Hey bear! That is what some would suggest you shout occasionally while outdoors, hiking, biking or camping. I suppose shouting "hey bear" is more about making noise to alert the animals you are close, than the statement itself, as most bears don't understand English.

Now that spring is here and the temperatures rise, the chances of encountering a black break in New York State will be increasing. Here are some things to keep in mind as you head outside and tip to keep bears away from your home.

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New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is reminding residents to be "Bear-Wise" this spring. As exciting as it would be to see a bear in your yard, don't forget they are a wild animal and their actions could be unpredictable.

Across New York, black bears are emerging from their winter dens and may seek out human-created food sources. Repeat access to these food sources can make bears bolder, so I encourage New Yorkers to practice the BearWise basics to help keep bears wild and prevent the potential for human-bear conflicts. - Commissioner Seggos

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New Yorkers are encouraged to do your part to keep bears away from your home, especially if you have young children. Here are some tips:

  • Empty and clean bird feeder
  • Let nature feed the birds from spring through fall
  • Secure garbage and recycling cans should be secured
  • Clean or remove all residual grease and food from grills and smokers.
  • Pet and livestock food should be kept indoors
  • Neighbors should alert neighbors to any bear activity

DO NOT feed or approach bears. Feeding bears intentionally is dangerous and illegal. Bears that become habituated to being fed can become a threat to people and property.

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