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A bear future in Northumberland?

Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 8:00 am

The woods  of Northumberland County are blessed with a variety of wildlife, including those that have a habit of just passing through.
While the comings and goings of migratory waterfowl and fish such as Spanish mackerel and bluefish are somewhat predictable, there is another that keeps the Northern Neck guessing.
Virginia’s black bear population continues to thrive, and in some places where bear-human conflicts are on the increase, they thrive in overdrive.
That certainly is not the current situation in our neck of the woods. Given the great habitat that Northumberland and its surrounding counties have, who knows what the future could bring if bears were to decide our woody abodes would make a great year-round home?

Just passing through?

Just before Christmas, I thought I saw a young bear either climbing up or down a tree as I drove by a large patch of woods in Richmond County.
It could’ve been something else or nothing at all, but this locale is not far from an area where bear sightings have been confirmed in previous years.
Instead of winter (and this close to hibernation time), bear sightings in the Northern Neck seem to follow and peak with the  transition of young male “boars” when momma bear decides it’s time for them to take off on their own.
These yearlings to 2-year-olds have been known to travel over a hundred miles as they meander across landscapes from the mountains through the piedmont and even into the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula areas.
What allows them to reach the Lower Northern Neck is often determined by when and where the…