Stay safe from bears

The DEC gives the following warning concerning bears:

¯ Never feed bears. It is illegal, dangerous and detrimental to bears.

¯ If bears are being fed in your area, or you suspect a nuisance bear situation, report it to DEC immediately.

¯ Take down bird feeders after April 1. Birds do not need supplemental food in the spring and summer, when natural foods are most abundant.

¯ Clean barbecue grills before nightfall and don’t forget the grease trap. If possible, store grills inside when not in use.

¯ Store garbage in a secure building.

¯ In areas near bear habitat, put garbage containers by the curb just before the scheduled pick-up-never the night before.

¯ In densely populated bear areas, consider using a certified bear-resistant garbage container.

¯ Clean garbage cans frequently with ammonia products.

¯ Do not burn garbage. It is illegal and can attract bears.

¯ Do not add meat scraps, bones, or melon rinds to compost piles.

¯ Feed pets indoors and store pet food indoors. If pets must be fed outside, immediately remove all uneaten food and dishes.

¯ It is important to appreciate and respect black bears as wild animals, from a distance. Never approach, surround or corner a bear: Bears aggressively defend themselves when they feel threatened. Be especially cautious around cubs as mother bears are very protective.

Additional information about black bears can be found on DEC’s website at