A black bear that was shot and killed Friday in DeKalb County was probably not the same bear seen Wednesday in the Rock Island area of Warren County, a TWRA official says.
“There’s more than one bear,” said TWRA representative Mime Barnes. “This time of year young males are transient. They are looking for new territory. They stay with their mothers for the first year then they look for new territory. There’s always the chance this was the same bear, but I doubt it.”
The TWRA cited a Smithville man on Friday for killing a black bear on his property on Old Snow Hill Road. According to the Smithville Review, Jim Beshearse was not arrested but cited to appear in court.
The TWRA says there is no open season for killing black bears in Warren or DeKalb counties.
TWRA agent Tony Cross responded to the shooting and said he believes the man had no intent of killing a bear when he left his house. “I think he just shot before he thought of another solution,” said Cross. However, state laws were violated and the man was charged with shooting big game out of season.
Barnes described black bears as the “quintessential animal of East Tennessee.” She says black bears were once limited to around 10 or 11 counties in East Tennessee, but the population is slowly spreading.
If encountering a bear or another wild animal, it’s important to try to distance yourself from the animal as soon as possible without turning and running away. Maintain eye contact and back away at a steady pace in the direction from which you came. Most wild animals don’t want any contact with humans so distance equals safety.
For more safety tips, the TWRA recommends www.bearaware.com.