Bear Encounters

Black bears by nature tend to be wary of people. However, if you encounter a black bear in your neighborhood or outdoors while hiking or camping, follow these common-sense safety tips:

Black bears are now recognized as an important natural resource in New Jersey and as part of the state's heritage. They have been sighted throughout the state. People can see bears in forests when they are hiking and camping, and some people even see bears in their yards. The links below, from the NJ DEP Division of Fish & Wildlife, provide information on how residents can best co-exist with bears. The most important recommendation is don’t feed bears and keep garbage covered. It is illegal in New Jersey to feed black bears either intentionally or unintentionally. Anyone who feeds bears could face a penalty of up to $1,000 for each offense. General Information (

Report bear damage, nuisance behavior, or aggressive bears to the West Windsor Township Police Department at (609) 799-1222 and to the NJ DEP hotline at (877) 927-6337.