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Thread: Bears out of hibernation

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    Bears out of hibernation

    Recently emailed with a friend who lives a short distance from my family hunting camp in north central Pa. She had to bring a bird feeder inside due to bears tearing it down. Has anyone known of bears to be out of hibernation this early? More important, what food would be available this time of year?
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    Senior Member NCFUBAR's Avatar
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    Re: Bears out of hibernation

    There have always 1 or 2 with insomnia but lately there have been more and more and bigger too ...



    As to food ... bears will stroll in anywhere they smell something that might be a free meal from camp grounds to break rooms.
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    Re: Bears out of hibernation

    Bear will come out early or go in late if it is advantageous for them
    By that I mean in late fall early winter if they are gaining more calories than burning off.
    They will come out early as well if it is advantageous not necessarily stay out.

    Just on a side note our woods are pretty devoid of food bad mast crop last year
    This spring should be interesting with lots of bears and little food

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    Re: Bears out of hibernation

    It's all due to availability of food. Normally, bears go into hibernation when the food they need is not available due to deep snow.
    Without that, they'll stay active as long as food is available.
    In Virginia, bears never truly hibernate. But they may become inactive during cold snaps.
    Some of the largest bears on record in the U.S. come from the Dismal Swamp in N. E. Virginia.
    I'm sure that the bears in Pa. had run out of natural foods and had become conditioned to the food provided by humans.
    Another reason for controlled hunting.
    Jim

    My bad!!

    The Great Dismal Swamp is in S.E. Virginia and N.E. North Carolina.
    Last edited by Airedale; 02-10-2012 at 10:04 PM. Reason: miss spoke

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    Re: Bears out of hibernation

    To the best of my knowledge the record black bear east of the Mississippi was killed about 3 years ago in the vicinity of the Croatan National Forest just south of the NC-Va state line and not all that far from the Dismal Swamp of Virginia. This bear had a steady daily diet of dead piglets from a commercial hog operation where every day of the year 61,000 piglets were in the process of maturing. (growth hormones in the piglets played a role...ever wonder why 33% of the American population is obese?) The bear weighed in at almost 900 pounds. At home in the Southern Appalachian Mountains of Georgia right on the NC-Tenn line, a 500 pound bear will cause a hellova lot of excitement. Usually around 300+- pounds is a pretty big bear. I don't think I've killed any over around 250 pounds. Though I have noticed that when you get one up a tree it will be at least a 600 pound one, then drops to about 200 pounds when you shoot it out, but then suddenly gets to be a 1,000 pound bear dragging it out through the laurel thickets!

    Here in north Florida where I am the bear population has exploded big time since Florida terminated bear hunting 15-18 years ago. Since I'm in the forest/wildlife management business I stay in fairly close contact with the state biology boys about various wildlife populations, so I know that within the last 2 years 73 different bear have been documented within 5 miles of where I live. I've had them within 200 feet of the house eating persimmons, and I saw one cross the road 3 weeks ago last Saturday, within 3-4 miles of the house. Bears never hibernate here in the Deep South. Neither do Rattlesnakes or Cottonmouths

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    Senior Member NCFUBAR's Avatar
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    Re: Bears out of hibernation

    Quote Originally Posted by woodsrunner View Post
    ... Usually around 300+- pounds is a pretty big bear. I don't think I've killed any over around 250 pounds. Though I have noticed that when you get one up a tree it will be at least a 600 pound one, then drops to about 200 pounds when you shoot it out, but then suddenly gets to be a 1,000 pound bear dragging it out through the laurel thickets!

    ... Neither do Rattlesnakes or Cottonmouths
    Have you ever notice that snakes are bigger also until you actually kill and measure them ... that 6 foot cottonmouth is really only 3 1/2.
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    Senior Member NN's Avatar
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    Re: Bears out of hibernation

    Quote Originally Posted by NCFUBAR View Post
    Have you ever notice that snakes are bigger also until you actually kill and measure them ... that 6 foot cottonmouth is really only 3 1/2.
    Yeah, and in this area a 10 foot alligator is really about 5.5 feet.
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    Re: Bears out of hibernation

    That's true for most snake stories. However, down here we have lots of rattlers and many get over 6 feet long and big around as your arm. And that's after you kill it and actually measure it. before that, they're 9-10 feet long. I personally have only seen one cotton mouth over 5 feet long. It was mounted on a board at a guys house on Bayou Bonfacon right north of Slidell Louisiana where my sister lives. This guy killed it on his pier in front of his house. Other than that the biggest cotton mouth I personally have seen was about 3 feet long. But then this part of Texas has only a moderate number of cotton mouths and they are usually around river bottoms or lake shores.

    All bears here are 1,000 pounds or larger. If you don't believe me ask the zoo keeper!!!
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    Senior Member NCFUBAR's Avatar
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    Re: Bears out of hibernation

    Quote Originally Posted by snake284 View Post
    That's true for most snake stories. However, down here we have lots of rattlers and many get over 6 feet long and big around as your arm. And that's after you kill it and actually measure it. before that, they're 9-10 feet long. I personally have only seen one cotton mouth over 5 feet long. It was mounted on a board at a guys house on Bayou Bonfacon right north of Slidell Louisiana where my sister lives. This guy killed it on his pier in front of his house. Other than that the biggest cotton mouth I personally have seen was about 3 feet long. But then this part of Texas has only a moderate number of cotton mouths and they are usually around river bottoms or lake shores.

    All bears here are 1,000 pounds or larger. If you don't believe me ask the zoo keeper!!!
    I personally saw a cottonmouth in Clewiston, FL that was maybe 5 feet long and as big as your arm. I was driving up a dirt road to a location of US Sugar and saw what I thought was a stock fence post in the road until I got close enough to see it moving. The guide there told me they weren't all that rare but didn't get much bigger either.

    Today I have heard they are getting over run by boas and such that are 10 to 12 feet long ... don't know if that is true but when I was down there most people who spent a good amount of time outside carried a pistol of some type, I ain't talkin' no .380 either!
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    Senior Member breamfisher's Avatar
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    Re: Bears out of hibernation

    The pythons are taking over, and pretty well taking out most of the mammal and bird population.

    http://www.npr.org/2012/01/31/146124...earing-animals
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    Re: Bears out of hibernation

    The best way to estimate an alligators length is to estimate the distance from the nostrils to the eyes. One inch of that distance equates to one foot in length.

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    Re: Bears out of hibernation

    Took the dogs for a run today up Columbia Mt. saw fresh bear tracks in the snow, fresh enough to raise the hackles on the dogs.

    JAY

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    Re: Bears out of hibernation

    to raise the hackles on the dogs.


    I've had that happen to me a few times

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