Town of Wilton New York

Nuisance Black Bears

Due to residents non-compliance with direction to avoid attracting nuisance bears and the amount of nuisance bear activity in the Town of Wilton, DEC is shifting from an educational mode to an enforcement mode.

Residences with bird feeders and other bear attractants will be given a written warning. If they fail to heed the warning they will be issued a ticket that could result in a maximum penalty of $250 fine and 15 days in jail.

NEVER FEED BEARS INTENTIONALLY. Feeding bears intentionally is illegal and a ticketable offense. Bears that obtain food from humans will continue to seek food from humans and become nuisance bears.

DEC regulation prohibits the indirect or incidental feeding of black bears. Avoid indirect or incidental feeding of black bears (and to avoid a written warning and ticket) follow these directions:

  • Eliminate or secure any material that may attract bears.
  • Properly store and manage garbage
    • Store garbage securely. Use bear resistant garbage containers with secure lids.
    • Prevent garbage container overflow.
    • Keep surrounding area clear of trash, no trash outside of container(s).
    • Place garbage to the curb in the morning of pickup, not the night before.
    • Close garage doors and ground-floor doors at night.
  • Do not feed animals outside
    • Eliminate/Remove bird feeders.
    • Feed family pets indoors and store pet food securely.
    • Keep pet food and bird seed inside a solid, secure structure (house, shed, garage, etc.)
  • Prevent bears from obtaining human food.
    • Clean food grills after every use and store securely.
    • Keep refrigerators and freezers in a secure place.
    • Coolers left outside may attract bears.
    • If grills cannot be secured, move grills away from houses and remove grease traps after each use.
  • Keep bears away from your house and property
    • Install motion sensors that detect and repel bear with high-pitched sounds and flashing lights, such as Critter Gitter.
    • Erect electric fencing.


 Anyone who sees a bear is asked to report it immediately 
to the DEC wildlife unit at 518-897-1291


Reducing Human-Bear Conflicts
Department of Environmental Conservation Website
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