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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

South Carolina residents and professional wildlife managers are all claiming that there are as many as 800 Black Bears occupying the coastal counties of South Carolina----The claim is that there has been exponential growth from 100 to 800 bruins over just a few years due to the abundance of peanuts and corn available..............Seems out-of-whack to me especially when 30 hunters in 2011 only killed one bear over the two week season..............Hysteria in South Carolina??????

800 black bears now populate Lowcountry

A large black bear roams just outside the town of Hollywood in this 2009 photograph. credit: Provided by S.C. Department of Natural Resources.A large black bear roams just outside the town of Hollywood in this 2009 photograph. credit: Provided by S.C. Department of Natural Resources.


S.C. Department of Natural Resources
A reproducing population has established itself in Ravenel, enough bears that cameras and sightings have confirmed sows with cubs and young and adult males, said wildlife biologist Deanna Ruth of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.
Claud Wessinger knows. The trail camera he set out for deer a few weeks back picked up a large male bear munching the corn bait, and settling down for a spell to do it.Sure, this was Santee River country near the Francis Marion National Forest, known bear territory. But the family hunting tract is within shouting distance of the fire station at Jamestown."Did you see him lying on the corn pile? It was like, 'This is mine. I'm staying here,'" Wessinger said after sending photos.
That, as much as anything, might explain what biologists like Ruth are calling an exponential increase of bears in not just South Carolina, but the entire Southeast.
"We don't know why. But we keep coming back to unlimited food resources," she said.
That's sweet corn fields, bird feeders, loose garbage cans, deer corn, even peanut crops.
"Let me tell you something: Bears love peanuts," Ruth said ruefully.
Biologists guesstimated as few as 100 bears in the coastal counties as recently as a few years ago. Then more than 40 were killed by cars in Horry County in a single year. Uh oh, time to re-evaluate.
The 800 number came from a detailed 2008-2011 survey."There's more in this area now than there were," Wessinger said. "I'm surprised they're so close to populated areas. It doesn't bother me; I just think there needs to be more awareness in the community."
The hunting season was launched in 2011 to accommodate sports hunters and farmers who were watching crops ravaged.The two-week season, held in Horry, Georgetown and Williamsburg counties, is under way.It's limited to 30 hunters chosen in a blind lottery.
The funny thing is, even though bears are spotted all the time in those farm fields, the 30 hunters last year came back with a total of ... one bear.

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