Where to see bears in north carolina
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Recently I wrote about a very family-friendly spot to see bears in North Carolina. It is a little more remote, meaning it is not on the way to the Outer Banks although it is not too far away. No, if you are heading to the Pungo Unit of Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, it is because you want to see bears and other wildlife. It is a destination, not a stopover. There are an estimated 8, bears in this area. Misadventures and I have been there together over a dozen times and Mr.
Misadventures has been there solo tons more, he visits nearly every week. During those trips together, we have only not seen a bear once. Some posts on this site contain affiliate links, meaning if you book or buy something through one of these links, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you!
Also as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. In particular, over , tundra swan pass through here on their migratory paths in January and February. Plus there are lots of other bird species along with river otters, deer, turtles, and more. The Pungo Unit of Pocosin Lakes NWR is a 12,acre plot of land dedicated to providing a safe haven for migratory birds and waterfowl. There is something to see in Pungo all year round. The species you can expect to see include the following:.
I would argue that the tundra swans are one of the most beautiful species to spy. They can grow up to a staggering 52 inches tall with an extremely large wingspan. However, they tend to be more on the nervous side. Tundra swans are usually seen in huge flocks here. Oh, and they are LOUD! The roads through the refuge form a grid pattern and during the winter when all these wonderful birds are visiting the refuge the inner roads in the grid are closed.
You can park and walk, but you will not be able to drive through. As for the bears, you can see them all year. The refuge is surrounded by acres upon acres of forest. This, as well as the crops growing around it, make for a very bear-friendly habitat. After all, they are the kings of the forest! In the winter, they are dormant, but they are still out and viewable in the morning until about 10 and at sunset they are actually more active at night.
In the spring, moms with cubs emerge so be careful, mommies can be dangerous! You can see the bears through most of the day, although early morning is still the best. Through the summer they much a lot on the crops leading up to the fall when the harvests take place and the fields become a smorgasbord to them!
You can see them from the road if you want, they are visible with the naked eye and binoculars are handy. We often spot a bear, parked, and then follow at a distance of at least 25 yards on foot. You can also walk on trails or through the forest. The bears have dens in the forest and also hang out in the trees. They eat berries, soybeans, and peanuts plenty in Eastern NC.
A portion of the land on the refuge is designated cropland. Cooperative farmers cultivate the fields and a portion of the crops are left for the animals, including the bears. So your best chance of finding bears is near the fields. Depending on the season, the bears will be easier to spot than at other times for example right before they harvest the crops the bears are nearly impossible to see unless they pop their head up — which they do! The refuge is a very sacred place to the Misadventures family.
Since our first encounters with bears in the Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park , we have been enamored by finding bears in the wild. We liked bears before, Mr. We have bear things in our house and have always appreciated them. Seeing them in the wild is very spiritual for us. We knew when we moved to North Carolina that we would see them in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park but had no idea that 3 hours from Raleigh we would be able to see bears all the time.
However the more we explore this refuge the more we have learned about it, or rather the surrounding area. And by writing about it, maybe one day there will be a call to action to stop the practices that needlessly kill these bears. Granted 12,acres is a lot of land, but surrounding that land is ,acres of private hunting land.
I not fundamentally against hunting, I know that is often needed to control populations, that it can be an enjoyable sport, and as a meat-eater, I have no leg to stand on, but after meeting several local visitors, photographers, bird watchers, fishermen and hearing their stories a pattern has emerged.
The guides illegally bait the bears or harass them with dogs to lure or chase them off the refuge. As the area in Eastern North Carolina is rural and there is very little work. Local guides can make a good chunk of money in a short period of time following these illegal practices, so there is zero incentive to stop.
There have been stings in the past to stop this, but it still happens. And it breaks my heart. The river otters are way harder to find. You have to approach by foot and be willing to walk a long way to follow them, but we have seen them in the summer and fall.
I suggest that you try to get down to the Pungo Unit before the sun rises or late afternoon towards sunset to get shots of the wildlife.
Sometimes it does get busy around dusk, the locals seem to all hop in their trucks and take a sunset ride to catch the bears heading for the fields. A pocosin is freshwater wetlands with sandy peat soils. A swamp or marsh. The Pungo Unit has a lot of trees and canals and makes for a fabulous spot to table in hobbies such as bird watching and wildlife photography. There is simply an endless amount of interesting species to discover!
Year-round bear watching and winter waterfowl observation are the two most popular pastimes enjoyed here. But of course, there is plenty of bird and even snake species to go around.
We like to head to the observation platforms that give us views of Pungo Lake it is a great spot for lunch. From the Raleigh area, we take Highway 64 just like you would for Alligator River. Once you arrive in Plymouth, you take a right onto NC South there is a Shell station on this corner. Note: There are NO facilities in the refuge, so if you think you will need a bathroom stop, stay on 64 for about another mile as there is a rest area with very clean restrooms.
Stop there and head back the way you came on 64, and turn left onto NC South. Continue for 11 miles and you will come up to a sign on the corner for the refuge. From here you have 2 choices.
Turn left. There is an official map pdf that does a pretty good job of indicating the roads. There is no food or restaurants once you pass Plymouth so consider packing a picnic which is what we do or eating before you arrive. There are no parking areas and you will be stopping or parking on the side of the road. There are also no trash cans logical except one at the entrance, so be prepared to pack your trash out. How about you?
If not, have I enticed you to check it out? Do tell! For a visual summary of this post, check out my Pungo Unit web story! Your email address will not be published. What amazing photos. My daughter especially loves animals. How cool! Seeing animals in their natural habitat is amazing!
I love seeing bears in the wilderness! We have them where I live but you never see them much, I may just being making a trip to NC soon! This sounds like a lovely place to visit! My cousin lives in North Carolina and we hope to visit her as well as go to the beach when it is safe to travel. Wow, what an amazing place to visit.
I would love to go there with my kids. My kids would love to visit and see all this wildlife. Your photos are amazing, thanks for sharing this great spot. These are the types of places I love to go to. Enjoying nature and all the creatures that go with it. Great post. It is sad about the hunting area nearby though.
Sounds like a beautiful refuge. I was not familiar with it but now would love to visit.
Experience Wildlife Viewing Locations near Maggie Valley, NC – Meadowlark Motel Of Maggie Valley.
Forest Service reminds visitors to practice simple steps to avoid black bear encounters. Bear sightings, while infrequent, are more common in spring. Usually they are seen in more remote areas, but it’s not uncommon to see them in the city of Asheville. Attacks by black bears csrolina extremely rare. We’ve hiked hundreds of miles in the North Carolina mountains and have only seen bears a few times – always running from us!
Typically /14052.txt bear is more afraid of humans. If you ever see bear cubs, get out of ro area immediately. Mama bears are very protective. The average weight of a besrs bear is pounds. Despite their size, black where to see bears in north carolina are very agile tree climbers. During times of danger or threat, bear cubs will take shelter ssee trees. Bears are opportunists by nature. In the wild, they will feed on whatever is readily available.
Food odors and improperly stored garbage often attract bears to campgrounds and picnic sites. Although they are naturally afraid of humans, the animals lose this fear as they begin to associate human scents with the reward of food. Protect yourself and protect the black bears by storing trash and food in safe locations.
For instance, each backcountry campsite and shelter in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has a cable and pulley system which allows backpackers to easily hoist their food and packs out of the reach of black bears, providing a safer environment nears hikers and animals alike.
Based in the city of Asheville, they examine black bear movements via GPS collars to study activity patterns and food behavior. We spotted the above collared bear eating berries high in a tree on Town Mountain. Many “city” crolina are accustom sew people and cars, so they often do not run away.
Skip to main content. Dee form Search. Bear Where to see bears in north carolina in the North Carolina Mountains. If camping in national forest or parks, check with the ranger’s office for any bear advisories. All food and food-related items should be stored at campsites in a hard-sided bear-resistant canister, or in the trunk of a vehicle, except when preparing fo consuming food.
Bear canisters are required in carplina areas in Pisgah National Forest. Do not leave food or garbage inside fire rings, grills at campsite carolin cabin. Wipe tabletops clean. Keep scented items in bear-proof canisters, inside trailers, and in the trunk of a vehicle. Items that are not considered bear proof include ice chests, coolers, boxes, cans, tents, soft-sided campers and passenger areas of vehicles. Never leave food or coolers unattended, even wherr developed picnic areas.
Make noise to avoid surprising a bear. Never approach a bear or other wild animal. Mama bears are very protective of her where to see bears in north carolina. Do not what is in business in the dark. Carry EPA registered bear pepper spray. If a bear is observed nearby, pack up your food and trash immediately and vacate the area ASAP. If necessary, attempt to scare the animal away with loud shouts, by banging pans together, or throwing rocks and sticks at it. Carooina a bear approaches, move away slowly; do not run.
Get into a vehicle or a secure building. Never run away from a bear—back away /18251.txt and make lots of noise. If you are attacked by a black bear, try to fight back продолжение здесь any object available. Act aggressively and where to see bears in north carolina the bear by yelling and waving your arms. Playing dead is not appropriate. For more info, see our Waterfalls and Hiking Safety Tips.
Papa Bear in Linville Gorge. My Trip Planner. Also See. Camping near Asheville in NC Mountains. Leave No Trace in the Outdoors. Check this out! See elk grazing in the where to see bears in north carolina and sometimes walking through town in Cherokee. After being beags to the Before you explore waterfalls and hiking trails in the North Carolina mountains, please see our below safety tips to help you in planning the perfect trip! Waterfall Safety Tips While there are Find a unique fall leaf-looking experience in the North Carolina mountains in Jackson County!
Go bear “hunting” near Cashiers and “shoot” one with your camera.
– Onslow black bears common, biggest in the country, sightings increase
Typically a bear is more afraid of humans. If you ever see bear cubs, get out of the area immediately. Mama bears are very protective. The average weight of a black bear is pounds. Despite their size, black bears are very agile tree climbers. During times of danger or threat, bear cubs will take shelter in trees.
Bears are opportunists by nature. In the wild, they will feed on whatever is readily available. Food odors and improperly stored garbage often attract bears to campgrounds and picnic sites. Although they are naturally afraid of humans, the animals lose this fear as they begin to associate human scents with the reward of food.
Protect yourself and protect the black bears by storing trash and food in safe locations. For instance, each backcountry campsite and shelter in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has a cable and pulley system which allows backpackers to easily hoist their food and packs out of the reach of black bears, providing a safer environment for hikers and animals alike.
Based in the city of Asheville, they examine black bear movements via GPS collars to study activity patterns and food behavior.
We spotted the above collared bear eating berries high in a tree on Town Mountain. If not, have I enticed you to check it out? Do tell! Your email address will not be published. Writing this place to visit in the future. We love going to places like this to see and enjoy nature. Thanks for sharing. I am a little too far up north for this refuge but it does look amazing. I love viewing wildlife but i have never seen bears how exciting. This would be a cool spot to check out. We love to see wildlife.
I love it! I love anything where you can go to take wildlife photos. My family and I love camping and usually make it an annual activity with my in-laws but bears will entirely be a new experience. Thank you for sharing. Would love to go and explore the place someday. Thanks for sharing this amazing place with us, loved it! This is wonderful. I would love to go there someday.
I think my family would really love it. We love seeing all kinds of animals. This will be a great adventure for my family. What a cool place to visit! We love checking out natural areas and wildlife, and this sounds like a wonderful place to see.
Great pictures! Thanks for sharing this. I love going to such places and seeing all the animals. And all the pictures you have clicked are terrific. Thank you for telling us about this place! It would be awesome to see a black bear once in my lifetime! This is indeed an amazing experience! I wish I can go and explore this too! I wanna see actual bears too.
I will bookmark this so that I can go back from time to time especially when things get back to normal and we can easily travel back again. What a beautiful area to go around and see some of the wildlife at the same time! Wow…this place is so cool!
Would love to go hiking to see all the wildlife at a safe distance. What a great place to live within driving distance from! Gorgeous photos, thank you for sharing. Your photos are amazing! Although there are various reasons for the increase in bear sightings, Kent said one of the biggest reasons is the number of hounds on the landscape being used for deer hunting, which makes bears uneasy. Because of this, Kent encourages people to slow down when driving during lower light conditions such as late afternoon through early morning hours.
He said a lot of vehicle collisions can be avoided just by driving a little slower, and that a few extra split seconds to react can be all you need to avoid the animals. Facebook posts about bears being hit, specifically in Richlands, have been common. Richlands resident Angela Whaley spoke about one in particular.
So much building going on, the wildlife are running out of space. Check Out:. Adults: 1 2 3 4. Check Rates. Check In:. Keyword Search Term:. Adults: 1 2 3 4 5. Infants: 0 1 2 3 4 5. Cookies are used for measurement, ads and optimization.
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