Bear-human conflicts reported

With reports of bear conflicts across Vermont, Fish and Wildlife urges proactive steps for safe coexisting

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department is receiving reports from across the state of black bears seeking food in yards, outbuildings and livestock enclosures this spring, and the department urges Vermonters to take proactive steps for safely coexisting with bears.

“Bears—and people—are at risk when bears spend time in human-dominated landscapes,” said the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department’s bear project leader Jaclyn Comeau.  “Every time a bear finds an easy meal of birdseed, compost or unsecured garbage, they are learning a dangerous association between people and food.  Coexisting with bears starts with Vermonters taking proactive steps to help keep bears wild.”

Today, Vermont is home to a stable bear population estimated at 4,600 to 5,780, almost four times the state’s estimated population of 1,200 to 1,500 bears in 1975.  In Vermont, habitat loss, earlier spring weather due to climate change, and increasing development and human encroachment into remote areas can increase the odds of bears crossing paths with people.

In these situations, potential food sources for bears including birdfeeders, compost, or unsecured garbage can encourage bears to spend more time near homes or other development, bringing bears and people into conflict.

Many conflicts between bears and people can be prevented with some easy, proactive steps.  The department recommends Vermonters follow these strategies for safely coexisting with Vermont’s healthy black bear population:

  • Dispose of garbage frequently.  Vermonters with pick-up services should wait until the morning of pick-up to put garbage out.
  • Demand bear proof dumpsters for your community. 
  • Clean your grill after every use.
  • Make bears feel uncomfortable in your yard.  Safe methods are yelling, banging pots and pans, or use other noise devices from inside your house.  Never shoot a bear to scare it.  Even BBs can seriously injure bears.
  • Please report your bear encounters to Vermont Fish & Wildlife.  Use the black bear incident report tab on the department’s website or contact your local game warden.  These reports allow us to help you prevent future bear incidents.  They also give the department information to help all Vermonters better coexist with bears.

Categories: Environment

9 replies »

    • But once in a while, we become the so-called stew for them. It’s all a part of cohabitating the earth & the food chain & all that stuff. Luckily for you, you’re the one with the gun…when it requires hand to hand combat, you lose.

  1. Black bear,skinned properly, so not to cut open the scent glands,and roasted as you would roast a hog, is darn good.When logging in Montana, decades ago, we had a troublesome black bear keep breaking into our logging camp 5th wheels, so the boss shot him,we skinned him out, and roasted him on a spit for some hours.Darn good eating.Trick is to have the fat drip out on to the fire otherwise the taste is strong. The fat makes the best leather dressing and the ladies from the old days say bear fat greased on the pie pan makes the best pie crust.

  2. “In Vermont, habitat loss, earlier spring weather due to climate change, and…”

    I’m so tired of nonsense statements like this. If you’re going to make this statement, I challenge you to prove it with hard data and with the sources of that data cited.

    For what it’s worth, Argentina just recorded their coldest autumn since 1976:


    So there!

    I’m all for love, happiness, and facts. If you can make an honest argument, not a propaganda-based one, I’ll be glad to listen. You may even change my mind. Can you say the same? Until you can make an adult argument, why don’t you go back to work on a different folly, like defunding the police.

    • Who are you replying to? My father was a cop in NYC, so it certainly wasn’t me proposing defunding the police, nor do I see mention of climate change by me or in the article(?)

      Climate has always historically changed, so I reckon it’s still changin’ today.

      I also have never had an issue with any bear in my thirty plus years of living in upstate NY & then in VT for nearly 25. I also have eaten bear meat & it is good when cooked properly.

      However, taking bear out of season is illegal, bears have as much “right” to walk the earth as does any mammal including humans, and it’s a fact & it’s a reality that without the proper weaponry at hand, humans are NO match for a bear & sometimes the predator becomes the prey.

      Hope those facts don’t injure anyone’s manhood…….now womanhood? I do recall the verified case of a woman out west who rescued her husband from the jaws of an adult cougar by throttling it with her pocketbook.

      Since I don’t hike carrying a pocketbook – my husband woulda been doomed.

      • I was replying to the general readership of this article. But since you’re the author (I guess), even better. I’m sorry, but your statement DOES in fact point to your belief in global warming, not climate change, when you state that spring comes earlier to Vermont each year. But as I said, you provide no source for such a statement, and you still can’t or won’t. Now you hide behind the statement :”The climate is always changing”. Yes it is, but that’s most assuredly not what you wrote or meant.

        Nowhere in my first reply did I refute anything you said about bears. All good points, and all well taken. However, it’s your correlation of the bear population with global warming (climate change if you prefer) without attribution to the source of your statement that bothers me and is at issue.

        The rest of my reply was sarcasm. You know, where you make a point in one area by exaggerating a similar point in a different area. Just like your global warming comment, no?

        Someone once said “Only 2% of the population can think critically, 8% more are capable of understanding sarcasm, and the rest would take a 2×4 upside their heads before they would ever think about forming a researched opinion. Whoever said that was very wise.

  3. Just let a couple of hunting dogs loose, like they were back in the 50’s in the rural areas. I guarantee you the bear problems will come to end real fast.

    • ‘Cep’t laws using dogs have changed since the ’50’s.

      Such is life.

      Guess we can all move to China, and just eat the dogs.

      How’s that grab ya’ll? Personally, I prefer dogs over the vast majority of people. They’re generally a lot smarter, I’m finding.