By The Associated Press

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire’s bear population is on the move, and officials are asking residents not to detour them with snacks.

The state Fish and Game Department is asking the public to hold off on putting out bird feeders until December. Right now, bears are searching for high-fat, protein-rich food to sustain them as they head into their dens, and bird feeders are often a target.

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Andy Timmins, the state bear project leader, says reports of conflicts between bears and people were low this summer, but there has been an uptick in activity since late October, mostly involving bird feeders. He says a single feeding will cause a bear to return in other seasons, leading to property damage and the bears becoming nuisance animals.

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“Bears have an excellent sense of smell and good memories,” he said.

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