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Black bear nuisance in Salem

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The region's black bears are emerging from hibernation. And they're hungry.

Just ask Salem resident Ken White.

White was greeted Monday morning with the chaos of a black bear having torn into a 175-pound bucket of cracked corn and chicken feed and ripped into bags as well.

The big bruin, leaving behind 7-inch paw prints in the snow and mud, returned later in the day to pick up scraps that White threw over a fence at his property on Smith Road, 3 miles or so northwest of the village of Salem.

Southeastern Washington County has a growing bear population, with the state recently establishing a fall hunting season in Washington County to counteract a rise in nuisance complaints in the region in recent years.

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