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Do not feed – nor tempt – the bears

Jaynell Graham

There have been a lot of bear sightings in the county in the past few weeks, and a few of the bears decided to visit Marlinton in the vicinity of the Ninth and Tenth avenues near the courthouse and Hamilton Hill.

DNR Conservation Officer Matthew Barkley said it is normal for bears to become a bit of a nuisance this time of year. It is mating season, and the mothers have booted the yearlings out of the den, pushed them aside, and young males can become unintentional troublemakers.

For the most part, the yearlings are the ones who are causing trouble. They’re looking for food sources, and bird feeders – especially hummingbird feeders – look like drive-in diners to them.

Barkley recommends taking bird feeders inside at night to remove the temptation.

He also warns against pouring grease or other food on the ground, as that is another attractant. Household trash should be kept out of sight, out of reach, as well.

Bears really like Chicken Laying Mash, and they have killed some chickens, so, if you have chickens, beware.

Some people put out food in hopes of taking a photo of a bear or bears. That is a bad move for two reasons.

The bears will return, aggressively looking for food; but more importantly, Barkley wants to reminds everyone that it is illegal to feed bears – anytime, anywhere.

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