Wednesday, February 1st, 2023
Wednesday, February 1st, 2023

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Sportsmen Since 1967

Bear roaming unfamiliar territory

Springboro, Ohio – Wildlife diversity continues to spread
through the state, most recently in the southwestern corner of
Ohio.

A young male black bear, estimated at 11/2 years old, has been
sighted while traveling over 75 miles beginning around Memorial Day
in Adams County. The last sighting was reported near Springboro in
Warren County.

The young bear’s journey is believed to be to establish its own
home range according to DNR Division of Wildlife biologists.

Warren County, situated between Dayton and Cincinnati, falls
under the Division’s District 5, where the bear has attracted much
attention.

“It’s been all about bears around here recently,” said Bret
Beatty, assistant wildlife management supervisor for the district.
“The reaction has been mixed, but exciting just the same. Some
folks are thrilled, some nervous, and others are neutral.”

Eastern Ohio’s bear sightings are fairly common and continue to
increase, but this is the first recorded sighting near the western
border of Ohio.

According to the DNR, during the months of May, June and July,
young male black bears disperse to find their own territory.
“Yearling dispersal” occurs when an adult female bear boots her
11/2-year-old cub out of the family unit so she can breed and raise
a new litter of cubs. Young females have smaller ranges and seldom
venture as far as males to establish territories

The DOW is not physically tracking the bear with sophisticated
equipment, but simply recording confirmed sightings. The bear has
not created any trouble for himself or for people.

“He seems to be a healthy young bear doing what black bears do,”
said Beatty. “There are plenty of natural food sources for him to
consume right now; berries, nuts, grasses, insects and maybe some
carrion.”

Beatty recommends taking down bird feeders and avoid feeding
pets outside if you think the bear may be around. There is an adage
biologists’ stress and that is “a fed bear is a dead bear.”
Meaning, if bears are fed by people, the bears will lose the wild
notion to avoid people and will likely lead to the bear getting in
to trouble and having to be removed by wildlife managers.

The bear’s presence in this region of Ohio may be the first in
some time, but surely will not be the last as the species continues
its spread. Although southwest Ohio has an abundance of populated
townships, there is plenty of bear-like habitat ranging from
meadows to woodlands to support the wildlife newcomers.

“There is ample room for both people and wildlife here, even
bigger critters such as black bears,” said Beatty. “As long as we
have plenty of habitat and the bears and people don’t cause any
hassles for each other, then it will be soon realized it is a treat
for folks to see these magnificent creatures in the animal’s
natural environment.”

The black bear is protected by state law. The public is
encouraged to report sightings of bears in Ohio. Contact Wildlife
District Five in Xenia at (937) 372-9261, or the 1-800-WILDLIFE
communications center. The public is asked to refer all calls to
the Division of Wildlife and not local law enforcement. At no time
should a person attempt to feed, attract or divert the bear. Let
the bear continue on its way and enjoy a brief glimpse of one of
Ohio’s most fascinating mammals.

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