Spring has Sprung and bears are starting to come out of hibernation. And according to the Department of Environmental Protection, people should start to be 'bear aware.'

Black bears are common in New England and though they typically avoid human interaction, when they first wake up from their deep winter sleep...they are extremely hungry and less likely to steer clear of your yard.

The DEM says bears may become dependent on backyard food sources this time of year. That means bird feeders, bee hives, chicken coops or even your backyard compost pile could make a bear come calling.

The department's recommendations as things continue to warm up are to remove bird feeders from your yard for the warmer season and store bird seed inside. They are also encouraging those in rural areas to keep their garbage indoors until collection day rolls around.

And if these precautions don't happen to keep a bear out of your yard, they offer up tips on what to do in case of a bear encounter as well.

They say not to panic and also not to run away. Instead try to keep calm and walk away slowly while facing the bear.