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Jackson County residents: be BearWise this fall

October 19, 2023

CENTRAL POINT, Ore – Fall means it’s “fattening up” season for black bears before denning for the winter. While natural food sources are plentiful this year in Jackson County, bears don’t turn down free food.

ODFW is getting reports of black bears raiding garbage cans and backyard chicken feed bins in Jackson County. Biologists encourage residents, particularly those living in the wildland-urban interface, to be Bear-Wise:

  • Secure chicken feed and other livestock feed.
  • Put garbage cans out just before pick-up.
  • Keep pet food indoors.
  • Remove bird feeders.
  • Clean up fruit under fruit trees.
  • Keep BBQ grills clean or in garage.
  • Never intentionally feed bears.

Once bears find a taste for garbage, pet food and other human food sources, they can quickly become habituated and a safety risk to people. The best way to keep bears and people safe is to prevent bears from getting these food rewards.

If you encounter a bear:

  • STOP: Never approach a bear at any time for any reason. If you see bear cubs, leave the area.
  • GIVE IT SPACE: Give any bear you encounter a way to escape.
  • STAY CALM: Do not run or make sudden movements. Face the bear and slowly back away.
  • AVOID EYE CONTACT: Don’t make eye contact with the bear.
  • DON’T RUN: It may encourage the bear to chase you.
  • FIGHT BACK: In the unlikely event you are attacked, fight back, shout, be aggressive, use rocks, sticks and hands.

Report non-emergency bear activity in Ashland through the city’s bear reporting website or by calling ODFW directly at 541-826-8774.

Dial 911 if there is an immediate threat to human health and safety. For more information on living with bears, click here.


Contact: Chris Shelton, 541-857-2405,
Meghan Dugan, 541-315-6629,
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