Home News Bear Sightings are More Common in Spring, Bears Waking up Searching for...

Bear Sightings are More Common in Spring, Bears Waking up Searching for Food


OHIO – It’s Spring and bears are waking up from their slumber and they can be hungry and grumpy.

In earlier years the Black Bear roamed the Ohio State and was seen quite frequently but due to unregulated hunting and habitat loss, the Black Bear was reduced in numbers and almost completely extirpated in Ohio in the mid-1850s.  Since then the Black Bear has been moving back into the State, mostly from the Tennessee, West Virginia, and Kentucky borders.  According to the Map of sightings from 2018 Hocking, Vinton, and Ross Counties have seen several dozen sightings over the past few years.

Waking up is hard to do especially since you have been sleeping all winter, most bears pack on the pound before they set their clocks to zzz, but after a long winder nap, they wake up in March and early April and are hungry and can be aggressive for food. This aggressive search for food is how many people find themselves involved in bear encounters.

With more bears being seen wildlife experts are warning people about what to look out for.

Once a black bear finds easy access to food, it could lead to costly damage to homes, cars, and other properties, and they are most likely to return.

Bears are commonly attracted to trash, pet food, and bird feeders left outside. Since bears find food mainly by scent, they will be drawn to food waste, especially if it is easily accessible. Therefore, residents are encouraged to bring in any items that bear may be attracted to, especially at night since bears are most active at dusk and dawn.

If you encounter a black bear, it’s crucial to stay calm. While bear attacks are rare, it is important that you do not run as this could prompt the bear to chase you. Instead, move slowly away from the bear and watch its movements.

If the bear starts moving toward you, the Game Commission recommends that you yell and wave your arms. However, this will likely cause the bear to become intimidated and retreat. If a bear attacks you, fight back using sticks, rocks, or even your bare hands.