Here at Wilson Ranch, we strive to live harmoniously and safely with local wildlife. This means being careful not to leave out food sources as well as being respectful of the native landscape. Numerous wild animals (including black bear, coyotes, foxes, skunks, bobcats, mountain lions, moose, white tail and mule deer, and many more) call the Methow Valley home. In order for people to safely coexist with these amazing wild animals, we must all do our part to reduce outdoor food sources. This keeps both us and the animals safe. While staying at Wilson Ranch, please follow the guidelines listed below.


**Do not leave any garbage or recycling outside of your home at any time. This includes leaving garbage or food in your vehicles.

**Do not store any food or beverages outside, even in coolers. Bears can easily access them.

**Bring inside BBQs and grills after each use and clean them thoroughly.

**Do not feed pets outdoors or leave any other food out to encourage wild animals to feed near your home.

**Bring in all bird feeders (including suet and hummingbird feeders).


Please refer to these helpful documents to help educate you and your family about living or traveling in bear country.

For a downloadable version of this PDF, please click here: Bearwise 2020


For a downloadable version of this checklist, please click here: WA – BearWise At-Home Checklist (ADA)

Attract Birds, Not Bears

You don’t have to choose between watching birds and being BearWise. Just think outside the bird feeder, and you’ll discover how easy it is to invite in birds without attracting bears. 

Benefits of Kicking the Bird-Feeder Habit

  • A bird-friendly habitat attracts many more species than a bird feeder, including butterflies, pollinators and birds that don’t visit feeders.
  • Snakes, cats, foxes and birds of prey won’t have a place to hang out and eat your birds.
  • Skunks, mice, rats, raccoons and bears won’t come to chow down your expensive birdseed.
  • By creating year-round beauty and bird-friendly features, you’ll always have something to watch.
  • You will be helping to keep bears and other wildlife wild.


Please download this helpful brochure with more tips on creating a bird friendly oasis at your home! WA-BearWiseBulletin1 (birds) 2023

Dogs + Bears = Problems

If you live in or travel to bear country and own a dog, sooner or later your dog may encounter a bear. Understanding why some encounters end peacefully and others end with dogs and people being injured or killed can help keep people, dogs and bears safe.

  • Feed pets indoors.

  • If you must feed pets outside, feed only single portions and remove bowls as soon as your pet is finished.

  • Keep your dog on a non-retractable leash even if you’re just going to the car.

  • Install motion-activated security lights. Check the yard and bang on your door before you let your dog out.

  • If you see a bear, bring your dog inside. Don’t allow it to bark at or harass the bear, even from inside a fenced yard.

  • Pet doors should open into completely enclosed areas; some bears can squeeze through openings as small as nine inches high. Cubs (and other critters you don’t want in the house) can fit through even smaller openings.

  • If your dog gets into an encounter with a bear, don’t try to rescue it. If you can do so from a safe distance, use your bear spray or a high-powered garden hose.


Out walking your dog?

  1. Keep your dog on a non-retractable leash at all times.

  2. Carry bear spray and know how to use it.

  3. Stay alert; music and phones are distracting.

  4. Avoid walking at dawn, dusk or at night in areas with known bear activity.

  5. If you see a bear, turn around and leave.

  6. Don’t let your dog bark at, harass, chase, or corner a bear.

  7. If your dog gets into a fight with a bear, don’t try to rescue it. You will get injured. Instead, use your bear spray. 

Please download this PDF for more info about dog safety in bear country: WA-BearWiseBulletin2 (dogs) 2023