The New Hampshire Fish and Game Departments says homeowners can avoid encounters with bears by taking a few simple precautions:

• Don’t put out birdfeeders until Dec. 1 or once bear activity slows, whichever comes later. Bringing them in at night is not sufficient.

• Stop all bird feeding by April 1 or at the onset of extended spring-like weather conditions, whichever comes first.

• Clean up any spilled birdseed and dispose of it in a secured trash container.

• Store 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 one 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.

• Do not leave pet food dishes outside overnight.

• Clean and store outdoor grills after each use.

• Never deliberately feed bears!