Bristol Bay bears coming out of hibernation

Apr 10, 2017

In the last few weeks, area wildlife biologist Neil Barten has seen several bears awake in the area and anticipates more in the coming weeks.

Credit Alaska Department of Fish & Game

KDLG: Temperatures are climbing towards the 50s, the snow is melting fast, and hungry bears are waking up.

“They're starting to come out," said Neil Barten, area wildlife biologist at the Fish and Game office in Dillingham. He has counted a handful of brown bear on recent aerial wildlife surveys, including up the Nushagak and Mulchatna Rivers.

With bear activity increasing, Barten said it’s time to clear the yard of any inviting debris leftover from the winter.

“This is the time of the year that I always encourage people to get rid of their bird feeders,” Barten explains. “Anything like that with fat in it they really go after, whether it’s old fish or that kind of thing.”

This is just the beginning of the spring hunting season. Barten thinks there will be plenty opportunity for hunters in another week or so when more bears have left their dens.

Contact the author at or 907-842-5281.