Black bears are out and hungry.
Conservation Officer Dave Webster has been busy taking calls about the animals.
“We’re starting to see more activity with the bears than we usually do, with this longer, cooler weather spring we’re having,” Webster said.
“It appears to be having an impact on food supply for them as well. People need to be aware. It’s definitely a possibility to run into a black bear.”
The problems come with people having things like bird feeders, garbage, recycling and unclean barbecues in their yards. At this time of the year, Webster said bears are especially attracted to those items.
If you do have a bear in your backyard, Webster recommends trying to scare it away, if possible.
“Obviously you don’t want a bear hanging around in your yard. You want to identify why it’s there,” he said. “If you can get it to move out of your yard you want to look and see, there’s obviously something that’s attracting it in whether it be garbage, bird feeders, dog food, pet food of any kind and things like that and then you want to try to clean up those attractants.”
Webster said that at this time of year the bears are dictated by their stomachs and so will move on if there’s nothing for them to eat.
He said bears have been seen at Christina Lake, Grand Forks, Greenwood, Jewel Lake and other areas. He also reminds people that feeding dangerous wildlife is illegal and could end with the destruction of that animal if it gets habituated.
If you’re out hiking and come across a black bear, he said to make yourself look as large as possible, make noise
“You don’t want to panic and you don’t want to run,” he said. “Most likely they’re just as startled or concerned as you are and they’ll run the other way.”
Webster also wanted to remind people that deer are now having their fawns.
Webster stressed for people not to pick up deer fawns that look as if they’ve been abandoned.
“The mothers will sometimes leave the fawns to go feed and those fawns are secure. We understand sometimes people feel like they’re helping, but a lot of times they’re not,” he said.
“Those fawns are much better off left alone; the does will come back to them.”
He said that if the fawns have been handled too much, does will reject them, a lot of the time.