ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Bears are in business around parts of New York, with black bears native to parts of the Adirondack Park and Catskill mountains. On Friday, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) put out new guidance for anyone living or staying in a bear-adjacent region – making bears easier to bear.

New York residents and visitors in areas with bear populations are asked to pay attention to their bird feeders this spring, as bears emerge from hibernation. When they resume activity, their fat reserves depleted, they’ll be hungry. The DEC says bear populations should be expected to get any manmade food resources they can get their paws on.

Split seeds should be cleaned up from around feeders, and bird populations should be allowed to forage for themselves, through the warmer months and into the fall, to avoid attracting unwanted bears. The DEC also advises care when taking out the trash. Garbage cans should be secured inside buildings, and food waste removed from grills. Food for pets and livestock belongs indoors, too.

It should be noted, too, that keeping food away from bears isn’t depriving them. Bearproofing your home keeps bears dependent on food sources in the wilderness. Feeding bears intentionally is illegal, and accidental feedings can cause bears to keep coming back.

Bear population is important to see thrive, but also one that the DEC wants to keep under control. In March, the DEC posted bear hunting reports for 2022, which showed at least 21% of the state’s black bears hunted – a fairly typical number.