New Hampshire Fish and Game officials say as the spring days become warmer, bears will become active, and it’s time to take a number of steps – including putting bird feeders away – to prevent visits by bears.
Spokesperson Jane Vachon urges members of the public urges homeowners to take action now and not wait to respond until after a bear shows up at a birdfeeder. She says a single food award will cause a bear to return to the same area to search for food.
Bear biologist Andrew Timmins says there were more than 1,100 complaints about bears in New Hampshire in 2012, with 10 percent of them involving bears at birdfeeders and 40 percent of them about bears raiding loose garbage at homes and businesses.
He urges everyone to stop all bird feeding by April 1, clean up and dispose of any spilled birdseed, secure all garbage in airtight containers and only put it out the morning of pickup, avoid putting meat or food scraps in your compost pile, don’t leave pet food dishes out overnight, clean and store outdoor grills after each use and finally, never feed a bear.
Timmins says taking those steps will help ensure your backyard doesn’t become attractive to bears and other wildlife, which will prevent the bears from causing property damage and keep them from becoming a nuisance.
For information about bear-related problems, call toll-free to 1-888-SHY-BEAR, that’s 1-888-749-2327.