Bear sightings on the rise in Western NV

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Bear sightings on the rise in Western NV

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tahoeclicks.com

State wildlife officials are warning of increased bear activity throughout Western Nevada.

State wildlife officials are warning of increased bear activity throughout Western Nevada.

The Department of Wildlife says the combination of a full moon period and an approaching winter has meant more bears are straying out of their territories and into residential areas.

Just this week, there were sightings in Yerington, southwest Reno around Caughlin Ranch, Minden-Gardnerville and Verdi.

"All of those places are going to see an increase in activity that they do not normally see, except in years like this where natural foods are at a minimum."

That's Chris Healy, who's a spokesperson for the department.

He says they've set out the four traps they have in an effort to capture bears and condition them not to come into populated areas, but right now there are not enough traps to cover all the reported sightings. He says this year is not as bad as 2007, but it's much higher than usual.

"A lot of people in these areas have fruit trees with fruit that's ripe and fallen to the ground, do all you can to get rid of that fruit."

The agency recommends calling the hotline number, 775-688-BEAR, so the animals can be trapped and released as quickly as possible. He reiterated that the agency does not try to kill the bears.