Wildlife Officials Say Annual Nuisance Bear Complaints Have Begun

May 17, 2017

State wildlife officials say nuisance bear complaints, an annual rite of spring in Maine, have begun this year.

Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife black bear biologist Jennifer Vachon says natural foods are fairly limited in the spring and that’s when people start having black bear problems.

“The most common types of problems that we have are usually bears getting into bird feeders and birdseed and garbage,” she says.

Vachon says the key is trying to prevent a problem before it happens. She says people should consider bringing in their bird feeders, raking up any seed that’s on the ground and storing birdseed inside.

She says garbage cans should also also be brought into a building and doors closed, and dumpster lids and doors should be closed and latched at all times. Among other things that can attract black bears are livestock and pet foods, outdoor grills, beehives and backyard poultry.

Vachon says wildlife officials encourage Mainers to be extra vigilant about what might attract black bears to their yards between April 1 and Nov. 1. However, she says most bear complaints come in during the months of May, June and July.