See a bear? What to do

Black bears are common in New Hampshire, but they’re generally not aggressive unless threatened.

The last time anyone was killed by a black bear in New Hampshire was 1784, according to the state Fish and Game Department.

“Black bears, like all wild animals, should be treated as unpredictable animals. Campground or ‘panhandler’ bears may nip or cuff people that tease with food or crowd around them. In the woods, black bears usually retreat before people are aware of them; normal trail noise should alert bears to your presence,” the Fish and Game’s bear “FAQ” states.

If you see a bear, keep your distance, Fish and Game recommends.

“Make it aware of your presence by clapping, talking, singing or making other sounds. If you get too close to a bear, it may slap the ground, huff, blow and chomp its teeth or rush you (this is referred to as “bluff charge”) in an attempt to get you to move a more comfortable distance away. If this occurs, maintain eye contact with the bear, speak in a soft, calm voice and slowly back away from the bear. These actions will help appease the bear and show that you are not weak, but, at the same time, not a threat to the bear. Do not run, avert your eyes or turn your back to the bear. The bear may perceive weakness and enforce dominance. . . . If you are attacked by a black bear, you should fight back rather than play dead.”

For more information on bears, visit the Fish and Game Web site,