The Nevada Department of Wildlife biologists are aware of bear activity in the Caughlin Ranch area. We have had reports of prints in the snow and have received video of a tagged bear investigating front porches in the dark of night. This activity is not of concern to us at this time. It has been a warmer winter so far and Caughlin Ranch is not the only area that is currently experiencing bear activity. We are receiving calls from Dayton to the Tahoe Basin and some points in between of bear sign or active bear sightings.
Many people are asking “aren’t they supposed to be hibernating?” Well, yes, they are. However, the biological reason for bears sleeping all winter is because their food sources go dormant in the winter. With the arrival of humans, we are providing a year-round high-calorie source of food that allows bears to stay out all year. If residents of bear country practice responsible living, then the bears will have no reason to stick around. If a bear is active in the winter, it is getting food somewhere…it could be knocking over garbage cans, finding pet food or bird feeders, the bear is finding enough calories to keep it active all winter long. If anyone suspects that someone is purposely/actively feeding a bear, that is illegal NDOW’s law enforcement should be contacted at 688-1331.
At this time NDOW has no plans to take any action to catch the bears. Its behavior indicates that is it avoiding people (by being active at night) while looking for food and is not of concern to us currently. We ask residents to practice responsible living in bear country:
· Store your garbage in a secure location OR get a bear-resistant garbage container that you can leave outside
· Take down birdfeeders from dusk until dawn or take your feeders down completely. You can also spread bird seed on the ground for the birds to peck at, but the bears cannot easily eat
· Do not leave pet food out or feed only as much as your pet will eat. Anything that one animal will eat, a bear will eat…take in anything that may be an attractant to a bear including food or food packaging left in vehicles.
The responsibility of living in bear country is a year-round responsibility…so Be Responsible, Bears Belong!!!
Heather Reich – Biologist
Nevada Department of Wildlife
(775) 722-3857 Cell