Black bear sightings have become more common in this area each year. Bears are attracted to garbage, pet food, compost piles, fruit trees, and bird feeders. To discourage bears from hanging around your home, the state Department of Environmental Protection advises people discontinue use of bird feeders from late March through November, keep garbage cans inside a garage or shed, clean and store barbecue grills after use, don’t leave pet food outside overnight, and don’t add meat or sweets to a compost pile. Above all, don’t intentionally feed bears.

Aggression by bears towards humans is very rare, however, when hiking it is a good idea to keep dogs on a leash. A bear may view a roaming dog as a threat. If you see a bear from a distance, make your presence known by making noise and waving your arms. If you surprise a bear, walk away slowly. To report a bear sighting, call the DEP at 860-675-8130 or go online to