Vt. Fish and Wildlife warns bears becoming active as temperatures warm

Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 12:15 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 20, 2023 at 3:47 PM EDT
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WATERBURY, Vt. (WCAX) - The Department of Fish and Wildlife is warning Vermonters to beware of bears.

As the temperatures warm, bears are coming out of their dens. And Vermont Fish and Wildlife says they have started to get reports of active bears.

Wildlife officials say they have seen a rise in bear problems over the last several years. They say 2022 saw a high number of bear home break-ins and two bear attacks. Experts believe the trend is the result of black bears learning to associate people with food.

“What’s most effective is if the bear never finds food at your home. If a bear comes through, it doesn’t find food, it’s not going to have reason to spend energy to go back to that spot,” said Jaclyn Comeau, Vermont Fish and Wildlife’s bear biologist.

Fish and Wildlife says now is the time to take down your birdfeeders, and always remember to secure your trash in bear-proof containers or structures. Click here for more tips from experts about living with black bears.

Fish and Wildlife wants to hear from you if you spot a bear engaging in potentially dangerous behavior, like getting into birdfeeders, garbage, crops or going after livestock. You can submit a report on the department’s Living with Black Bears web page. The data helps biologists track bear incidents and provide early intervention to head off conflicts.