Word from the Smokies: Smokies cities make strides toward ensuring bear, human safety with new trash bins

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to an estimated 1,900 black bears — about two per square mile — with more than 14,500 of these iconic mammals roaming the four-state mountain region.

Wildlife Commission approves bear season expansion, deer season shift

During its Feb. 22 meeting, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission voted to adopt a slate of proposed rule changes for the coming year, including a pair of controversial measures that will shift the season dates for white-tailed deer and significantly expand the season length for black bear in the mountain region. 

Shifting seasons: Hunters weigh in on proposed bear, deer rule changes

More than 100 people came to a public hearing Thursday, Jan. 11, at Haywood Community College in Clyde, that took input on what would be the first changes to black bear hunting season dates since the 1970s — and opinions were mixed.

Expanded bear season proposed for WNC

A significantly expanded bear hunting season and loosened rules about bait usage are among the rule changes the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is proposing for 2024-2025. 

Gorges campground closed after bear encounter

The campground at Gorges State Park in Transylvania County is closed through Nov. 16 after a bear attacked an RV last week. 

Parkway section closed after visitors feed young bear

Eight miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway near Craggy Gardens is closed after multiple visitors were reported feeding and attempting to hold a young bear in recent weeks at Lane Pinnacle Overlook.

Rich Mountain Road reopens after bear scratch

After a monthlong closure enacted when a bear scratched a park visitor, Rich Mountain Road in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has reopened.

Bear scratches Smokies visitor, causing road closure

 Rich Mountain Road in the Cades Cove area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is closed to all traffic until further notice after a bear scratched a visitor over the weekend.

Pick up tips for living with bears

Learn how to live safely with black bears during a program at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 10, at the Macon County Public Library in Franklin.

N.C. logs record 2022 bear harvest

A record number of black bears were killed during the 2022 bear hunting season, according to records from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

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