CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Hibernation is over and bears are out and on the move. Phones at the Ferguson Township Police Department in Centre County are ringing with reported sightings.

“We probably get about a dozen calls a week about bears.” said Sergeant Ryan Hendrick with the Ferguson Township Police Department.

Ferguson police and the Pennsylvania Game Commission both said the number one thing bears will travel great distances for are bird feeders.

“Probably eight out of ten calls that we get about bears in someone’s backyard are going to revolve around a birdfeeder,” said Mike Steingraber, game warden supervisor for the Northcentral Region Pennsylvania Game Commission.

“It’s a special treat for them, it’s something that they can’t find in the wild,” said Hendrick.

It’s recommended you remove your bird feeders, especially at night.

“They’re extremely smart, so if you have a bird feeder up and they have a good meal, they will remember that and they’ll come back,” said Hendrick.

You’re also encouraged to clean outdoor garbage cans and grills, and avoid putting out the trash before collection day.

“That’s the only reason bears come in to any sort of residential area is for a food,” said Steingraber.

If you see a bear, the game commission said you don’t need to call it in if there isn’t direct danger.

When encountering a bear, make some noise alerting it to leave, get back, and stay calm. Black bears rarely attack, but if they do, fight back.

“The old adage there of, ‘it’s more afraid of us than we are of it’, is true,” said Steingraber.

“We’ve got to be neighbors with our bears, they’re very friendly creatures,” said Hendrick. “But yes, they do like to eat.”