Late spring brings an annual spike in backyard black bear hysteria. June is the peak month for bear reports. Why?
Because bears breed in June! Male "boars" wander widely in search of available mates in a home range of 25 square miles of quality habitat or 50 or more square miles of poor habitat. Female "sows" and their cubs typically occupy 5 to 10 square miles.
While adults seek mates, females nursing cubs born in dens in January are not available to breed. Sows lead twin and triplet cubs to food-rich areas in late spring while teaching their young locations and types of future food sources.
Females breed in alternate years. Sows with cubs born last year, drive-off the teenagers now in preparation to breed again. Roaming juveniles - typically inexperienced males - disperse and attempt to establish home territories while avoiding conflicts with resident boars. Young sows are better tolerated in their natal territories by adults.
Statewide, the bear population is 4800 with highest densities in the north. In the south, people inadvertently attract bears to their property. Fish and Game recommends residents remove tempting food including birdfeeders, outdoor pet food bowls, barbecue grills and unsecured trash cans or dumpsters. When bears become habituated to residential areas, they invariably become a nuisance.
Human bear conflicts in New Hampshire end badly for bears. People, pets, cars and busy roads all pose unnatural dangers. When you see a bear, consider yourself fortunate. Recognize what else bears "doo" in the woods - they remain safe and unseen.