The Black Bear Spot Report is a reporting survey to help the Appalachia Georgia Friends of the Bears track Black Bear populations. If you spot a bear, please use the “Enter Black Bear Sighting” button below to add a marker on the map where you spotted the bear. The Black Bear Spot Report form includes providing your name and some contact information, in case we have further questions. We will not post the pictures on the website or social media unless we obtain permission for it from you as provided in the reporting form.
FACT: Black Bears den at different times throughout North America because of three factors: the availability of food, the photoperiod, and temperature. First and foremost is the availability of food. Food drives its life and behavior whether it is awake or asleep. When God’s naturally provided food disappears then their body tells them to go to sleep until spring.
A hard mast failure and human-provided food will cause bears to not go into hibernation. The failure to get enough food to stored fat forces a starving bear to continue to forage. Conversely, the availability of man provided food, i.e. trash, wildlife and birdfeeders, and pet food, will keep their bodies from triggering the need to hibernate.
Fact: A person’s chance of incurring serious injury from a charging bear doubles when bullets are fired versus when bear pepper spray is used. Those injured defending themselves with bear pepper spray experienced shorter attacks and less severe injuries than those who chose to use firearms (US Fish and Wildlife Service). Bears are actually attracted to pepper spray residue if it is sprayed on the ground or on objects. Never spray it around a tent or on yourself. When used defensively, pepper spray must be sprayed directly in the attacking bear’s eyes or nose.
Fact: Current evidence suggests that menstruation does not increase the likelihood of an attack by a black or grizzly bear, but tampons are recommended over pads. They may be disposed of by burning and then packing out the remains. Bears are attracted to anything that smells interesting such as toothpaste, deodorant, aftershave, perfume, soap, etc.
Fact: Removing the bear and not the attractant will only create an opportunity for another bear to move in, creating a vicious cycle of conflict and killing.
After contacting both Georgia DNR and BearWise.org, we identified a national need for Black Bear safety material available in Spanish. We had one of our pieces translated into Spanish and shared it with the Georgia DNR, BearWise.org, the National Park Conservation Association, the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, and the U.S. Forest Service – Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest for their use.
In cooperation with our partners, the Georgia DNR, GDOT, and the Gilmer County Sheriff’s Department, we completed a study of Black Bear road-kills in Georgia and specifically, Georgia Highway 515 between Ellijay and Blue Ridge. As a result, our study was validated and GDOT emplaced the first Bear Crossing signs in North Georgia.