After Vince and Lynne Krogh Casale’s sighting (and videographing) of a black bear on Bedbug Hill Road Tuesday, March 23, a reader sent along this photo of a black bear (see photo) rampaging in a yard in the Pierstown area, on the other side of the hill, both in Town of Otsego on the west side.
More bears in Otsego County is a new reality, Josh Choquette, the DEC’s new bear expert, based in its Stamford office, reported in last week’s edition.
Development in the Catskills is pushing bears north and, also, new growth in Otsego County’s abandoned farms is providing newly arriving bears with plenty to eat.
Right now, as male bears come out of hibernation, is the time to exercise the most care.
In the Pierstown case – just one of many, no doubt – the bear actually came up to the house, leaving big paw prints on the screen door and siding.
In both cases, the bear was in search of bird feeders, and Choquette was specific about that: In country settings, in particular, homeowners should have taken down their bird feeders on April 1, and not put them up again until Nov. 30, when bears go back into hibernation.
Going forward, we’re likely going to need Josh Choquette’s guidance more and more. If you see a bear, call him at (607) 652-7637 and let him know.
Bears are a novelty. We don’t want to be rid of them, but to enjoy them safely.