Bears are not uncommon in New York, especially in upstate New York. This year, they seem to be causing problems in the Dix Mountain Wilderness and the Department of Environmental Conservation has even closed one campground to try and catch some of the bears.

One of the campsites at the Chapel Pond Outlet is temporarily closed while the DEC attempts to capture the bears. They will be given unique colored ear tags, hazed, and released.

Bears have approached hikers and campers in the area around Gill Brook, Indian Pass, Mt. Colvin, Elk Pass, and Nippletop.

The DEC recently captured and euthanized the most aggressive of the bears. A bear with one purple ear tag and one green ear tag had been approaching numerous hikers and campers very closely and not backing down. Another bear with one red ear tag has been a reported problem but has not behaved as aggressively has been encountered less frequently.

Other bears have been stealing food from campers and rock climbers in the area around Chapel Pond, including the Beer Walls.

Campers and hikers are encouraged to keep all food, toiletries, and garbage in a bear resistant canister to avoid attracting black bears. Avoid cooking and eating after dark and prepare and eat food away from the tent site.

Hikers and campers may also want to consider carrying bear spray as a precautionary measure for close encounters.

If approached by a bear, do not give it food. Make noise and try to scare it away. Call the DEC Regional Wildlife Office at 518-897-1291 to report any bear encounters.