Black bears are the only native bears in Virginia and for the most part are rarely seen. Bears live shy and secretive lives and it’s a real treat to see one. We share their habitat and it is our responsibility to be good neighbors. Black bears lead solitary lives and travel through the wetlands and forests that surround Willowsford. We need to make sure that we don’t unnecessarily attract bears to our homes and gardens. The website of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) has an excellent pamphlet on “Living with Black Bears in Virginia.”
Most residential bear problems arise from people attracting them with food. Policing your trashcans, outdoor grills, pet food and bird feeders will deter them from your property. Young bears, only a year or two old, are frequently left to roam on their own by their mothers during the summer months. Food found in back yards may make an easy meal for a young, hungry bear. Unfortunately, bears that associate humans with food and become nuisance bears are not relocated. It is the policy of VDGIF to kill nuisance bears.
We love all our wildlife, especially those bears that call this neck of the woods home; you can help by reading the VDGIF pamphlet and telling your neighbors.