As the winter season winds down and spring approaches, it is important to recognize that bears will become increasingly active throughout the state. Officials are asking the New Hampshire public to be both proactive and responsible and remove bird feeders and secure other backyard attractants. Although March 31 is the traditional deadline for ending winter bird feeding activity, more mild winters and the earlier arrival of spring conditions warrant modifications.
Homeowners should take action to reduce the chances of a bear visiting their home. Avoid encounters with bears by taking a few simple precautions:
- Stop all bird feeding by April 1 or at the onset of extended spring-like weather conditions.
- Clean up any spilled birdseed and dispose of it in the trash.
- Secure all garbage in airtight containers inside a garage or adequate storage area, and put garbage out on the morning of pickup, not the night before. If using a dumpster, inform your dumpster company that you need a dumpster with metal locking tops and doors that are inaccessible to bears and other wildlife.
- Avoid putting meat or other food scraps in your compost pile.
- Don't leave pet food dishes outside overnight.
- Clean and store outdoor grills after each use.
- Finally, never feed bears!
These steps will help to ensure that your backyard does not become attractive to bears and other wildlife, which is important because it prevents property damage by bears and because it keeps bears from becoming nuisance animals.
For more information on preventing conflicts with black bears, visit www.wildnh.com/wildlife/somethings-bruin.html.