CLARE, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – With a warmer than normal winter across the state this year, officials with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) are reminding people about hibernating bears – and possibility that they will wake up from their naps early.

Because of this, many people will hit the walking and hiking trails sooner, which will increase the chances of a bear encounter.

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Black Bears are the only species of bears in Michigan. According to the National Park Service, black bears generally are afraid of humans and would prefer to stay far away.

However, if you do find yourself face-to-face with a bear, here are some tips to keep both you and the bear safe.