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Bears lumbering back into east Texas

POSTED: Monday, June 14, 2010 - 1:19pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, June 15, 2010 - 10:22am

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. ---

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department,
Black Bear Conservation Coalition,

Comments News Comments

My wife and I were on our way to Dallas on the morning of this past May 19th when we both saw what can only be a BEAR just a few feet east of the northbound lanes of US 259.

We saw the bear about 7am just on the side of the road about 5 or 6 miles north of Mt. Enterprise and he appeared to be feeding on something, and was oblivious to anything else.

We live in Mt. Enterprise and our phone is 903-863-2610.

Call and we'll be happy to show you where we witnessed this.
Bart Wheeler

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