MONTPELIER, Vt. — The Fish & Wildlife Department is recommending that Vermonters take down bird feeders this weekend to avoid attracting bears.

Warm weather and melting snow prompts bears to come out of their winter dens and search for food.

The department says bears like suet and bird seed, particularly black oil sunflower seed. And officials say bringing feeders in night doesn’t keep the bears away because they feed on seed that has spilled on the ground.

Bears are also attracted to pet food, barbecue grills, garbage, household trash containers, open Dumpsters and campsites with accessible food and food wastes.

To avoid bear problems, the department recommends keeping chicks and honeybees secure within an electric fence or other bear-proof enclosure, feeding pets indoors, and storing trash in a secure place.

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