Texans Encouraged to Practice Bear Safety

With winter quickly approaching, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) encourages residents in the western, southwestern and northeastern portions of Texas to practice appropriate bear safety measures and report sightings.

Black bears are native to Texas and part of the state’s natural heritage and ecosystem. Guided by an excellent sense of smell, their behavior is driven largely by appetite. Fall provides their last opportunity to feast before denning up for the winter.

The natural instinct to forage becomes a problem for bears when they find easy meals from humans, such as garbage, pet food or corn from a deer feeder. If a bear continually finds food around humans, it can become habituated, losing its fear of people and creating a potentially dangerous situation.

Individuals enjoying the outdoors are encouraged to stay alert and stay together, keep dogs leashed, double bag food and trash while hiking or camping, camp safely and know what to do if you see a bear.

Bear-proof garbage containers are a great option that many communities have deployed to reduce bear encounters. TPWD biologists encourage keeping trash bags in a secure location until the morning of trash pickup and feeding pets inside or limiting pet-food portions to an amount that can be consumed completely at each feeding.

More information can be found on the TPWD and Bear Wise websites, including how to secure deer feeders or apiaries with electric fences and the how to use “unwelcome mats.” Unwelcome mats, made from rough wood and nails or brads, can be placed under windows, at doors and fence openings and around outdoor freezers and refrigerators to discourage bears without causing serious injury.

Bears are a non-game animal that have been granted state protected status as a threatened species, so it is against the law to hunt, harass or kill them.

If you see a bear, stay away and do not attempt to feed it, and notify your local police or sheriff dispatch immediately to request the local TPWD biologist or game warden

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Joseph Menslage

As the President and Publisher of Katy and Fort Bend Christian Magazines, Joe Menslage is committed to covering social and political news from a Christian worldview. He founded Katy Christian Magazine in 2005, which swept the greater Houston and Katy areas like a storm. That’s when Joe realized the urgent need for publications willing to give voices to the voiceless, without political correctness or censorship. Joe Menslage founded sister-publication Fort Bend Christian Magazine in 2014. Prior to creating Katy Christian Magazine, Joe Menslage led a colorful life. He was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, spent a great deal of his childhood in Colorado, and lived in a couple of other states before he moved to Houston in 1981. Joe was God-gifted with an entrepreneurial mind, and self-started other business ventures before he found his calling. In Joe’s words, our innate talents are given by the Lord, and are meant to be used to serve the Lord. Aside from being a President and Publisher, Joe Menslage is also the co-founder of Katy Christian Chamber of Commerce, where Christians can network, build business connections, listen to passionate speakers, and enjoy monthly breakfasts and lunches. Joe Menslage also hosts a weekly political satire YouTube channel. Joe Menslage has four children. Outside of work, he enjoys hiking, watching zombie movies and K dramas, ax-throwing and Krav Maga.