CAMPTON, N.H. — The number of encounters with bears in the White Mountain National Forest is on the rise at the beginning of the season, leading rangers to issue early warnings and step up enforcement of rules designed to discourage bears from scrounging for a meal.

Nobody has been injured yet, but the black bears are getting bold, said Colleen Mainville, a spokeswoman for the national forest. One report said a bear tried to enter a tent while another was searching the back of pickup trucks for food.

The state says that there are 4,800-5,000 bears found in all 10 counties.

“We’ve been giving out tickets to people who don’t store their food properly,” Mainville said.

Most campers and hikers will never see a bear but when the critters do find food, they learn quickly that they can mooch a meal from people. That leads to more encounters, which can be bad for both bear and human.

“Bears that get too used to people may have to be trapped and relocated or even killed,” officials said in a news release. “Remember, ‘A fed bear is a dead bear.’ ”

Visitors who fail to follow rules can be fined $125-$5,000 and face up to six months in jail.

The best way to reduce the chance of a bear wandering into a campsite is to keep the area clean and completely clear of food, right down to wrappers.