Next month, I have a story coming out in Virginia Game & Fish on bear hunting in the state. One of the topics I cover is the state's burgeoning bear population, and yesterday I saw yet another example of that.
Friend Doak Harbison and I drove to a Botetourt County farm to bow hunt for deer after leaving our teaching jobs at Lord Botetourt High School. When we reached the gate where we would go our separate ways, Doak and I simultaneously spotted a bear near my tree stand.
The creature stood and watched me as I approached it, and, since I wanted to climb into my tree stand for the evening, I had to scare the bear away from my position. This I did by clapping my hands and yelling at it. After two attempts by yours truly, I finally convinced the bruin to depart.
Son-in-law David Reynolds and I have discussed trying to kill a bear on the Botetourt County land where our respective families live. Given the large bear population, I wouldn't be surprised if at least one of us tags one this year.