News from the DNR Office of Communications

Black Bear Activity Increases In The Fall

Annapolis, Md. (October 15, 2009) - The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds Marylanders that cooling temperatures will encourage black bears to begin a period of increased feeding activity prior to 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, potentially leading to encounters and conflicts.

“The best way to avoid problems is to keep your trash, birdseed and pet food in a place where bears can’t get to it,” said DNR Game Mammal Section Leader Harry Spiker. “Taking preventative steps now will help reduce potential bear problems in the future.”

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. Also, citizens should delay feeding songbirds until the winter months to avoid attracting bears. Bears in Maryland will begin entering dens in mid-November and most are denned by mid-December.

To learn more about Maryland’s black bears, visit and click on the Wildlife and Heritage Service link or contact a Wildlife and Heritage Service staff person in the western region at 301-777-2136 or statewide at 410-260-8540.

   October 15, 2009

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

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 461,000 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 12 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