The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department and NH Fish and Game are asking residents to take in their bird feeders.  The warm spring weather and melting snow causes the bears to come out of hibernation and seek food. Bears are fond of suet and bird seed, especially black oil sunflower seeds.

They ask homeowners to reduce the chances of a bear visiting their home by taking a few simple precautions:

Stop all bird feeding by April 1 or at the onset of extended spring-like weather conditions.

Clean up any spilled birdseed and dispose of it in the trash.

Secure all garbage in airtight containers inside a garage or adequate storage area, and put garbage out on the morning of pickup.

If using a dumpster, ask the dumpster company for one with metal locking tops and doors that are inaccessible to bears and other wildlife.

Avoid putting meat or other food scraps in your compost pile.

Don’t leave pet food dishes outside overnight.

Clean and store outdoor grills after each use.

And lastly never feed bears.

NH residents can ask questions about bear-related problems, by calling NH Fish and Game Department: 1-888-749-2327 .  VT residents are asked to report bear incidents in a form on the VT Fish and Wildlife site (