The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is asking residents to take down bird feeders to avoid attracting bears that have emerged from their winter dens early this year.
The department's bear project leader says bears are emerging from their dens about a month early due to the mild winter and recent spring-like conditions.
He says bear activity and sightings have become more frequent in the past week and will become increasingly frequent in the coming weeks.
He says taking down feeders now and securing other attractants like unsecured garbage or poorly houses chickens will prevent bears from visiting homes.
The department also recommends cleaning and storing outdoor grills after each use; keeping pet food dishes inside overnight; and not putting meat or other food scraps into compost piles.