Bears and Fruit Trees


Active Member
Any tips, past 5 years its like bear migration to central WI, we have historically never had more than a loner here and there, as they have stayed mostly in the northern forests.

The cubs are the issue and trees that i thought were big enough to be on their own out of a cage and i'm still going out and picking off any apples i can get, but way up top a lot of times i miss some. well they basically topped a few of my trees going after 1 or 2 apples and even ones with no apples they just climb em and claw em up or break off big sections of trees.

This is new experience with my orchard. What can be done outside of putting up e-fence, anything? Even the old trees i just hope that the bigger bears don't ruin those where even a mature tree could fall victim.
Good luck. Reading the experiences from the guys in the East and South East I'd say e-fencing is your best bet. A bear is nothing but a 200 lb raccoon. Destructive bastards. I don't have them yet, but they're really close.
Caging trees keeps most at bay. Electric of course is a no brainer but for me too much trouble and expense. And I've said it a billion times on here, if you have corn anywhere on your property then a person has no right to complain of bear. It attracts them like nothing else and they will. eat till they puke and then eat again. If bears are allowed to be themselves then they learn your scent and accomomate your presence and will leave most things alone, mostly. I have 6 or more bear call my 100 home with very little issues with one sow cranking out 3 cubs every couple years. Have stood with my dog at the entrance of her winter den. Many of the actions of bear is simply marking their territory and dominance. My bear tolerate my presence, even sitting watching me change camera cards at 20 yards. But you do corn like I once did, then totally different conversation. But they also know, if they come by during hunting season, we are not friends.
E-fence is your best bet, got to do it myself... I've got about 30 trees in the ground w/ 20 more being shipped late this month & they've been hammering my orchard. They wreck my tree cages once there's fruit on the tree that they want. We've got some big bears here (over 500 lbs.) but any of them can really tear a sm/med size tree up.
Where to start! For us in the mountains, tree tubes for stating trees in a no go. Just screams come bite me to a bear. We use cages for our little trees with success. As for our larger Apple trees, electric is the best way but not always possibly. We have had success with wrapping a bunch of barbed wire or razor wire around the tree. With 3-4 stakes about a foot away doesn’t allow him to climb up the trunk. Bottom line is though, if a bear wants in to anything, we will get there one way or another.
My personal feelings, if you've got bear, throw in the towel on apples. I wish I could have apple trees, but if I did, they'd suffer the same fate. It's a limitation of many limitations we can face. I also can't do soybeans or corn. I could go outta my mind spending time and money trying to force it, but there are just better ways to use those resources.

Not saying I'm right, just my $1.05.
Our property had quite a few apple trees on it when we purchased it a few years ago. We have a good bear population but the trees (at least 40 years old) survive. There are at least 50 older trees, maybe more. I’ve added an additional 60 apples and pears over the past few years. Hopefully they’ll survive.

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