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The New England Disc Golf Center is on a wonderful property, not far off the "main drag" of Rt. 10/202. To the west of the NEDGC is mostly woods, small towns, and start forests all the way to the New York border and beyond.

This means wildlife occasionally roam onto the disc golf layout. A red-tail hawk lives on the property, and a porcupine seems to be a fixture near the 6th fairway. Coyotes can be heard at sunset, and bear have been seen on or near the NEDGC. One was seen strolling down the 18th fairway this past weekend.

Bears are not rare in Southwick. I've even had them in my backyard, in the middle of one of the bigger neighborhoods in Southwick.

If you happen to come across a bear, don't panic, just give it plenty of space and it will likely move on. If it's female with cubs, back away slowly and make sure you don't get between the sow and the cubs. Massachusetts Wildlife Department has great information about avoiding problems with bears.

The potential of a bear encounter is also a good reason why pets are not recommended on the course, and is also a good reason to NEVER leave food scraps or trash on the course.

Use common sense, respect the wildlive on the course, and you should be able to avoid any issues with bears.

A bear walks past my backyard basket.

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