Wake up call: As bears end hibernation, they'll wander in search of food
Granite Staters have been warned to take in their bird feeders or else bears, hungry after a long winter's nap, may drop by the house for a meal. (Courtesy file photo/ Joel Rhymer, New Hampshire Fish and Game)
He said the rate of bear/human conflicts that could occur this spring and summer is unknown and difficult to predict, however.
A single food reward will cause a bear to return and continue to search the area for food. Homeowners are urged to clean up any stray bird seed, secure all garbage in airtight containers, lock dumpsters if you use one, avoid putting meat or other food scraps in outdoor compost piles, never leave pet food dishes outside overnight, and clean and store outdoor grills after each use.
"Bears get into chicken pens — we really push the use of electric fences to protect those chickens. Chickens are on most wild animals' dinner menu. If you're going to raise chickens, it's important to protect them from predation," said Timmins, noting the increased popularity of homeowners raising their own chickens. He recommends against shooting bears caught at a chicken coop, an act that often leaves orphaned cubs.
In 2013, Kilhem, the state's only licensed bear rehabilitator, raised 27 orphaned cubs after their parents were killed for a variety of reasons including the harsh winter, lack of food, traffic accidents or being intentionally shot after they got into chicken coops.
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