Bears lumbering back into east Texas
POSTED: Monday, June 14, 2010 - 2:19pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, June 15, 2010 - 11:22am
CLARKSVILLE --- Before hunting season began, Don "Dink" Benton set up a motion sensor camera on his east Texas ranch to learn what kind of deer roamed his land along the Oklahoma border.
He was shocked to see a black bear exploring a feeder, then investigating the camera. Benton had been wondering how some of the deer feeders on his got knocked over last summer.
Wildlife officials say bears are slowly returning to the woods of east Texas -- thanks to thriving bear populations in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.
Parks and Wildlife Department official Nathan Garner says a combination of unregulated hunting and a loss of habitat caused most bears to disappear from Texas by the mid-1940s.
The state has two bear breeding populations -- in Guadalupe Mountains National Park and at Big Bend National Park.
Many of the bear sightings in east Texas in the past five years have been in Red River County. ---