SPRINGFIELD, Mass (WWLP) — It’s bear season in western Massachusetts. In the commonwealth, it’s black bears we need to be cautious for.
These mammals eat meat, but also berries, nuts, flowers and fruits, according to MassAudubon. That’s why bird feeders in your backyard can attract them. So if you want to keep them away, keep those empty, especially from April 1 through November 1 when black bears are most active. Trash cans, pet food left outside, and even meat on a grill can also attract them. Keep your garbage inside as long as you can.
The more often a bear finds food in your backyard, like in a bird feeder, the more it will come back. In the late summer and fall, pick any fruit in your backyard as often as you can, because that is the time bears eat the most as they prepare for hibernation in winter.
If you encounter a bear that doesn’t yet see you, slowly back away. Don’t run or climb a tree.
If the bear notices you and approaches you, make yourself look as large as you can, wave your arms, and according to Mass Audubon, sing loudly and speak in a firm or non-threatening voice while you continue to back away.