Experts say bear sightings in Northern Nevada are common this time of year

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) As winter approaches in Northern Nevada, experts say bear sightings are common for this time of the year.

"I went out the other night or morning rather and said how come my bird feeders are on the ground, how come my branches are knocked down? What's that big pile sitting right there? So we actually had a bear come in climb over the fence, ate some bird seed and went home and it was fine," Scott Tyler, a Reno resident, says.

Toogee Sielsch, co-director of the Sierra Wildlife Coalition says bears are getting ready to den for the winter so they're "fattening up" beforehand.

"They're ramping their calorie intake up by more than four times so if they regularly eat 5,000 calories on a daily basis they're eating 20,000 plus calories now," he says.

Ashley Sanchez of the Nevada Department of Wildlife says everyone needs to be vigilant and secure anything that could attract bears to your property.

"Make sure your trash is secured, bring in bird feeders overnight, clean those barbecue grills. Bears have a very strong sense of smell so anything that smells good they're going to get to it," she says.

Sielsch and Sanchez warn if a bear is successful once, chances are they'll keep coming back.

"By securing your house, keeping crawl spaces closed and keeping doors and windows on the ground level locked, sliders especially, they're famous for going in those, that's a way to mitigate that issue," Sielsch says.