CONCORD, N.H. - The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is urging homeowners, campers, and hikers to be bear aware during the summer season.
According to Andy Timmins, Fish and Game bear biologist, June is considered a "transition period" between spring and summer foods.
"This period of low food abundance causes bears to search out high-quality, readily available foods provided by humans, and is the main reason why the majority of bear complaints in New Hampshire occur during June and July," says Timmins. "Additionally, this time period coincides with the peak tourist season and a time when a lot of residents and visitors are recreating outside in bear habitat. Campgrounds are full, restaurant dumpsters are overflowing, and human-related food attractants are highly abundant across the landscape."
Fish and Game recommends that people take the following action to reduce the chances of a bear visiting your home or campsite:
- Stop all bird feeding by April 1 or as soon as snow melts.
- 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.
- 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.
- Do not leave food, grease or garbage unsecured around campsites.
- Store food and coolers in a closed vehicle or secured area while camping.
- Finally, never intentionally feed bears!
If you have questions about bear-related problems, you can get advice by calling a toll-free number coordinated jointly by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department: 1-888-749-2327 (1-888-SHY-BEAR).