Tips for co-existing with black bears 

  • A cub is weighed in Belchertown in 2018.  MassWildlife

Published: 4/8/2019 4:00:47 PM

State wildlife officials offer the following tips for safely co-existing with bears. Bear experts say these precautions will go a long way in reducing negative encounters with bears by allowing them to forage and feed in their natural habitat and discouraging them from food-seeking behaviors in our communities.

■Avoid bird feeders altogether. For people who insist on having feeders out, only do so in winter during the denning season to reduce conflict. Wildlife experts suggest growing native plants, shrubs and trees and adding a water feature to attract birds.

■Use electric fencing to keep bears out of hives and chicken coops. Information on the proper installation of electric fencing can be found at

■Store all garbage in closed containers in a garage or outbuilding. Bear-proof garbage cans may be available from municipalities or waste management contractors. Bear-proof dumpsters are recommended for apartments and condos.

■Compost responsibly. Do not throw meat scraps or greasy, oily or sweet materials in your compost pile. These kinds of food will attract bears and other animals.

■Clean greasy barbecues and grills after each use.

■Refrain from leaving pet food outdoors.

For more information about black bears online, visit:

Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

115 Conz Street
Northampton, MA 01061


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