Cottage season may be winding down, but bear season is in full swing.

Manitoba Conservation is reminding the public to use caution, as bears are especially active this time of year.

Black bears, in particular, are bulking up for hibernation and eating as much food as possible, conservation officials said.

Residents and business owners are asked to get rid of, seal or secure anything with a smell that might attract bears.

Officials said homeowners, cottage owners and campers should be mindful of the increased black bear activity and take steps to make sure they’re safe.

The three biggest draws for bears are garbage, bird feeders and fruit trees, conservation officials said.

Officials are asking residents to keep pets on a leash, carry noisemakers or bear spray when possible, avoid outdoor composting, double bag garbage and put it in bear-safe containers and remove ripened or fallen fruit from trees.

They are also asking people to stay clear of bears and avoid setting up bird feeders between April and November.

If approached by a bear, Conservation officials advise people not to run away. In most cases, they said, the bear will move away from you.