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Hungry Bears- 10/13/2017

By Meaghan English, TrueSouth Properties Wildlife Specialist

As many of you already know, black bears are a frequent species spotted here in Alabama. Chances are, you have encountered one on your own while you were out and about in the woods. Those chances increase the further south you go in Alabama. It has been reported that a population of about 50 black bears dwell in approximately 150 square miles of land in the Baldwin, Washington, Clarke, and Mobile counties of Alabama. It is not uncommon to walk outside in the rural areas of these counties and spot several black bears at one time. The population number varies as bears from surrounding states sometimes pass through during mating season and then return to their native homelands. There are pros and cons associated with the urban sprawl of black bears. The good news is the black bears are not aggressive and only become combative when provoked. The bad news is much of the hardwood bottomland that bears desire are being cleared for timber or agricultural use so they are becoming more and more comfortable with humans and infringing upon human territory. It is best to stay clear of any bears that you come into contact with because they are wild animals. It is also pertinent to take photos and notate any identifying characteristics of bears you may encounter. This information can help state wildlife officials keep up to date data on the bears in the area!

 

P.S. I have attached pictures of some very HANGRY bears near Chunchula in Mobile County. These pictures were taken in August of this year (despite what the game camera may say) and shows just how resourceful these animals can be!

By: Meaghan English

My name is Meaghan English, a wildlife specialist with TrueSouth. I graduated from Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Ecology and Management and I have grown up with a passion for hunting. I knew from an early age that I was not only interested in the harvesting of wildlife, but I was also very interested in their biology and management. I decided that I not only wanted to be a wildlife enthusiast, I want to be an educated wildlife specialist. I will be using that grand education as a member of the TrueSouth team contributing wildlife blog articles!

My first hunting memory flashes back to when I was six or seven years old. Like any other Saturday during deer season, my dad had told my mom to get me ready because we were going hunting. Of course I was ecstatic! I was not ecstatic about the hair bow my mom made me wear with my camouflage (she wanted everyone to know I was in fact a fashionable girl). The entire way to Perdue Hill, Alabama, my dad told me that today would be the first day I would actually shoot my first deer and I knew I was ready. We pulled up to the camp, unloaded, and fed all the “camp cats”. Before we headed to our stand, I had spotted three kittens that I simply could not leave behind so I stuffed them in my jacket. After walking what seemed like five miles, we finally made it to the “Pressbox stand” (with my smuggled kittens) and sat down. Dad continuously pestered me to be quiet, but I wasn’t that worried about shooting a deer, I had kittens! Eventually, the sun began to sink behind the trees and a spike (without olfactory senses) entered the field. When it was safe to quietly move, dad handed me the gun and I handed him my three kittens. I slowly pulled the gun up and placed my cheek against the stock. Dad told me to breathe slowly and pull the trigger when I was ready. Sure enough, I pulled the trigger and the spike hit the ground. We high-fived, exchanged kittens again, and climbed down to see the kill. It certainly was not a wall hanger, but a huge chapter in my life was started that night. My dad and I still hunt together to this day and we practice quality deer management at all times.

My ultimate goal is to provide clients with a survey of flora and fauna that currently inhabit a specific tract of land and, if desired, how to properly manage that land for the species that are found there. All feedback is greatly appreciated and I look forward to working with you!

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