Checked out the property this morning.
Bears are gone . . . for now.
They tipped over a barrel I had soaking out in the yard. At one time it had waste vegetable oil it in. It had been rinsed out a while back with biodegradable degreaser. The barrel was undergoing a second degreasing. This time to repurpose it as a sand barrel. Apparently, there was still enough grease smell in it to attract bears.
My vehicles run on waste vegetable oil. For bears, that's a high energy food. They are hungry after hibernation and not a lot of new wild food is available yet. As careful as I am about keeping the area clean, It's inevitable that a few splatters of grease will fall on the ground now and then. For a bear's sensitive nose, that's enough to attract their interest.
We used to have a big dog. That was enough discouragement to keep them away. I miss my dog.
All I can do right now is keep the area extra clean. Make a lot of noise when moving around the property as not to surprise a bear, and wait for the natural foods in the wild to catch up with a bear's hunger.
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