Egan.
A total of three bears have been dispatched so far this season.
“Other than that, the sightings have been non-existent. Or at least not reported to us,” he added. “We made it through it.”
Egan said the bears seemed to have backed off and gone into their dens due to the fact their food supply is gone.
He added the public did a good job discouraging bear activity by picking ripe fruit off trees, and ripe fruit and vegetables off the ground, and putting out their garbage only on the morning of pick-up.
“They deserve a lot of credit for the problem being minimal,” he remarked.
As of Monday, the total number of bears reported to the town bylaw enforcement department this summer was 79. Of these, seven were live trapped and three immobilized.
While there were hectic periods, noted Egan, this number actually is about 15 sightings less than this time last year.
“We’re down a little bit. What started out to be quite busy tapered off quite nicely,” he said.
In related news, Egan said there’s been a number of “nuisance deer” reported in town in recent months, which are eating people’s cedar trees and raiding their gardens and flower beds.
But he stressed deer control does not fall under the town’s jurisdiction, and that anyone with concerns about deer activity within town limits should contact the Ministry of Natural Resources office here.
(Fort Frances Daily Bulletin)