After the winter, March and April are the months when Connecticut residents begin spotting more bears.
As the bear population continues to grow and as their activity increases, officials are warning residents to take precautions to decrease the likelihood of attracting bears and causing unnecessary conflicts that might lead to euthanization.
The Department of Energy & Environmental Protection estimates that there were 4,500 bear sightings in 2015.
Bear sightings tend to occur most often in the summer.
More than 1,200 bears were spotted in June of 2014, the most of any month.
Residents in Avon reported 453 bear sightings last year, more than any other town. Adjacent towns also had high numbers of sightings.
Northeastern Connecticut communities had higher rates of bear sightings compared to the rest of the state.
These are some of the steps DEEP suggests to avoid problems with bears:
- Never feed bears.
- Take down, clean, and put away bird feeders by late March. Store the feeders until late fall. Clean up spilled seed from the ground.
- Store garbage in secure, airtight containers inside a garage or storage area. Double-bagging and adding ammonia to cans and bags will reduce odors that attract bears. Periodically clean garbage cans with ammonia to reduce residual odor. Garbage for pickup should be put outside the morning of collection and not the night before.
- Protect beehives, livestock and berry bushes from bears with electric fencing.
- Supervise dogs at all times when outside. Keep dogs on a leash when walking and hiking. A roaming dog might be perceived as a threat to a bear or its cubs.
- Do not leave pet food outdoors.
- Keep barbecue grills clean. Store grills inside a garage or shed.
- Avoid placing meat scraps or sweet foods in compost piles.