You may not know that the Capital Region and the Adirondacks have a large population of bears. As much as I would love to see one and be able to pet that beautiful fuzzy animal, I know I can't. That doesn't mean that you may not come across one especially this time of year.

As the bear population wakes up from hibernation, they are searching for food wherever they can get it. According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, there are a few things you can do to ensure that bears do not approach your property for food. There are some things that you may not have thought of that could keep you and your family safe from hungry bears.

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The DEC recommends that you take down bird feeders. It may not seem like a great source of food for bears, but they will eat anything that they can get their paws on which includes birdseed. They obviously like household garbage too. You may think that your garbage cans are secure but you also might want to store them in a shed. If you notice that you are still having problems with bears in your garbage, you may want to buy a bear-resistant trash container. Also, you are encouraged to remove the grease cans from your grill after each use and clean them thoroughly. Bears have a heightened sense of smell and will gravitate toward leftover food odors. Be careful of leaving pet food outside as well. Bears aren't picky about what they eat, they just want to eat.

Following some of these recommendations can keep your pets and your family safe from bears coming out of hibernation. Here is a picture of my friend's property last year when this black bear came out of hibernation. He was really hungry and these garbage cans looked delicious.

Steve Townsquare Media

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