My first North Dakota bear observation was in the Turtle Mountains north of Dunseith, in an area where it likely would not surprise you to see a black bear.
The first eagle I witnessed in the wild was years ago in Logan County, at a time when you’d stop and marvel at the sheer size and beauty of our national symbol.
Now we have a few hundred active eagle nests across the state in places that would have seemed unlikely 30 years ago.
We also have mountain lion, otter and fisher seasons. These are furbearer species that were either rare on nonexistent in North Dakota during that same time frame.
The same goes for black bears. While their resident or transient numbers would not warrant a hunting season any time soon, the Game and Fish Department is interested in finding out when people see them in the state.
“Black bears are quite conspicuous and rarely mistaken for other species,” said Game and Fish furbearer biologist Stephanie Tucker. “Reports from the public are our primary means to keep track of black bears, so the information is valuable.”
Game and Fish confirms 12-15 black bears in the state each year, Tucker said, with most documented in the north or east portions of the state. However, she said they have the potential to turn up anywhere.
Anyone who observes a black bear is asked to report it online at the Game and Fish website, gf.nd.gov.
Read the full story in your Friday, April 24th Times-Record. Purchase a paper copy at the TR office, local gas stations, grocery stores or an electronic edition online at www.times-online.com.