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Black Bear Activity Increases in Fall

Residents Reminded to Take Common-Sense Precautions

Photo of bear eating from a birdfeederThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources reminds residents and visitors that black bears are beginning a period of increased feeding activity in preparation for winter hibernation or torpor. Black bears in Maryland are concentrated in Allegany, Frederick, Garrett and Washington counties.

During this time, bears may become more attracted to human-provided food sources and lose their natural fear of people, which can lead to potentially dangerous encounters.

“Keeping bird feeders, pet food and trash in a place where bears can’t get to them is the best way to avoid interactions,” Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto said. “Marylanders should delay filling songbird feeders until the winter to avoid attracting these mammals.”

Since bears may travel many miles in search of food, motorists traveling in Maryland’s western counties, especially Allegany and Garrett, are reminded to watch for them crossing roads, especially during October and November. Bears will begin entering dens in mid-November; most will be inside dens by mid-December.

More information about living with black bears can be found online or by calling 410-260-8540 or 301-777-2136.