How ironic that a "bear attack" story would make the front page of the Citizen-Times on opening day of bear-hunting season! With the added incitement of constantly reviewing the (few) bear incidents and the declaration of record bear populations, one wonders why the Citizen-Times has declared war on Western North Carolina's most magnificent mammal. Only a few month's earlier, the C-T's Adventure of the Week feature encouraged people to bring their buckets and pick blueberries … near Craggy Gardens. Hundreds of people collected bear food, and then, when a hungry bear attempted to take some picnic food and the area had to be closed, a bear was euthanized and it was front-page news again.
With exploding development, bad press, a food supply taken by people and hunting season, these are hard times for bears. I can only hope that N.C. Wildlife Commissioner Mike Carraway's comments were slanted by the reporter. It disgusts me to think Carraway would willingly participate in this campaign. The truth is that most people have never seen a bear in the wild, not even here in WNC. But we are far more likely to encounter the stray bullets during hunting season as we hike, bike, garden or just step outside to search for our daily newspapers.
Note of caution: Wear blaze orange if you have to go outside. Post "No hunting" signs on your property. Report baiting. And good luck.
— Anna James