The Hudson Valley is full of wildlife both big and small. The Black Bear is one of New York State's largest land mammals and when one shows up in your yard it can be a bit startling.

Recently there has been an uptick in Bear sightings in the Hudson Valley. Many have been in neighborhoods that seem an unlikely place to see a bear but it turns out it can be quite common.

Why Are Bears Being Spotted in Neighbors in the Hudson Valley?

According the to New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, bears learn from experience. This means if they are hungry and they find a food source they will keep returning. Neighborhoods can be rich in bear food opportunities. Garbage cans are popular with the Hudson Valley bear population.

Bear on Table via NYS DEC Facebook 6-23-2021
Bear on Table via NYS DEC Facebook 6-23-2021
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This time of year, bears are getting ready to tuck in for the winter and they are stocking up on calories. A holiday like Thanksgiving with all its food trash can be a bonanza for a hungry bear.

SEE Also: Revisit the World Famous Bear Mountain Inn 

Along with remembering where good food can be found bears also use their experience learning to choose how they react to human contact. That is one of the reasons you shouldn't feed bears. They will quickly associate you with the food. That translates to you rewarding them, making it a good experience they will want to repeat.

Skye Herring/Facebook
Skye Herring/Facebook
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What Should You Do If You See A Bear?

Just like learning from a good experience, bears can also learn from a bad experience. If a bear's interaction with a human is negative it will not repeat the behavior it will learn to avoid humans.

If you have a bear near your home the National Park Service has a great list of do's and don'ts that includes do not run, definitely pick up any small children, get your pets to safety, and leave the bear an escape route.

Mikey Schmitz
Mikey Schmitz
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Recently there was a bear encounter in Port Ewen in a backyard that had a solid 5-foot privacy fence. The homeowner was alerted to the bear by his dogs which had caused the bear to run up a tree. Mikey shared his encounter on a Facebook group to help alert neighbors. Many of them responded with comments saying they had trash cans raided as well.

SEE Also: Bear Killed Illegally in Dutchess County

Fortunately for Mikey after the bear was treed he was able to get his dogs inside which from his account sounded a bit scary. One of his dogs has sight and hearing issues so he had to go into the yard to bring the dog to the house. He reported that the bear left the yard after a short stay in the tree.

When Should Bear Sightings End for the Season Soon

Bears should be heading into their dens this week so the sights of them snacking their way through Ulster County Neighborhoods should be coming to an end. Make a note though on your 2024 calendar because they will be back before you know it. Look for the first group to emerge hungry sometime in March of 2024.

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Take a Hometown Tour of Port Ewen, New York

Tour Port Ewen New York

Port Ewen, New York is a small town on the banks of the Hudson River just south of Kingston. It may be a small town but it is a big community. It has great businesses that can't wait for you to visit. Known for the Tug Boat statues they have a sidewalk on both sides of the street to make it easy for you to park and take in this historic town.

Gallery Credit: Paty Quyn

Wildlife You Will Find in the Hudson Valley

Hudson Valley Wildlife Gallery

The Hudson Valley is full of wildlife. Here are just a few of our furry, slithery, and feather friends that might frequent your backyard. Please reach out and let us know which creature we may have left off the list.

Gallery Credit: Paty Quyn

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