Vermont Fish & Wildlife News — Waterbury Roundabout

Bears wake up hungry and seek out food sources they can smell like birdseed, garbage, chickens, pet food, and barbecue grills.

“Preventing bears from accessing human-sourced foods, such as bird seed, is key to successful coexistence,” Comeau said.

It’s also important not to deliberately feed a bear, Comeau added. It brings bears closer to you and your neighbors, “and it’s illegal,” she said.

In addition to dismantling feeders, wildlife experts recommend storing waste in bear-proof containers or inside a structure and using electric fencing to protect chickens and bees.

For those who enjoy attracting songbirds to their property, the state will partner with Audubon Vermont to highlight feeder alternatives such as the Native Plants for Birds program.

“Birds and native plants have co-evolved together over millions of years,” said Gwendolyn Causer, communications coordinator and environmental educator for Audubon Vermont.

“Native plants provide essential food resources for birds year-round and also harbor protein-rich native butterfly and moth caterpillars, the number one food for songbird nestlings. And above all, they do not attract bears.

To help better understand bear interactions and inform coexistence measures, Vermonters are encouraged to submit reports of bears engaging in potentially dangerous behaviors such as targeting bird feeders or garbage cans, feeding on crops or livestock, or survey campgrounds or residential areas, using the Department of Fish and Wildlife website Living with Black Bears Page.

Hearings will focus on the management of deer and moose

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department and the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board will hold public hearings on deer and moose management for 2022 on March 21, 23, 24 and 29.

Officials will share results from Vermont’s 2021 deer hunting seasons and discuss prospects for deer hunting next fall. The public will have the opportunity to share their observations and opinions on the current state of the deer herd.

The hearings will also include a review of the proposed 2022 moose hunting seasons and provide the public with an opportunity to provide feedback on the department’s recommended 2022 moose license count. 2022 Moose Harvest Recommendation document.

Hearings all begin at 6:30 p.m. Three are in person: Monday, March 21, at Spaulding Secondary School in Barre; Wednesday, March 23, at Kehoe Conservation Camp in Castleton; Thursday, March 24, at Lake Region High School in Orléans.

The final hearing on March 29 will be online via this Microsoft Teams meeting link which will also be live on the 29th on the department home page under Upcoming Events. To participate by phone (audio only), call 802-828-7667 and use conference ID: 904 108 179#.

Further information, including recommendations on moose management, is available online under the Public Hearings Schedule at vtfishandwildlife.com. The public can also leave comments with a phone message at 802-828-7498 or an email at ANR.FWPublicComment@vermont.gov. Comments on moose management are requested by March 31 and for deer by May 14. -0191 (ATS).

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