Vermont Black Bears
Everyone seems to be talking about bears this spring. It seems that there are a lot of Vermont black bears around and they've been getting into things. There are between 3,800 and 4,500, according to the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife. The bears are being noticed more because they are hungry and they've been poking their little noses into places that they shouldn't. Garbage cans and refuse left outside is likely to attract the bears.
If you have a bear problem, VT wildlife officials say that you should make sure there is no food left outside your house, cottage, or around a campground. Keep doors to garages and porches closed. Bears will go after bird seed and pet food, so remember to keep this type of food out of reach. This is a good idea anyway. There are other creatures out there such as the ubiquitous skunk that just love to dive into your garbage for a tasty tidbit.
If you do encounter a bear, stay at a distance and holler at it. Don't get closer to the bear and stay indoors, if possible, while you continue shouting at the animal. Bears, like other animals don't attack unless they are threatened, so don't pursue the bear. A bear will roam over 10-20 square miles, so if you hear a neighbor mention seeing a bear, take sensible precautions.
There's more information about bears and other wild animals in Vermont in our hunting section