To reduce the likelihood that your property will attract bruins, the Pennsylvania Game Commission provides the following recommendations:
Play it smart. Do not feed wildlife. Food placed outside for wildlife, such as corn for squirrels, may attract bears. Reconsider putting squash, pumpkins, corn stalks or other Halloween or holiday decorations outside that also may attract bears. Even bird feeders can become "bear magnets." Audubon Pennsylvania offered tips for how to safely feed birds for those in prime bear areas, including: restrict feeding season to when bears den, which is primarily from late November through late March; avoid foods that are particularly attractive for bears, such as sunflower seeds, hummingbird nectar mixes or suet; bring feeders inside at night; or suspend feeders from high crosswires.
Keep it clean. Don't put out garbage until pick-up day; don't throw table scraps out back for animals to eat; don't add fruit or vegetable wastes to your compost pile; and clean your barbecue grill regularly. If you feed pets outdoors, consider placing food dishes inside overnight. Encourage your neighbors to do the same.
Keep your distance. If a bear shows up in your backyard, stay calm. From a safe distance, shout at it like you would to chase an unwanted dog. If the bear won't leave, call the nearest Game Commission regional office or local police department for assistance.
Eliminate temptation. Bears that visit your area are often drawn there. Neighbors need to work together to reduce an area's appeal to bears. Promptly report road-killed deer to ensure their quick removal. Ask area businesses to keep dumpsters closed and bear-proofed (chained or locked shut).
Check please! If your dog is barking, or cat is clawing at the door to get in, try to determine what has alarmed your pet. But do it cautiously, using outside lights to full advantage and from a safe position, such as a porch or an upstairs window. All unrecognizable outside noises and disturbances should be checked, but don't do it on foot with a flashlight. Black bears blend in too well with nighttime surroundings providing the chance for a close encounter.