Annual "bear" reminder and cautions from LDWF - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Annual "bear" reminder and cautions from LDWF

Posted: Updated:

BATON ROUTE, La., (KNOE 8 News) - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has issued a reminder to hunters as they head into the woods this fall that bears are actively foraging at this time of year in preparation for the winter.  Also, there are some tips for any residents who might see or stumble onto a black bear.

Louisiana black bear populations throughout the state are growing and their ranges are expanding, as noted in record numbers of trail camera photos capturing bear activity at deer feeders. Bears are foraging more actively at this time of year in order to gain the body weight necessary to survive food shortages during winter.  Corn is a bear favorite and when placed in areas inhabited by bears it will attract them.

MINIMIZE ATTRACTING BEARS BY:

  • Planting food plots instead of feeding corn.  For those hunters that prefer to feed, it is advisable to switch to soybeans.  Switching from corn to soybeans may be enough to drastically decrease the number of visits by bear(s) to a particular site.
  • Hanging your feeder out of reach of bears.  A feeder should be hung at least 8 feet above the ground and 4 feet away from the tree or pole used to suspend the feeder.
  • Using spin-broadcast type feeders.  Bears are less likely to forage for one grain at a time, as dispersed on the ground from a spin-broadcast feeder.  A pile of feed corn or rice bran is more likely to attract bears for repeat feedings.  

HOW TO HANDLE BLACK BEAR ENCOUNTERS

It is important for hunters to educate themselves about bears and bear behavior and   take the proper precautions while in the woods.  Younger hunters should be coached on how to respond to different types of bear encounters and provided with bear spray and taught how to use it.

  • Black bears are extremely inquisitive and will sometimes follow a hunter's tracks to a deer stand.  It is not uncommon for black bear to place their front feet on the ladder and peer up into the stand in an attempt to discover what's there.  This situation can usually be resolved by standing and moving about on the stand and speaking to the bear to allow him to see and hear you.  Once their curiosity is satisfied, bears will usually move on. 
  • A hunter moving through thick brush will occasionally come upon a black bear nest.  Female bears readily use ground nests to give birth to their cubs.  This occurs during the den season (late December through April).  Ground nests are most often located in slash piles, felled tree tops, blackberry thickets and thick palmetto.  This type of encounter will usually cause the female to run away from her nest.  The cubs will bawl loudly in protest at being abandoned.  This vocalization will quickly bring the female back as soon as you leave the area.  DO NOT approach or handle the cubs.
  • If you see a black bear in the woods from a distance, detour around the bear.  If necessary, go back the way you came and access your intended destination from another direction.
  • If you encounter a bear at close range, raise your hands above your head to appear larger than you are, speak in a normal voice to allow the bear to identify you as human, and back away slowly until it is safe to turn and walk away -- DO NOT RUN.
  • The best tip for insuring hunter safety and peace of mind in the woods is to carry bear spray. It is readily available for purchase on vendor websites, easy to use, and is the most effective bear deterrent available.  There are several brands available. Be sure to buy a product labeled "bear spray" and keep it readily accessible at all times.  Do not substitute mace or pepper spray intended for humans.  Most brands of bear spray come with a belt holster designed to keep the canister in a convenient location.  Bear spray buried in your backpack does not do you any good.  Another good option for temporarily chasing a bear out of an area is to use specialized pyrotechnics called siren screamer or "screamers", for short.  They are fired from a hand-held, pistol style launcher and make a high pitched "screaming" noise as they fly through the air. They are available for purchase via vendor websites.
  • In the unlikely event that a black bear attacks, DO NOT PLAY DEAD; that is a technique used for grizzly bear attacks.  Fight back with anything available (sticks, rocks, knives, etc.) as black bear attacks have successfully been stopped when the person fought back violently.

KNOW YOUR TARGET

Hunters are also reminded that feral hogs and black bears can look very similar, especially in low light conditions.  A hog's eyes will not reflect light or "shine", but a bear's eyes will "shine" when viewed with a flashlight.  It is critical to always know your target and what's beyond it before pulling the trigger.  Killing a Louisiana black bear is against federal and state law and can result in serious fines, jail time or both.  All Louisiana black bear deaths also hinder LDWF's progress towards successfully delisting the species.

LIVING WITH BEARS

Increasing numbers of bears and expanding bear range means many more Louisiana hunters will encounter bears while hunting.  For hunters who do not have experience with bears, encounters with bears can result in some anxious moments.  It is important that hunters understand that in most circumstances black bears are not aggressive toward humans.  They are typically curious and will usually move away once they are aware of human presence.

In many areas of the United States, including the southeast, hunters and bears successfully co-exist.  The increasing presence of bears in Louisiana's wildlife community will require that hunters learn about bear behavior and make some adjustments in the way they feed deer.   Bears are adding a new dimension to the hunting experience and one that will be positive if hunters adapt to their presence.  It is the goal of the department's black bear program to restore sustainable bear populations and allow regulated hunting of bears in the future.

To report a bear incident or problems with bears call 1-800-442-2511.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Head-on crash kills Rayville man

    Head-on crash kills Rayville man

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:41 AM EDT2014-04-23 15:41:23 GMT
    RAYVILLE, La. (KNOE 8 News) -On April 22, 2014, at 8:00 p.m., Troopers assigned to Louisiana State Police Troop F responded to a two vehicle fatal crash on Whitehall Road south of Louisiana Highway 15.
    RAYVILLE, La. (KNOE 8 News) -On April 22, 2014, at 8:00 p.m., Troopers assigned to Louisiana State Police Troop F responded to a two vehicle fatal crash on Whitehall Road south of Louisiana Highway 15.
  • Vieux Carre put up for auction

    Vieux Carre put up for auction

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 12:15 PM EDT2014-04-23 16:15:30 GMT
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - The Vieux Carre store and restaurant on North 18th street is closed down, and the entire moveable contents are up for auction.
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - The Vieux Carre store and restaurant on North 18th street is closed down, and the entire moveable contents are up for auction.
  • Dean Hart, Jr. given bail

    Dean Hart, Jr. given bail

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 5:02 PM EDT2014-04-23 21:02:22 GMT
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - A judge has given Dean Hart, Jr. the opportunity to post bail with conditions.Our reporter is in the courtroom, and we will update this story as it comes available.
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - A judge has given Dean Hart, Jr. the opportunity to post bail with conditions.Our reporter is in the courtroom, and we will update this story as it comes available.
  • Corrections officer arrested for sexual misconduct with inmate

    Corrections officer arrested for sexual misconduct with inmate

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 3:00 PM EDT2014-04-23 19:00:59 GMT
    DELHI, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at approximately PM, Richland Parish Sheriff’s personnel received a complaint of sexual misconduct from an offender incarcerated at Richland Parish Detention Center.
    DELHI, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at approximately PM, Richland Parish Sheriff’s personnel received a complaint of sexual misconduct from an offender incarcerated at Richland Parish Detention Center.
  • Dean Hart, Jr. to face judge in bond hearing on Wednesday

    Dean Hart, Jr. to face judge in bond hearing on Wednesday

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 12:01 PM EDT2014-04-23 16:01:01 GMT
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) -It's been nearly four months since a stand off in Monroe lead to the arrest of Dean Hart, Jr.
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) -It's been nearly four months since a stand off in Monroe lead to the arrest of Dean Hart, Jr.
  • Monroe Police Receive a Radio Upgrade

    Monroe Police Receive a Radio Upgrade

    Wednesday, March 6 2013 7:34 PM EST2013-03-07 00:34:02 GMT
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Every time Monroe Police Officers get into their patrol cars and radio for help, they'll know they are being heard. It's because of a new and better radio system.
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Every time Monroe Police Officers get into their patrol cars and radio for help, they'll know they are being heard. It's because of a new and better radio system.
  • Woman runs over & kills boyfriend's father

    Woman runs over & kills boyfriend's father

    Monday, April 21 2014 1:39 PM EDT2014-04-21 17:39:59 GMT
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - A woman is arrested after she allegedly tried to run down her boyfriend and his father, killing the father.
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - A woman is arrested after she allegedly tried to run down her boyfriend and his father, killing the father.
  • Man killed while working under car

    Man killed while working under car

    Monday, April 21 2014 1:43 PM EDT2014-04-21 17:43:30 GMT
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - A man is crushed and killed when the jack holding up the car he was working on slipped.
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - A man is crushed and killed when the jack holding up the car he was working on slipped.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KNOE. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.