Black Bear Sightings More Common In Spring

Monday, June 4, 2018

TWRA receives more calls regarding black bears in the spring than any other time of year. Young bears just leaving their mothers are on their own for the first time and looking for their own territory. Because young bears are wandering and do not know their surroundings, they sometimes roam into suburban areas.  Additionally people are spending more time outdoors this time of year.  Activities such as gardening, hiking, camping and grilling increase the potential for bear sightings.

People are typically unsure of how to live in an area where bears are present. Humans unknowingly attract and provide for wild animals around their homes. Attractants include bird feeders, trash, bird baths and pet food bowls with leftover food to name a few.  These things unintentionally lure bears and other unwanted wildlife. Following a few guidelines can decrease negative interactions and help bears stay wild.

Bears accustomed to foods provided by humans are easily conditioned and pose a greater threat. TWRA biologists and wildlife officers remind Tennesseans of the adage, a fed bear is a dead bear.  The smell of grease on a grill, ripe vegetables in a garden, trash and bird feeders not only attract bears, they provide effortless meals for bears. Once a bear gets this easy meal, it doesn’t forget. 

Dealing with a nuisance bear isn’t as simple as most think. “There is a lot taken into consideration before a bear is moved,” said Mike Beaty, Putnam County wildlife officer. Officials take several things into consideration including females with cubs, the number of times a bear has caused an issue, the level of aggressiveness, the location and the nuisance concern itself. The issue is typically human related. Trash, food attractants and an unwillingness to change their practices aggravate the situation. Beaty continued, “Relocating a conditioned, dangerous bear to another area just moves the dangerous bear and this isn’t an option.” Bears will travel impressive distances to return to an area where they easily found food.  

TWRA Region 3 biologist Ben Layton said, “Euthanization isn’t our goal and it’s disconcerting when we reach this level. Our goal is helping people understand that human behavior most often causes nuisance bear issues. People think they’re protecting something or helping it when they purposefully put out table scraps or leave feeders in their yards. However, they’re worsening a dangerous situation and in the end, it causes harm to wildlife.”

Following a few guidelines can decrease negative interactions and help bears stay wild. Bears accustomed to food provided by humans are easily conditioned and are far more likely to lose their lives.


· If you see a bear in your yard, look large and make a lot of noise, back slowly away.

· Never approach or follow a bear to take photos.

· Do not purposefully feed bears.

· Remove all attractants from your yard including bird feeders, uneaten pet food and ripe fruits or garden vegetables.

· Store grills in a garage or outbuilding.

· Store trash and recycling in bear proof containers.

· Visit, a national site dedicated to reducing human-bear conflicts.

· Ask your neighbors to follow these guidelines. 

Location Changed For Green Thumb Garden Club Of Ooltewah June 25 Meeting

The Green Thumb Garden Club of Ooltewah is featuring Roland and Casandra Cansler MD, consulting rosarians and members of the TriState Rose Society and American Rose Society. They will speak on growing beautiful roses.  The meeting will be held Monday, June 25, 7 p.m. at the Morning Pointe Assisted Living of Collegedale, 9450 Leyland Dr. Following the presentation ... (click for more)

County Agrees To Take Title To Planned Park By W Road

The County Commission on Wednesday voted to take title to land by W Road that is set to be a 200-acre woodland park. A group has been working since 2016 "to create a unique 200+ acre park that spans from Mountain Creek Road and Reads Lake Road all the way up the W Road, officials said. The group stated, "Through our partnerships with the Land Trust for Tennessee, SORBA, the ... (click for more)

Strong Winds Wreak Havoc In Chattanooga; Thousands Lose Power

A storm with wind gusts up to 70 mph did considerable damage in downtown Chattanooga around 2 p.m. on Saturday. Fencing along Miller Park was twisted onto a nearby lane of traffic on Market Street. A sizable tree was split, causing it to fall across Cherry Street between Third and Fourth streets. In Hixson, a tree fell on a house. A number of traffic lights were knocked ... (click for more)

2 Shot In Separate Incidents Early Saturday Morning; 1 Victim Is A Juvenile Girl

Two people were shot early Saturday morning in separate incidents. The first incident was at  3:30 a.m. when the Chattanooga Police Department responded to a person shot on the 1000 block of North Willow Street.  Upon arrival, officers made contact with the victim who was suffering from a gunshot wound.    HCEMS transported the victim to a local hospital ... (click for more)

Protecting Family Homes On Signal Mountain

The Signal Mountain Town Council will vote at their upcoming July 9 meeting on whether to approve a controversial rezoning application regarding property located at the northwestern corner of Albert Road and Taft Highway.  Prior to the rezoning request, Albert Road was the redline on Taft Highway past which commercial development within the town did not extend. This rezoning ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Claude And "Mr. John"

There are some who believe this last week has been a devastating one for our community, losing two of our most beloved “builders” within three days of one another. Claude Ramsey, who spent over 40 years in public service and because of the type man he was never lost a political race, died on Monday after a hard fight with illness at the end. On Thursday we lost “Mr. John” Franklin, ... (click for more)