As bears prepare for winter, sightings not uncommon

A bear wanders around in the Al Tahoe neighborhood of South Lake Tahoe in early September.

A bear wanders around in the Al Tahoe neighborhood of South Lake Tahoe in early September.

With cooler temperatures and shorter days, bears are preparing for hibernation and Carson City is a top choice to shop for necessities as it exhibits natural habitats.

From Kings Canyon to the Silver Oak Golf Course in Lakeview Hill, bear sightings could be quite common throughout the season.

For bears, the goal is to consume 5,000-25,000 calories a day, and eat for up to 20 hours each day for hibernation said Jack Robb, deputy director of Nevada Department of Wildlife.

On Friday, Sept. 29, an Appeal reader reported a bear sighting near Lakeview Hill.

Bear activity is expected in west Carson, including south Reno, Douglas County foothills and the Tahoe basin, Robb said. “We routinely have it out there,” he said. “It’s an interactive wildlife corridor. It’s more common to have meal sittings this time of year.”

Normally, hibernation begins between mid-November and January but it depends on the precipitation and temperatures, he said.

With a relatively wet winter earlier this year, the moisture produced a selection of fruits and vegetables in yards on the west side of town. Last year, NDOW handled about 50 bears; that winter also brought a decent amount of moisture.

When there’s moisture, there’s no need for bears to journey down the hills in the summertime as most food is found near their homes.

Aside from the options left in trash bins and dog bowls, Robb said bears find fruit trees irresistible — in which there’s plenty to choose from in the area.

Apples, plums, and pears are the most popular fruits among bears in the area.

Robb suggests if residents want to keep bears off property, it’s best to remove the fruits and ensure trash bins are inaccessible.

“There will be multiple of them,” he said. “It’s nothing unusual. They’re hungry and putting on weight for the winter.”

NDOW’s BEAR Hotline is 775-688-BEAR. Normal business hours are 6 a.m. until 11 p.m. The hotline is for those who are experiencing conflicts with bears after removal of all human attractions.


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