A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Prevention may ease bear issues for Kentucky residents; most problems with bears center around food

The arrival of spring means bear activity is on the rise in Kentucky. An increase in activity can also mean an increase in bear complaints for those living in areas with established populations. For those experiencing bear problems, it may be easier to change your own habits, rather than trying to change the bear’s habits. Most bear problems center around food, according to John Hast, bear program...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Changes to Kentucky’s bear season reflect expansion of population

Major changes were made to this year’s black bear hunting season to reflect expanding bear populations throughout Eastern Kentucky. In 2017, for the first time, the state’s two distinct bear populations will be managed in three zones. There will be a new muzzleloader season in the 22 counties of Zone 3, and nonresidents may now buy permits to hunt bears. “Bear populations have been expanding...

Kentucky by Heart: A close encounter of the bear kind will put a little pep back into your step

By Steve Flairty KyForward columnist In the summer of 2002, I decided to indulge my hiking interest in a big way. Some might call it a crazy way. I drove down from Lexington to Cumberland Gap, stayed overnight in the adjacent town of Middlesboro at the Holiday Inn Express, then set out the next morning on a long hike from Pinnacle Overlook to Hensley Settlement. The details, admittedly, are a little...

Keep the Wild in Wildlife: Residents urged to work together to prevent problems with bears

John Hast has a word of advice for anyone tempted to throw doughnuts or food scraps to a bear: Don’t. “We’ve found that time and time again, a fed bear is a dead bear,” said Hast, the bear program coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “A bear that is used to human food, whether it’s scraps or garbage, begins to lose its fear of people. And that’s where...