The return of spring's warmer temperatures brings us golfing, fishing, hiking and camping. Unfortunately it also brings back the bears and coyotes and they're hungry.  We all know it's illegal to intentionally feed them, but it's also against the law to accidentally do it.  

The NY Department of Environmental Conservation is out with their usual list of the "do's and don'ts" to avoid bear and coyote encounters.  Giving it a quick glance, I noticed a sentence that said "the indirect of feeding of black bears is also unlawful."  My first thought was, how do you accidentally feed a bear?  Well, it turns out there's a couple of ways:

  • Leaving bird feeders up after April 1
  • Not properly cleaning a grill after using it, including the grease trap
  • Not securing garbage cans
  • Burning garbage
  • Putting meat scraps, bones and melon rinds in compost piles

While you're probably not going to jail if you left the garbage can out overnight, it's one of many common sense things you can do to avoid enticing bears and coyotes.  Another is not feeding pets outdoors.  Or if you have to, cleaning up any leftovers when they're done.

The DEC website has more tips on reducing bear and coyote encounters.  Your also encouraged to report any accidental or intentional feeding of animals to a local DEC office.

SOURCE: NY Department of Environmental Conservation

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