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I had a bear visit my feeder last night

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> On May 18, 2016, at 11:18 AM, Kent McFarland <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> Hi Folks,
> There have been some recent discussions on the Upper Valley bird list about
> bird feeding and bear, specifically, in regards to the law about bear
> feeding. This morning I was able to exchange emails with Mark Scott,
> Director of Wildlife at the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department. Mark was
> extremely helpful in clarifying the law and the departments suggestions in
> regards to bird feeders.
> 
> Here is what I learned from Mark:
> 
> Is it illegal to feed birds in any season in Vermont?
> No. People who feed birds and have a bear visiting their feeder will not be
> cited with a wildlife violation unless they have been contacted by a state
> game warden to remove their bird feeder or other planted unnatural food
> source and fail to do so.
> 
> What are the suggested bird feeding periods from the VT Fish and Wildlife
> Department?
> The VFWD strongly recommends now that people stop feeding birds who live in
> an area where bears are known to travel or are getting recent reports of
> bears in the area they live. VFWD usually advise people to take the bird
> feeders down from April through November. However in mild winters such as
> we just encountered, some bears who don’t den or awaken from their den due
> to warm weather or a disturbance, may be searching for food all winter.
> Generally if we have six inches of snow on the ground, bears have a
> difficult time finding wild foods and will den.
> 
> You can find more information on the VFWD "Living with Black Bears" web
> page at
> http://www.vtfishandwildlife.com/learn_more/living_with_wildlife/bear_aware
> 
> I hope this information helps. We certainly do not want to create any
> nuisance bears through bird feeding, so please do consider all the
> information.
> 
> Kent
> 
> ____________________________
> 
> Kent McFarland
> Vermont Center for Ecostudies
> PO Box 420 | Norwich, Vermont 05055
> 802.649.1431 x2
> 
> <http://vtecostudies.org/>