ODFW reminding residents it’s time again to be mindful of bears

ASHLAND, Ore. – Ashland Police and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) are reminding residents to be “BearWise” this time of year.

It said that despite the extended winter weather in the area, there have already been several bear complaints.

In 2022, ODFW logged 161 complaints about bears inside Ashland city limits.

The City of Ashland typically has a high level of bear conflict during the spring.

ODFW said that the Rogue Valley is one of the higher-density areas in the state for bears.

It reminds residents to never feed or approach bears.

“Not feeding bears, not feeding any wildlife, especially things like deer in general,” ODFW Assistant Wildlife Biologist Chris Shelton said. “Now deer are natural prey source for the bears, so if people are feeding deer in town, that can incite more bears to come into town looking for their prey.”

Shelton said that some ways to stay safe are to put your garbage cans out right before pickup, remove bird feeders, and keep grills clean or inside a garage.

You can report non-emergency bear activity on the city’s website or call ODFW at 541-826-8774.

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Ethan McReynolds is a reporter and weekend anchor for NBC5 News. He grew up in Bothell, Washington and graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Broadcasting and minors in Journalism and Sport Management. At Gonzaga, he started his own sports podcast. Ethan loves rooting for his hometown Seattle sports teams, especially the Mariners. He loves playing baseball, basketball, and soccer. He is also an avid Taylor Swift fan.
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