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#6428055 - 08/28/16 01:10 PM Black bears in Texas.
Chunky Monkey Offline
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Registered: 12/03/14
Posts: 1578
I read this article and find it a shame that we destroyed the black bear population in Texas. How many of you would like to see it make a full rebound?


This medium-sized bear, black to brown in color, with rather long coarse fur, is considered shy and retiring. A typical adult black bear weighs between 200 and 400 pounds, with some reaching 500 pounds. Preferring woodland and forested habitats, they formerly roamed the majority of Texas in considerable abundance. Although deemed carnivores, black bears are more accurately described as omnivores, showing considerable variation in their diets. Along with an affinity for honey, insects, nuts, acorns, berries, roots, and forbs, black bears will take fish, carrion, and camp garbage. Occasionally, a stressed or otherwise ornery individual may take young deer or small livestock - an infrequent behavior that was a contributing factor to the bear's eventual demise in Texas.
It is largely believed that Texas bears were entirely gone from the state by the 1950s. The last documented strongholds occurred in the Davis and Chisos Mountain ranges of far West Texas, and a rumor of bear sightings in the wild woodlands of eastern Matagorda County was never dismissed. As a cheap and readily available source of meat for ranch/plantation workers and hounds, as a trophy hunt for both size and number killed, and to prevent depredation of livestock (primarily hogs, sheep, and goats), these animals experienced unsustainable hunting pressure through the 19th and early part of the 20th century. Plateau's Beryl Armstrong shares the story of John Leakey founding a sawmill in Rio Frio in the late 1870s. Leakey hired a local hunter to provide meat for the workers until they could get a livestock operation established. During the course of a year, the hunter brought in 51 bears, after which bears were never again seen in abundance in the area. A 1945 report from the Texas Game, Fish, and Oyster Commission (precursor to Texas Parks and Wildlife) illustrates the yearly tradition of the Womble Family. From 1850-1860, Mr. Womble engaged in a yearly bear hunt in the Devil's Pocket area of southeastern Wharton County. Over a couple of days, Mr. Womble would hunt and kill enough bears to fill a wagon.
Killing a bear for fun or for the thrill was quite normal, and this behavior continued till today. Little to no control was exercised in the management of bears until it was virtually too late.
1973, restrictions on bear hunting were put in place and, not until a decade later in 1983, was hunting bear completely prohibited.
Finally, after reports of infrequent sightings and a five year investigation by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, black bear were placed on the state endangered species list, currently listed as threatened. The federally threatened Louisiana sub-species, formerly found in east Texas, offered additional federal protection by the Endangered Species Act. These protections make it illegal and punishable by jail and/or fine to kill, harm, or harass all bears in the state of Texas.

Reports of reestablishment in west Texas began in the mid 1980s and, in 1988, photographic documentation of a sow with cubs near Emory Peak in Big Bend National Park provided the undeniable evidence. With these occurrences, black bear could again be counted present on the wildlife roll call of Texas. In the beginning, the majority of bear sightings on both sides of the state were likely of nomadic young males wondering in search of productive forage sites but, with the documented presence of females and young, support for a self-perpetuating west Texas population grew.
Black bear sightings within the western Edwards Plateau region are not new, but have been primarily confined to the area surrounding Del Rio. Relatively recently, many reports and verified observations have occurred north and east of the area.
A black bear was recently killed near Mountain Home by a man who reported he felt threatened for himself and his dogs. This particular bear was a young 103-pound male that had been a welcome guest of some of the local landowners. Necropsy results show that its last meal consisted of prickly pear tuna (cactus fruit) and a feral hog.
Another bear was killed this year in an auto collision near Comstock, and additional bear sightings have been confirmed recently near Menard, Leaky, and Kerrville. These sightings are more frequent during drought years as younger individuals search for steady food sources and territories. Meteorological conditions appear to serve as the fuel for migrations, whereas surplus animals, in an area of pre-established occupation, are the engine.
Wildlife biologists have been tracking observations throughout the Edwards Plateau, collecting photographs, estimating their numbers, and even tracking the movement of individuals. Many challenges remain as long as people can just claim to feel threatened to kill a bear.
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Originally Posted By: CRAnderson52
My wiener likes them too.


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#6428074 - 08/28/16 01:22 PM Re: Black bears in Texas. [Re: Chunky Monkey]
Homer Jay Online   content
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 01/01/12
Posts: 4398
Loc: Fort Worth
I got this pic of a bear on my trail cam in Throckmorton County. Glad I never ran into this monster face to face!

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#6428102 - 08/28/16 01:42 PM Re: Black bears in Texas. [Re: Homer Jay]
SapperTitan Online   content
Taking Requests

Registered: 11/17/10
Posts: 20568
Loc: Killeen/Ft Hood, TX
Originally Posted By: Homer Jay
I got this pic of a bear on my trail cam in Throckmorton County. Glad I never ran into this monster face to face!
Nice pig
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#6428107 - 08/28/16 01:51 PM Re: Black bears in Texas. [Re: Chunky Monkey]
Chunky Monkey Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 12/03/14
Posts: 1578
lol
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Originally Posted By: CRAnderson52
My wiener likes them too.


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#6428145 - 08/28/16 02:22 PM Re: Black bears in Texas. [Re: Chunky Monkey]
SnakeWrangler Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 01/22/11
Posts: 27088
Loc: Fairfield, TX
Pig...bear....same difference.... banana2
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Now that food has replaced sex in my life, I can't even get into my own pants.

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#6428152 - 08/28/16 02:25 PM Re: Black bears in Texas. [Re: SnakeWrangler]
glens Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 02/09/08
Posts: 9193
Loc: Lake LBJ, Granite Shoals
Single Humped Wooley Camel!

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#6428176 - 08/28/16 02:40 PM Re: Black bears in Texas. [Re: glens]
Choctaw Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 11/13/04
Posts: 5167
Loc: Texoma
Originally Posted By: glens
Single Humped Wooley Camel!


No such thing and you know it. That's a black panther in its winter coat. lizard
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#6428203 - 08/28/16 03:15 PM Re: Black bears in Texas. [Re: Chunky Monkey]
jetdad Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 1032
Loc: Grayson county
Looks like a miniature Yak.

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#6428233 - 08/28/16 03:46 PM Re: Black bears in Texas. [Re: Chunky Monkey]
Homer Jay Online   content
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 01/01/12
Posts: 4398
Loc: Fort Worth
I'm telling you guys, that was a bear! We heard all sorts of strange grunts in the night and starting finding really unusual scat at about the same time of year that pic was taken.

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#6428302 - 08/28/16 04:39 PM Re: Black bears in Texas. [Re: Homer Jay]
Chunky Monkey Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 12/03/14
Posts: 1578
Originally Posted By: Homer Jay
I'm telling you guys, that was a bear! We heard all sorts of strange grunts in the night and starting finding really unusual scat at about the same time of year that pic was taken.


That was me.
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Originally Posted By: CRAnderson52
My wiener likes them too.


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#6428306 - 08/28/16 04:42 PM Re: Black bears in Texas. [Re: Chunky Monkey]
Creekrunner Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 10/19/12
Posts: 8628
Loc: Bexar/Gillespie, hunt Terrell
Plenty of bear sightings around a lease I was on a few years ago, not far from my present lease, between Sheffield and Sanderson. Sow and cubs tore the hell out of a plastic barrel feeder.

Now, as far as Chunky Monkey's toilet habits, I have no comment.
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#6428455 - 08/28/16 06:36 PM Re: Black bears in Texas. [Re: Chunky Monkey]
Chunky Monkey Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 12/03/14
Posts: 1578
They say that they are definitely making a comeback in west Texas. Now my only ways to get my kicks is to sneak into camps, grunt, do my business and see if anyone here comments about it.


Edited by Chunky Monkey (08/29/16 10:55 AM)
_________________________
Originally Posted By: CRAnderson52
My wiener likes them too.


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#6428464 - 08/28/16 06:44 PM Re: Black bears in Texas. [Re: Chunky Monkey]
scalebuster Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 11/25/10
Posts: 2410
I don't think the big goat and sheep ranchers are going to let them get too prolific in Terrell county. I know of several that were killed down there 20 years ago by wetback ranch hands, instructed to kill them on sight.

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#6428489 - 08/28/16 06:58 PM Re: Black bears in Texas. [Re: Chunky Monkey]
Michael W. Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 11/22/10
Posts: 3278
Loc: Central Texas / Comal County
About 40 years ago I hunted in McMullen county. Seemed kind of strange that the game laws for that county said no open season
on bears. Hunted there for 15 years and no one ever saw a bear.
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#6428543 - 08/28/16 07:35 PM Re: Black bears in Texas. [Re: Chunky Monkey]
Ramsey Offline
Pepe' Le Pew

Registered: 12/12/11
Posts: 11635
Loc: Grayson County
Oklahoma bear, they are hell on our feeders. Come around every September
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