Northern Wyoming News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

By Karla Pomeroy

Game and Fish trap bear getting into dumpsters


September 19, 2019

TEN SLEEP — A bear that had been relocated from the Sheridan area was trapped in Tensleep Canyon recently.

According to Ten Sleep Game Warden Tom DeSomber, trapping a bear is a final solution for the agency. He said there are many other things they attempt to do before deciding to trap a bear.

He said this particular bear was getting into people’s trash who live in Tensleep Canyon. He said they work with people in the area to make sure the trash is secure. He said it is not unusual at this time of year for bears to be in Tensleep Canyon. He noted bears at this time are “really hungry” and looking for food in preparation for hibernation, which usually occurs in November.

“Their whole goal right now is to get food,” he said.

He said bears that continually use trash food or fruit orchards for a steady food source become too familiar with humans.

The best thing for bears and people are to follow a few simple rules, DeSomber said, adding that Wyoming is bear country.

He said securing trash and keeping lids on dumpsters is one main tip that was not occurring prior to the bear’s arrival.

As for the bear, he was found in the trap on Monday, Sept. 9. DeSomber noted that since the bear had been previously relocated “he had his one chance” adding that is not something Game and Fish likes to do but at times they have had to euthanize a problem bear.

DeSomber said he has also heard reports of a bear south of Ten Sleep but he believes it was the same bear.

Why bears are looking for food in trash, DeSomber said he does not know, but noted that there are not as many berries as there have been in other years in Tensleep Canyon. “That might have something to do with it. Usually this time of year there are a ton of chokecherries.”



The Wyoming Game and Fish website offers several tips for those living in bear country.

Some include:

•Garbage should be stored where bears can neither smell nor gain access to it: either in a bear-resistant container or inside a building bears can’t get into. Use outside garbage cans for non-food items only. Haul garbage to an approved disposal site as often as possible, but at least once a week, to avoid build-up of odors.

•Fruit trees attract bears, especially when wild foods are scarce. Electric fencing is the most effective way to keep bears out of orchards. Pick all fruit from trees and the ground as soon as possible; do not leave fruit through the fall.

•Vegetable and flower gardens also attract bears. Gardens should be located away from forests or shrubs, which bears use for security and travel. Bears will dig up carrots and bulbs, so electric fencing is a good idea.

•Composting is not recommended, because the odors attract bears. If you do compost, use an electric fence or enclosed, bear-resistant composter. Don’t put meat, grease, or bones in a compost pile.

•Livestock and poultry feed, along with pet food, should be stored in bear-resistant containers – such as a 55-gallon drum with a lid that seals – preferably inside a sturdy building that bears can’t get into.

•Bird feeders can also attract bears. Feed suet only during the winter months, and suspend hummingbird feeders out of reach of bears – at least 10 feet off the ground and 4 feet away from any tree trunk or pole.

More tips can be found at


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