LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - The Wisconsin DNR wants people to be cautious of bears coming out of hibernation.
As they awaken from their dens and start to move around, their metabolism accelerates and they get hungry.
Wildlife experts say to reduce your chances of a bear encounter, hang bird feeders ten feet above the ground and away from trees.
Also, don't put feed for wildlife out on the ground. Make sure grills are thoroughly cleaned after each use.
The remind people too, to put trash in a bear proof container.
"You don't want to provide attractants to these bears around your property. Once a bear finds something like that, they're going to remember it and that's when we can run into some issues," said Randy Johnson, a wildlife biologist with the Wisconsin DNR.
He said habituated bears are the ones that cause problems, so its best to do what you can to keep that from happening. In the long run, Johnson said it is what's best for the bears and for people.
The DNR said you don't need to call anyone if you see a bear in passing unless you feel threatened. Then someone can come and remove it from the area.
The Wisconsin DNR said the black bear population in the state is more than 24,000. Their website said that because of the increasing population, bears are becoming more common in the lower two-thirds of the state.