GHENT, WV (WVNS)– The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources is reminding people to remove bear attractants and how to do so.

With black bears being so common in West Virginia, we all know how annoying it is to see our trach all over the place.

According to the WVDNR, for both camping sites and homes, people should work on removing attractants like pet food and food scraps, bird feeders. Trash should also be secured to reduce black bear activity in populated areas.

The DNR is continuously getting reports of bear activity for the month of April, and it’s expected to increase in May and June due to it being close to time for berries coming in season.

Photo courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce.

Deliberately feeding a black bear is illegal in West Virginia, but unintentionally feeding a bear also causes serious problems for humans, their property and our state animal… Once a bear gets used to getting food from humans, they can become a danger and often must be humanely killed… Bears that visit residential areas are less likely to stay if they don’t find anything to eat… If we all take responsibility for our property and remove or secure food attractants before bears find them, we can reduce the likelihood of human-bear conflicts.

Colin Carpenter, Black Bear Project Leader for the WVDNR

Ways to reduce bear activity:

  • Never feed or approach bears
  • Secure food, trash, etc.
  • Remove bird feeders when bears are active
  • Do not leave pet food outdoors
  • Clean/store grills
  • Warn neighbors of bear activity

For more information on this topic, visit BearWise helps people live responsibly with bears.