Black bears begin hibernation in late October or early November. They enter dens not because it is cold, or snowing, but as an adaptation to deal with dwindling food supplies. An abundant food supply may cause a later hibernation date but a bad food year will not cause a early hibernation date. Black bears are curious, smart and very adaptable. They're not fussy and will eat just about anything with calories.Bears want to get the most energy they can with the least amount of effort. Every bear's goal is to get fat enough to live through the winter. To prepare for this long season black bears feed ravenously from midsummer through the end of autumn, gleaning up to 20 thousand calories in a day. Bears are omnivores and will eat meat too, including ground squirrels, carion and whatever they can find. By the end of autumn, a black bear will have added about 4 or 5 inches of body fat and more than doubled the insulation provided by its pelt.
Unwanted and Dangerous Guests
According to Lynch, there are several reasons why a Colorado law passed in 1992 makes it illegal to feed big game animals. One important reason is that deer are the primary prey of mountain lions. “Concentrating deer by feeding can attract mountain lions well within the city limits. It may become necessary to kill these lions for public safety,” she says.