“This morning when I went out to feed the deer again, I took my pistol with me,” Key told Channel 2. “I just — Ha, ha! I don’t know if he’ll come back or not!”
Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman Melissa Cummings recommends homeowners bear-proof property by removing all access to food and trash.
“It is absolutely the best solution if they are left to pass through on their own with no human interference,” Cummings said. “As long as there is no food source to keep them in a particular location, they will move along.”
There are about 5,100 black bears in Georgia, and there has never been a bear attack on a human in the state, according to the Wildlife Resources Division fact sheet, which offers suggestions about avoiding bear encounters.
Officials do not usually capture and relocate bears because the animals often try to make their way back and get hit by cars.
“If left alone, young bears searching for territory will usually find their way back to a more traditional range,” the fact sheet says. “Capture and relocation is a last resort and only warranted if a bear persists in being a nuisance and presents a safety threat to residents or major property damage is likely.”
Cummings said bear sightings are most common in Georgia between April and September.
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