You won't want to approach a bear if you come across one during a hike through the local woods, but the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is seeking the public's help in locating bear dens in the Hudson Valley and across New York state.

The DEC keeps tabs on bears throughout the year, particularly in the winter months when they are vulnerable. According to a DEC press release, female bears traditionally give birth in January or February. They monitor their location mainly to help protect the cubs and ensure their survival.

But what should you look for? They've been known to find a home in a crevice in rock formations, a fallen tree or even a heavy bush. So if you hear a cub's high pitch squeak, move away from the area and call the DEC. If possible, make a note of the location on your GPS so it can be found easily.

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