Living with Wildlife

In Port Angeles, wildlife is an integral part of the natural environment that surrounds us. From Rabbits, Racoons and Black-tailed Deer to the occasional Black Bear, Coyote or Cougar sighting, our city is home to an amazing array of wildlife species. 

Preventing Unwanted Encounters with Local Wildlife 

While residents and visitors enjoy the opportunities for wildlife viewing in our area, we must also learn to act responsibly as neighbors to the surrounding wilderness.  

Wild animals are naturally fearful of humans, but when we intentionally or unintentionally provide access to food and water sources, their behavior can change. This leads to interactions and potential conflicts between humans, pets, and wild animals. Through guidelines provided by the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), we can foster a sense of responsibility toward our wild neighbors and ensure our interactions are both enriching and conflict-free.  

Don't feed wildlifeintentionally or unintentionally. 

  • Keep garbage cans with tight-fitting lids in a secure space, such as inside a garage, shed or fenced area, until collection day. 
  • Cover new compost material with soil or lime to prevent it from smelling, and never include animal matter in your compost. 
  • Pick up fallen fruit and other possible attractants from your yard. 
  • Take down seed, suet and hummingbird feeders until fall. 
  • Thoroughly clean barbeque grills after each use. 

Protect your pets and livestock.  

  • Livestock and small animals, such as goats, sheep and chickens, are attractants to predators such as cougars and coyotes. Outdoor livestock should be kept in secure pens and away from forest boundaries. 
  • Keep dogs and cats indoors, especially from dusk to dawn, and don't allow pets to roam unattended. 
  • Remove dog and cat food from wildlife-accessible areas.

Take extra caution at home and in the car. 

  • Install barriers, such as tree guards, chicken wire, netting or deer fencing, to protect individual plants or your entire property.
  • Consider use of scare tactics, such as scarecrows, motion-sensor lighting or noisemaking devices, to deter wildlife from entering your property. 
  • Drive slowly at night and be especially watchful while driving at dawn or dusk, when wildlife is most active.  
  • Keep in mind, one deer crossing the road may be a sign that more deer are about to cross. 

And when hiking or camping...

  • Be aware of your surroundings, hike in a group when possible, and make noise to prevent any surprises to wildlife along the trail. 
  • Keep attractants, such as uneaten food or scented personal items, at least 100 yards away from camping areas.
  • Pack out what you pack in. Do not leave food or waste behind. 
  • Avoid hiking at dusk or dawn, when wildlife is most active. 

View All FAQs