Bears are out looking for food in the Adirondacks and can do a lot of damage. Just ask one central New Yorker who had 2 bears attack his truck.

Eric Hall was spending the weekend at Old Forge Camping Resort when 2 hungry bears attacked his truck.

Photo Credit - Eric Hall

"We scared the bears off twice sitting on top of my truck bed," said Hall.

Photo Credit - Eric Hall

The cooler was locked in the vehicle but after the first bear came hunting, Hall says they moved everything into their cabin but the bear still came back. "It wouldn’t leave our site."

The bears caused a lot of damage, breaking the crossbar, scratching the side and tailgate as well.

Photo Credit - Eric Hall

The bears caused a lot of noise too, setting off the car alarm on Hall's truck. "Flashlights were going off all night and 2 cubs were hissing, growling and charging people two 2 separate times."

Hall says his family left we left after being up all night. "We drove home after being up until 4am. Couldn’t take anymore damage to my truck."

Photo Credit -Eric Hall

Hungry bears will eat almost anything. Kayla Marris had a bear visit her site and eat a citronella candle. "He ate the whole thing off the picnic table and left an empty can."

Photo Credit - Kayla Marris

Jerry Sevey had a visitor at his campsite too.

Photo Credit - Jerry Sevey

The bears don't just come out at night either. Karl Stacer had one sit on his picnic table.

Photo Credit - Karl Stacer

Heidi Moon caught one roaming near her site. "It walked right behind my husband."

Photo Credit - Heidi Moon

Diana Golden captured this massive bear at her camp in the Adirondacks.

Photo Credit - Diana Golden

Bears are common in the Adirondacks and are more likely to seek out human food in the spring and the summer. During these times, natural food sources may be scarce, particularly during periods of drought. The DEC has several tips to avoid bear encounters.

While Camping:

  • Keep your campsite as clean as possible. Take all garbage and recyclables to the recycling center each evening.
  • Do not leave coolers or food out at any time. Store them securely in either the trunk of your car or in the cab of your truck. Keep windows shut and food and coolers out of sight. Where food lockers are provided, food and coolers must be stored and locked inside. Standard coolers are not bear resistant.
  • NEVER keep food, coolers, or scented items in your tent. Do not wear clothing to bed that was worn while preparing or eating meals.
  • Treat all toiletries as food items. Toiletry products are heavily scented and are as attractive to bears as actual food. Store toiletries securely with your coolers and food.
  • Clean up after all meals immediately. Keep grills, pots, pans, cooking utensils, and wash basins clean when not in use. Do not wash dishes or leave food debris under the water faucets.
  • Do not put grease, garbage, plastic diapers, cans, bottles, or other refuse into the fireplace. These items do not properly burn and will attract bears with their odors.

At Home:

  • Remove bird feeders after April 1. New York's black bears begin emerging from their winter dens in mid to late March. Bird feed such as suet and seeds are a very strong attraction for bears, even if they can't reach them. Read more about bears and bird feeders.
  • Garbage is extremely attractive to bears. It should always be kept in sealed garbage cans inside a sturdy building like a garage or shed. Anything with an odor can attract a bear. Note: Burning garbage is illegal and may increase its attractiveness to bears.
  • Remove the grease can from grills after every use. Turn the grill on "High" for several minutes after you are done cooking to burn residual odors off the grill.
  • Do not place food outside to attract wildlife. Any food items used to attract birds, squirrels, or other wildlife will also attract bears.
  • Do not feed pets outside. Leftover food or even an empty dish can attract a bear.
  • Do not operate refrigerators or freezers outside or on porches. Bears can smell what is inside.
  • Electric Fencing is an effective tool for keeping bears out of apiaries, chicken coops, compost, and gardens.

Bears are attracted by scents and many things smell like potential bear food. Remove the food attractant and you'll remove the bear.

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