COLORADO SPRINGS — Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW) is reminding residents to be “bear aware” as hibernation ends and bears begin searching for food.

As bears venture out, what do people need to do to protect themselves, their property, and the bears? Below are tips and suggestions from CPW.

Bearproof your home​​​​​​​​​

  1. Don’t feed bears, and don’t put out food for other wildlife that attracts bears. 
  2. Be responsible about trash and bird feeders.
  3. Burn food off barbeque grills and clean after each use.
  4. Keep all bear-accessible windows and doors closed and locked, including home, garage and vehicle doors.
  5. Don’t leave food, trash, coolers, air fresheners or anything that smells in your vehicle.
  6. Pick fruit before it ripens, and clean up fallen fruit.
  7. Talk to your neighbors about doing their part to be bear responsible.
Courtesy of CPW SE Region

What to do if you see a bear near your home

If a bear comes near your home, do your best to chase it away. Yell, blow a whistle, clap your hands, and make other loud noises. But never approach a bear.

How to protect our bears

  • Never leave trash or recyclables out overnight
  • Choose to use water features, plantings, nest boxes and flowers to attract birds, not bird feeders. According to CPW, “Letting your bird feeders turn into bear feeders teaches bears that coming close to people and homes looking for food is a good idea. For bears, that can end up being a deadly lesson.”

Other resources

CPW offers several websites and documents that feature additional bear information. You can find links to those resources below.