The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds Marylanders that as temperatures cool, black bear feeding increases to prepare for hibernation. During this time, bears may be attracted to human food sources such as trash, pet food and birdfeeders. Bears exploiting human food may lose their natural fear of people which can lead to dangerous encounters and conflicts.
“Keeping trash and pet food in a place where bears can’t get to it is the best way to avoid problems,” said Harry Spiker, DNR’s Game Mammal Section Leader. “A little prevention can go a long way.”
Bears may travel many miles searching for food in the fall. Motorists traveling in Maryland’s western counties are reminded to watch for bears crossing roads, especially during October and November. Bears in Maryland will begin entering dens in mid-November and most are denned by mid-December. Citizens should delay feeding songbirds until the winter months to avoid attracting bears.
To learn more about Maryland’s black bears, visit dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/Hunt_Trap/blackbear/index.asp or contact a staff person in the Western Region at 301-777-2136 or statewide at 410-260-8540.