News from the DNR Office of Communications

Black Bear Activity Increases In The Fall

Annapolis, Md. (October 5, 2010) — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds Marylanders that as temperatures cool, black bear feeding activity increases in preparation for hibernation. During this time, bears may be attracted to human-provided food sources such as trash, pet food and birdfeeders. Bears exploiting human-provided food may lose their natural fear of people, which can lead to conflicts and possibly dangerous encounters.

“The best way to avoid problems with bears around the home is to keep your trash and pet food in a place where bears can’t get to it,” said Harry Spiker, DNR’s Game Mammal Section Leader. “And homeowners should also delay feeding songbirds until the winter months to avoid attracting bears.”

Bears may travel many miles searching for food in the fall. Motorists traveling in Maryland’s western counties are reminded to watch for bears crossing roads, especially during October and November. Bears in Maryland will begin entering dens in mid-November and most are denned by mid-December.

To learn more about Maryland’s black bear, visit, or contact a staff person in the Western Region at 301-777-2136 or statewide at 410-260-8540.

   October 5, 2010

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly one-half million acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at