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Maryland Black Bear Activity Increasing in Fall Months

Residents Reminded to Take Common-Sense Precautions

Photo of a bear in a tree

Photo by Ryan Van Nosdeln

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources reminds residents that black bears are beginning a period of increased feeding activity in preparation for winter hibernation. During this time, bears may become more attracted to human-provided food sources and lose their natural fear of people, which can be dangerous for both people and bears.

Black bears in Maryland are concentrated in Allegany, Frederick, Garrett, and Washington counties, collectively known as Maryland’s black bear country. 

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. Bears will begin entering dens in mid-November and most will be inside dens by mid-December.

Marylanders in bear country should delay filling songbird feeders until the winter months. 

“Keeping food sources like bird feeders, pet food, and trash in a place where bears can’t get to them is the best way to avoid problems,” Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto said. 

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