Photo by Everett Marshall
Vermont Fish & Wildlife recommends taking down bird feeders by April 1 to avoid attracting black bears that are waking from hibernation.
The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department recommends taking down bird feeders from April 1 through Nov. 30 to avoid attracting black bears that will be coming out of their winter dens to seek an early spring meal.
Bears are attracted to suet and bird seed, especially black oil sunflower seed. Bringing feeders in at night doesn’t work, because bears will still feed on seed that is spilled on the ground.
Bird feeders are just one of the things that can attract hungry bears. Other sources of food that bears find appealing are: pet food, barbecue grills, garbage, household trash containers, open Dumpsters, and campsites with accessible food and food wastes.
Purposely feeding a bear is not just bad for the bear, it’s also illegal. Vermont law also states that residents must take reasonable measures to protect their property from bears before lethal force can be taken.
Some of these measures include:
Keep chickens and honeybees secure within an electric fence or other bear-proof enclosure.
Never feed bears, deliberately or accidentally.
Feed your pets indoors.
Store trash in a secure place. Trash cans alone are not enough!