Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission and the TWRA have set the dates for the 2014-15 hunting season and have added onto the list of potential big game hunting targets the black bear in new counties.
But the bears can also be found where he works, and he watched one walk right into the auto shop he works for.
“I was looking at my toolbox, and I heard something behind me, so it was about 30 feet away at the back door; it was a bear standing up on its back feet. I see him and he sees me. He just looked at me. It seemed like forever, but it was probably just 10, 15 seconds,” said Williams.
A normal sight for Scott County residents. It’s a sight they want to see less of after archery season.
Tennessee’s bear population thrives today largely due to the dedication of the TWRA, CNF, GSMNP, the bear research program at University of Tennessee and the support of Tennessee sportsman license dollars. Today Tennessee’s wildlife, forest, and park service agencies confront new and difficult challenges in managing bear-human conflicts. As human and bear populations increase, and more people move near public lands, bear-human interactions has undoubtedly increased creating potentially dangerous situations for the public and for bears.
As introduced by the TWRA at the TFWC’s April meeting, new Bear Management Units for black bears have been formed. The Bear Management Units are subdivided into five Bear Hunt Zones. The Unit and Zone terminology relates to the Bear Management Plan being written and changes how the agency will regulate bear harvest.
Bear hunters in traditional bear hunting counties will find little change to this year’s seasons. New hunts have been set in counties bordering traditional bear hunting counties and the Cumberland Plateau. A total of 15 new counties have been added.
TWRA Chief of Wildlife Daryl Ratajczak is quoted in Nooga.com a local news group
Generally, there have been 500-600 bears killed by hunters in Tennessee in recent years. Ratajczak said they could actually almost double the number of bears taken in some areas while still keeping the overall population stable.
“We estimate in the Smoky Mountain area we have at least 5,000 bears, and we’re only harvesting about 10 percent,” he said.
Will you be going out hunting black bear this season in Tennessee?