FROM THE HENNIKER POLICE
Learning to Live with Bears
This information was obtained from the NH Fish and Game website
Also see Frequently Asked Questions About Bears
avoiding unbearable conflicts
bears are generally shy and usually avoid humans, they are opportunistic and
will search for human food supplies when natural foods are not available.
Maintaining a sustainable bear population in New Hampshire depends on minimizing
human-bear conflicts. It is illegal to intentionally feed bears in New
Hampshire. Intentional feeding can create problems within residential areas and
can result in fines. It also may threaten the life of the bear, if it becomes a
nuisance animal as a result of this feeding.
The majority of
bear/human conflicts can be avoided. Here are some tips on preventing bear
Take down, clean
and put away bird feeders by April 1. Store the bird feeder until late fall.
(Birds will do just fine with the natural foods available.) Bear damage to
bird feeders is a common and growing spring complaint.
Clean up spilled
seed below feeder stations.
Keep garbage in
airtight containers inside your garage or storage area. Double bagging and the
use of ammonia will reduce odors that attract bears.
pickup should be put outside the morning of collection and not the night
Do not place meat
or sweet food scraps in your compost pile.
Do not leave pet
food or dishes outdoors at night.
Clean up and/or
store outdoor grills after use.
Use a bear-proof
intentionally feed bears to attract them to your yard for viewing. Since 2006,
it is also illegal to intentionally feed bears.
A Fed Bear is a Dead Bear!
When black bears
are fed, they quickly learn unbearlike behaviors. Sadly, this may lead to
serious, often deadly, results for the bear. You can prevent this by following
the simple guidelines above.
As snow disappears
in the early spring hungry bears leave their winter dens. Early spring offers
the promise of abundant bear foods, but yields no such benefit until grasses
grow, bulbs sprout and flowers bloom. Hungry bears lack the option to wait for
spring growth. Although bears are generally shy and usually avoid humans, their
need for food and their fondness for sunflower seeds often draw them to New
Hampshire bird feeders.
Here are some
suggestions to prevent your bird feeder from becoming a bear feeder:
bird feeding activities by April 1 each year. Don't feed the birds until late
fall (the birds will do just fine).
Bears are clever.
This, coupled with their strength and agility, make it very difficult to
establish bearproof bird feeders.
feeding can result in the bears getting accustomed to humans. This
"habituation" of bears may cause a variety of conflicts with humans. The end
result may be the removal (most often with lethal consequences) of the
bird-feeding friends and neighbors to adhere to these guidelines. Be reminded
that many people have an irrational fear of bears. A black bear's presence in
a residential area may create fear among neighbors and lead to negative
consequences for the bear.
Take Proper Care of Your Garbage
Black bears are one
of New Hampshire's most magnificent big mammals. Although bears are shy and
usually avoid humans, they are also opportunistic and will search for human food
supplies when there's little natural food available. Their keen sense of smell
can lead them to trouble - both for themselves and humans. Maintaining a
sustainable bear population in New Hampshire depends on minimizing human-bear
conflicts. Take proper care of your garbage to help avoid these conflicts.
Don't trash our
and trash containers secured at night. Lock and bolt both tops and sliding
side doors, if necessary Use metal trash cans, including lids.
sized dumpsters. Don't let dumpster garbage overflow.
dumpsters to prevent bears from tipping them over.
dumpsters with a hose, and deodorize with ammonia if necessary
Pick up loose or
electric fences around dumpsters to reduce bear activity, when necessary
garbage and place it in air-tight containers to reduce food odors that may
If you keep
garbage in a shed, keep the doors closed tightly to prevent bears from forcing
them open. If bears get into sheds, move garbage to a more secure location and
leave shed doors open after removing attractants. Deodorize with ammonia as
discourage bears from approaching dumpsters by using loud noise-making
intentionally feed bears to attract them to your yard for viewing. Remember...
a fed bear is a dead bear!
Should Do If You Encounter a Black Bear
noise should alert bears to your presence and prompt them to move without
being noticed. However, if you see a bear, keep your distance. Make it
aware of your presence by clapping, talking or making other sounds.
If a bear does
not immediately leave after seeing you, the presence or aroma of food may be
encouraging it to stay. Remove any sight or smell of foods. Place food
items inside a vehicle or building. Occupy a vehicle or building until the
bear wanders away.
Black bears will
sometimes "bluff charge" when cornered, threatened or attempting to steal
food. Stand your ground and slowly back away.
black bears and other wildlife from a distance.
Respect them and their right to live in wild New Hampshire.
Black bears do
not typically exhibit aggressive behavior,
even when confronted. Their first response is to flee. Black bears rarely
attack or defend themselves against humans.