Coming Face To Face With A Black Bear

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Not lions, not tigers, but bears - that's what Paul Whitmarsh says he saw on his property in the town of Pitcairn a week ago.

Whitmarsh has about 67 acres, which he uses for recreation like hunting.

He says he put in a trail camera to keep an eye on things.

That's how he got a picture of three black bears, which he posted on Facebook.

But there's more.

Whitmarsh even came face-to-face with one last year while out walking.

"I turned around and I gave it the old Boy-Scout-raised-my-hands-up-roar as high as I could and the bear, I don't know what he would have done if he just stood up and roared back. But he took off and ran the other way," said Whitemarsh.

Whitmarsh lives less than a mile away from the sighting and says even though he has never seen a bear in his yard, he fears with his close encounter, that could change.

"They're out there and it's not a joke. And God forbid, I don't want to see anybody get hurt," he said.

So what can you do to keep bears from coming in your yard?

First, pick up any trash; bears love the smell.

"Garbage obviously, things like that. But you also want to think about barbeque grills and things like that - keeping them clean, because those odors are going to be an attractant," said Jim Farquhar of the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

After all, the north country is bear country - as shown in another Facebook photo taken by Guy Merry in Carthage.

So the DEC wants to remind everyone to be cautious and whatever you do - don't feed the bears!

Thursday, April 17, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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