No matter what you think about bears, when someone says, “I saw a bear,” you listen.
Increasingly, we are beginning to see bears here in eastern North Carolina. They are mostly in the mountains and coastal regions – bears love our coastal pocosin habitat.
In one of the articles I read, eastern North Carolina was said to have the highest Black Bear population of all the states. A 500-pound bear is not at all uncommon and bear biologist, Colleen Olfenbuttel, confirmed that they are seeing “an increased frequency of 700+ pound bears.”
When I was a child we had two gardens: one near the house and one early garden down near the woods. Every year, we saw bear tracks in the early garden. My mother told me that they were moving from the Pocosin (upland swamp) to another habitat. In the fall, the tracks went back the other way.
The small Inner Banks town of Plymouth, NC (located on the way to the Outer Banks) has a Black Bear Festival every June. In June the farmers harvest the winter wheat and the bears come out to forage. Bears also like acorns, frogs, fruit, fish, peanuts, seeds and even small mammals. I love that this bear is so trendy eating the dandelions!
Have you seen a bear? If you want to see one, then be sure to pop in at the North Carolina Black Bear Festival in Plymouth, NC, on the first weekend in June.
There will be tours into the “wild.” One is on Federal land (Pungo Lake area) and the cost is $15 for adults and $10 for children. The other tour type is on private land and is considered one of the best places to see bears. The cost for this tour is $75 for adults and $37.50 for children under 12. There is a special Swamp Buggy tour for $175 per person. These tours on private land are run by Dare to Hyde Outdoor Adventures. Information for the festival tours can be found on the festival website and you can follow NC Black Bear Fest on Facebook.
If you don’t get a chance to attend the festival, Dare to Hyde Outdoor Adventures will arrange a special tour for you. Just give them a call – they are really nice. I plan to take their tour soon. I want to see a Red Wolf and I love riding in Swamp Buggies.
The festival promises “relentless food” and great music – something for everyone. Don’t wait too late to book your place!
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
North Carolina Black Bear Festival
Washington County Travel & Tourism or http://www.ncbearfest.com/festival-activities-saturday.html
20 miles east of BIG MILL B&B
124 miles east of Raleigh, NC
94 miles south of Norfolk, VA
48 miles east of Greenville, NC
Big Mill Bed & Breakfast
Williamston, NC 27892