The Huntsville OPP is asking residents to take steps to stop attracting bears.

This comes as the OPP says it and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry keep getting calls about bears in the area.

The OPP says you can reduce the chances of running into a bear by getting rid of stuff on your property that it could see as food. That includes putting your garbage out the morning of your pickup, not the night before.

If you have a fruit tree on your property you should also pick it and get rid of any fruit lying on the ground as this could bring in bears as well. The bears are looking for all the food they can get before they go into hibernation.

When you’re out and about the OPP says it’s a good idea to be aware of your surroundings, especially if you’re doing outdoor activities like hiking or camping. You should not wear headphones in wooded areas and should make a lot of noise moving through.

Bear encounters with humans sometimes involve pets. If you are out with a dog, keep it on a leash. Uncontrolled, untrained dogs may actually lead a bear to you. The OPP says it’s important to remember a bear with her cubs isn’t generally aggressive unless she or the cubs feel threatened.

If you do come across a bear give it as much space as possible, make sure there’s a place it can retreat to and slowly back away. You can call the Bear Hotline at 1-866-514-2327 for any non-emergency bear contact.