Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries are receiving calls that black bear spottings are on the rise in portions of Louisiana.  Large carnivore program manager for LDWF Maria Davidson says several reasons contribute to the encounters, including mother bears forcing her young to scatter to start fending for themselves as she preps for another mating season.

“Females that have cubs that are basically a year and a half old now are beginning to run those cubs off.  She’s going to be coming back into heat,” said Davidson.

In addition to the younger bears, Davidson says adult male bears are on the prowl as part of the mating season.

“They are trying to cover their entire home range as fast as they can so they can visit all of those females that are within their home range,” said Davidson.

Davidson says there are steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of encountering a bear around your home.

“Never let him find anything to eat at your house, whether that would be squirrel food, bird food, hummingbird food, garbage, dog food, grease on the front porch.  Any of those things,” said Davidson.