Trick-or-Treaters: Beware of Bears!

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We've had a lot of bear sightings this year and people have seen bears in some pretty unlikely places this year...even in some busy residential neighborhoods in downtown Reno.

While Halloween night always means there are a lot of kids and candy out and about...bears may also be out, looking for a treat.

Black bears have been spotted in Caughlin Ranch, roaming the hillside and digging in trash cans. Residents say they've seen more bears in their neighborhood this year than ever before.

"There have been bears in the neighborhood, so when it comes to little people, you take all the caution you can I guess. I don't think we'll see any on Halloween, but they eat anything don't they?" said Karen Traynor of Caughlin Ranch.

Karen Traynor is getting her home ready for trick-or treaters...she says with all the bear sightings in Washoe County this year...she's not taking any risks.

"I never leave candy out and I certainly won't this week," said Traynor.

Wildlife officials say they don't see bears being a huge problem in our area...since trick-or-treaters usually travel in groups and make a lot of noise...but Chris Healy from the Nevada Department of Wildlife says bears are still attracted to just about anything they can eat.

"Well I would imagine if you put out a pile of food with calories you're going to attract some bears, but they are not going to approach children and take their candy. But if you wish to take precautions, it's a smart thing to do," said Healy.

Wildlife officials it's not a good idea to impersonate a bear either...

"Some people do goldilocks and the three bears. Bears are popular," said Marta Fisher of Reno's Black & White Costume Company.

But if you do happen to come across a real bear this Halloween...

"Don't turn around and run. Stand there, make some noise, flash your flashlight. I guarantee bears want nothing to do with a whole bunch of crazy people running around the neighborhood," said Healy.

While wildlife officials don't think bears are going to be too big of a problem, there have been a record number of bear sightings this year and some have even broken into homes.