Ohio Spring Bear Sightings RiseOhio DNR Wildlife Division, Bear Hunting Magazine
Ohio residents in the northeast part of the state are seeing a lot of black bears this year so far. Many bears are being spotted in suburban areas, while residents come out to take photos of them. Bears are being seen in yards eating fruit off of trees, getting into territorial matches with cats and walking up driveways.
There have been so many bear sightings this last week that wildlife officials cannot keep up. Of the forty reports being received just in the last week, only 19 of them have been able to be processed. Researchers who are coordinating the large stack of reports said that the Mahoning Valley has been the usual hot spot for bears with more sightings in Canfield and Jackson Township. Bears have been sighted in ten counties so far this year while they were spotted in 13 counties in all of 2011.
Most sightings have to do with this area being so close to the neighboring Pennsylvania woods, where bear population is high and sows are giving their offspring the boot before the breeding season begins again. Ohio wildlife experts believe there are about 60 black bears living year-round in Ohio. Wildlife officials stated that bear hunting is not in the state's future at this time.
Residents have been warned to stay away from roaming bears and to discourage bears from hanging around. Residents should move bird feeders higher, keep trash inside until pick up day and clean barbecue grills.