JOELTON, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has released a few safety guidelines after a bear was seen on a hunter’s trail camera in Joelton.
The photo was captured on August 17 near Baxter Road. A hunter had set up the camera to monitor deer activity.
The TWRA says there isn’t a breeding population of bears in Middle Tennessee but it’s not rare to see young bears moving through the area.
“Typically, the young males will travel longer distances away from established bear populations before circling back and settling on the fringe of the existing bear population,” the TWRA said in a release.
The agency asks that residents report any bear sightings and let neighbors know, as well. You should never approach a bear.
The TWRA released a few tips to avoid attracting bears:
- “Never Feed or Approach Bears Intentionally. Feeding bears or allowing them to find anything that smells or tastes like food teaches bears to approach homes and people looking for more. Bears will defend themselves if a person gets too close, so don’t risk your safety and theirs!”
- “Secure Food, Garbage and Recycling. Food and food odors attract bears, so don’t reward them with easily available food, liquids or garbage.”
- “Remove Bird Feeders When Bears Are Active. Birdseed and grains have lots of calories, so they’re very attractive to bears. Removing feeders is the best way to avoid creating conflicts with bears.”
- “Never Leave Pet Food Outdoors. Feed pets indoors when possible. If you must feed pets outside, feed in single portions and remove food and bowls after feeding. Store pet food where bears can’t see or smell it.”
- “Clean & Store Grills. Clean grills after each use and make sure that all grease, fat and food particles are removed. Store clean grills and smokers in a secure area that keeps bears out.”
- “Alert Neighbors to Bear Activity. See bears in the area or evidence of bear activity? Tell your neighbors and share information on how to avoid bear conflicts. Bears have adapted to living near people; now it’s up to us to adapt to living near bears.”