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DNR gives tips as bear hibernation season endsSubmitted: 04/14/2015
Story By Mary O'Connell

DNR gives tips as bear hibernation season ends
NORTHWOODS - As spring rolls around, bears come out of hibernation. The DNR wants to a few tips to avoid any problems.



Bears in the Northwoods typically come out in early to mid-April. The DNR says people need to be aware of the possible temptations in their own backyards that could attract a bear.

Bears have a great sense of smell, so be careful while grilling outside. Try to keep any garbage cans tightly closed, or take them indoors if possible.

DNR specialists also encourage people to take down bird feeders.

"The first thing we recommend is that this time of year people take down their bird feeders," said Rhinelander DNR Wildlife Biologist Jeremy Holtz. "I know it's a struggle for people. They've been feeding birds all winter, and they love to see them, but this time of year it can get them into real trouble with bears. They're very smart, and they're very resourceful."

If you're out hiking and see a bear, back away slowly, but don't run. Most of all, the DNR says people need to have respect.

DNR specialists also say to take down bird feeders.

"The first thing we recommend is that this time of year, people take down their bird feeders," said Rhinelander DNR Wildlife Biologist Jeremy Holtz. "I know it's a struggle for people. They've been feeding birds all winter, and they love to see them, but this time of year, it can get them into real trouble with bears. They're very smart, and they're very resourceful."

"Bears are unique to the Northwoods in Wisconsin," said Holtz. "They're a fun part of living up here, and a lot of people enjoy seeing them, but at the same time, we just need to respect them and give them their space."

The DNR also says you can make loud noises to make the bear leave an area, but you should never approach one.

"Never make a bear feel threatened, unless it's acting aggressive towards you, making clacking sounds with its jaws, bluff charging, swatting the ground with its paw," said Holtz. "Those are all signs that its feeling threatened. Make sure the bear always feels like it has an escape route to get away from you."

If you want more information on avoiding problems with bears, the DNR has a tip sheet on its website, which you can find at the link below. You can also call the USDA Wildlife Services at 1-800-228-1368 if a bear is causing any problems.

Related Weblinks:
DNR tips for living with bears

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