Food Storage Order

food storage

Proper Food Storage

It is illegal to feed bears or to intentionally leave food out in an attempt to attract them.

Bears are in a constant search for food, therefore they are often drawn to the scents of our food. Human foods are unhealthy for bears; and they quickly become dependent on an easy food source. As they become more comfortable eating human food, they become at ease with humans, thus leading to bear-human conflicts which endanger bears and people. Florida Black Bears can pick up a scent from over a mile away, so having care in storing food is very important.

You may not possess, store or leave any food, refuse or any bear attractant unless it is:

  • Properly stored in a bear-resistant container
  • Stored in a closed motor vehicle with a hard top
  • Suspended at least 10 feet clear of the ground and 4 feet horizontally from any other pole or tree adjacent to the supporting tree
  • You may not bury or burn any food or bear attractant – use bear-resistant receptacles or take it with you.

Bears are attracted to:

  • food
  • beverages
  • cooking grease
  • toothpaste
  • toiletries
  • soap
  • game meat
  • carcass parts
  • pet food
  • bird seed
  • livestock feed
  • garbage

For questions or to report problems related to the Florida Black Bear, please contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission office:

FWC Northeast Region  |  1239 S.W. 10th St. Ocala, Florida 34471-0323  |  352.732.1225
On nights/weekends, call Wildlife Alert: 888.404.3922

For questions on the food storage order or the Ocala National Forest, please contact:

Lake George Ranger District: 352.625.2520 or Seminole Ranger District: 352.669.3153

Other Bear Info Contacts:

FWC – Cathy Connelly

Defenders of Wildlife

See Also: About Black Bears, Bear Safety Advice