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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 9, 2014

If you do not have to fast,,,,,,,,,,you get larger................This holding true for the Black Bear population in North Carolina as there is seldom a cold enough winter to warrant hibernation........Increased food supplies via farmers fields providing the bruins with soybeans and corn in combination with warming tempeatures have the bears in the tar heel state getting bigger and having larger litters of cubs...........Accordingly, Biologists estimate there to be 20,000 Black Bears in North Carolina versus 30 years ago in the mid 80's when perhaps only 2000 roamed the state

More food, less hibernation mean bigger NC bears

Posted: Dec 06, 2014 9:00 AM PSTUpdated: Dec 06, 2014 9:02 AM PST

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SWAN QUARTER, N.C. -Black bears are getting bigger than ever in North Carolina thanks to abundant food that allows them to skip hibernating.
Three of the top five biggest bears killed in North Carolina have been hunted in the past three years, including a 782-pound bear shot in November in Hyde County, the second biggest bear ever killed in the state.
Farmers shifting from inedible crops like tobacco and cotton to edible items like corn and soybeans give the bears plenty to eat so they no longer have to expend so much energy and lose weight hibernating, state Wildlife Resources Commission black bear biologist Colleen Olfenbuttel said.

"The amount of agriculture has influenced hibernation. The reason for 700-plus bears is reflecting the abundance of food available now versus what we saw 20 years ago," Olfenbuttel told The Virginian-Pilot.
Bears also are protected outside strictly controlled hunting seasons and in wildlife sanctuaries.
News of the giant bears have gotten to hunters, who are flocking to the state to bag a trophy, said Rob Orr, manager of Dare To Hyde Outdoor Adventures
It wasn't that long ago the biggest bears were only about 300 or 400 pounds. "It has just happened over the last couple of years," Orr said.
There are also more bears. Wildlife officials estimate there were 20,000 bears in eastern North Carolina this year, compared to about 2,000 in 1984
The state is considering expanding the short November and two-weeklong December hunting season.
"It has surprised me how long it took for North Carolina to be recognized as the place to get a trophy bear," Olfenbuttel said. "It was somehow a well-guarded secret."
The record for the biggest bear killed in North Carolina was set in 1998 with an 880-pound animal hunted in Craven County.

Information from: The Virginian-Pilot,


Anonymous said...

This article might be a bit misleading in that it gives the impression that ALL black bear populations are getting larger in physical size, in North Carolina, which they most definitely aren't. There are two distinct populations of black bears in North Carolina--those in the eastern, coastal part of the state, where the land is flat, often swampy in places, and lots of agriculture. Then there's another sizable population in the Appalachian mountains in the western 3rd of the state, with high mountain habitat--where it does tend to get cold enough for bears to do some winter sleeping, and far less agriculture and other human generated sources of food. The mountain bears being more dependent on the mast crop in the forest every year, than anything else. The middle part of the state, the rolling hills of the Piedmont, used to be excellent bear habitat, but it is mostly heavily human developed now(sigh). Though bears wander into the Piedmont sometimes from the other populations, they either don't long remain, or they quickly get killed, alas. I am living in a small isolated mountain chain(very OLD, therefore small mountains--more like high hills, actually) in the middle of the state known as the Uwharries, and there is enough forest and undeveloped land to support a small black bear population here(plus a good many human planted crops to raid!), but although they do show up periodically, they get killed about as fast as they show up--the Uwharries has more human hunters per square mile in hunting season(mainly for deer) than any other part of the state--they literally blanket the woods here in deer season! And as most put out bait stations for deer, which no bear can resist of course, these transient black bears never have a chance getting a breeding population going. The mountain bears tend to be rather small as black bears go--though an occasional wise-old whopper shows up. The ginormous coastal blackies have been growing that way for decades(or longer), despite what the fellow in the article said about the phenomenon only being a coupla years going(and right after that comment, the record bear stated as having been taken a coupla decades ago!). Anyway, just some more specific Carolina bear factoids!....L.B.

Rick Meril said...

L.B...........a true Bear primer from you............good stuff and informative