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Bear Activity Increases in the Fall

Cooling fall temperatures signal black bears to begin a period of increased feeding activity to prepare for hibernation. During this time bears may be attracted to human-provided food sources ─ such as trash, pet food and birdfeeders ─ and lose their natural fear of people, which can lead to dangerous encounters and conflicts.

Keeping trash and pet food in a place where bears can’t get to it is the best way to avoid problems with bears. Citizens should also delay feeding songbirds until the winter months to avoid attracting these animals.

Since bears may travel many miles in search of food, motorists traveling in Maryland’s western counties are reminded to watch for them crossing roads, especially during October and November. 

Maryland’s bears will begin entering dens in mid-November and most are denned by mid-December.

To learn more about Maryland’s black bears, citizens may click here or contact a staff person in the Western Region at 301-777-2136, or statewide at 410-260-8540.