In the three years since we've moved to the mountains of NC, we've only seen evidence of the black bears that roam the area....but we've never actually seen a bear.
This region has a long history of hunting bear.....which of course was probably a necessary food source for families in years past. It's difficult for an outsider to see the 'sport' of hunting when today packs of dogs, outfitted with radio collars, are let loose to seek out bears......and run then up trees. Then a dozen or more hunters swarm the area and shoot it down. Hunters do very little work.....the dogs do it.
As you can tell, based on my limited viewpoint, I find this sickening. This morning we witnessed it first hand. The amount of noise coming from what was probably 2 dozen dogs that had cornered a black bear up a tree was deafening. There were certainly more than a dozen hunters standing below and a bunch more spread out nearby waiting for a shot. Fortunately, the owner of the property called the sheriff since the hunters were on private property which ended the stand off.
This is a copyright free photo I grabbed from the internet....but certainly could have been the view I saw today.
Unfortunately, and we are told, surprisingly....the bear came down from the tree and fled. We left while the hunters were still milling around staring at the bear....there was no way I wanted to witness one being shot. About 20 mins. later we got a call from a neighbor telling us the dogs/hunters had crossed into our subdivision and shortly afterwards we heard one really loud shot coming from the mountainside directly above our house.
Next two truck loads of hunters entered our private subdivision and proceeded up the roadway. About 20 mins. later we saw them come down with a bear on the truck's top platform. It is illegal to hunt bear on private property....
We are disturbed by what is surely a natural event for many locals and trying hard to understand their culture.