As we head into October, the local conservation officer service is warning the public to be diligent in bear-proofing their properties.
October and November are the worst months for bear encounters because the omnivores are looking to fatten up enough to survive the winter.
Ben York is the Sergeant of the Central Island Zone and he says these animals are going to be a little bolder than normal this time of year.

York points out that destroying bears is a direct result of human negligence.

Officers don’t want to destroy these animals and when they do, it’s because people left food sources out and available.
To bear-proof your property, you need to pick the fruit off of trees and grab it off the ground.
People also need to keep their garbage in a secure location.
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If you need help getting rid of the fruit on your trees, you can call the Cowichan Green Community.
Fruit pickers who have signed up with the Cowichan Green Community are taking a load off of the minds and the trees of homeowners from Mill Bay to Ladysmith.
Program Coordinator, Debra Cebula says this program also helps residents avoid encounters with bears and other wildlife.
The fruit goes to the owners, community partners, and the harvester.