DNR gives tips to minimize conflicts with bears

Tips include avoiding conditioning bears to seek humans for food.

Black bear raiding a bird feeder.
Photo illustration /
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In the absence of human-created attractions, bears rely on small, scattered patches of natural foods: specific types of young green vegetation in spring, certain species of ants and ant pupae in June, berries in summer, and nuts in fall.

But if bears can get access to concentrated, high-calorie, easily accessible foods around people’s homes and campsites, they are quickly enticed away from their natural food sources.

It is important to secure anything that a bear would consider food.

The Department of Natural Resources urges homeowners to avoid conditioning bears to associate their home or campsite with an easy meal by leaving out unsecured garbage, birdseed or pet food.

Information on how to reduce property damage and the chance of human-bear conflicts is available on the DNR website ( ) and BearWise online resources (

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