The Real Bears of East Texas – Texas Parks and Wildlife [Official]

The Real Bears of East Texas – Texas Parks and Wildlife [Official]


(music)>>THE BLACK BEAR IS MAKING A RETURN TO EAST TEXAS. AN ANIMAL THAT WAS ALMOST WIPED OUT DUE TO UNREGULATED HUNTING, AND LOSS OF HABITAT IS SLOWLY MAKING ITS WAY BACK TO THE BOTTOMLAND FORESTS ALONG THE STATES EASTERN BORDER.>>THE BEARS ARE COMING. THE ADJOINING STATES OF ARKANSAS, OKLAHOMA, AND LOUISIANA HAVE A GROWING, EXPANDING BEAR POPULATION AND THEY ARE SPILLING OVER INTO EAST TEXAS AND WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO.>>IT’S A PRETTY NICE LOOKING BOTTOMLAND THROUGH HERE.>>SO NOW A TEAM FROM STEPHEN F. AUSTIN STATE UNIVERSITY IS LOOKING FOR BLACK BEARS.>>WE REALLY HAVE LIMITED INFORMATION ABOUT HOW MANY BEARS WE HAVE IN TEXAS AND WHERE THEY ARE.>>YEAH, THIS LOOKS LIKE REALLY GOOD HABITAT.>>THE ONLY INFORMATION WE’VE HAD UP UNTIL THIS STUDY WAS SIGHTINGS INFORMATION WHERE THE TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE WOULD TRACK DOCUMENTED SIGHTINGS WHERE PEOPLE WOULD SEE BEARS AND REPORT EM.>>HE COMES THROUGH GENERALLY APRIL AND MAY.>>MORE AND MORE EAST TEXANS ARE SEEING BLACK BEARS.>>SO WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO GET A PICTURE OF EM.>>LANDOWNERS REMOTE CAMERAS PROVIDE THE PROOF THAT BEARS ARE HERE.>>YEAH, THIS SHOWS THE BEAR LAYIN, HE’S REALLY CONTROLLING THE CORN THAT I HAD PUT OUT.>>IT ALMOST LOOKS LIKE THAT’S EARLY MORNING AND HE FELL ASLEEP IN THAT CORN PILE TO ME. PARKS AND WILDLIFE STARTING KEEPING DATA ON BLACK BEAR SIGHTINGS IN EAST TEXAS ABOUT 1978. SINCE THAT TIME WE’VE HAD ABOUT 120 GIVE OR TAKE BLACK BEAR SIGHTINGS AND PROBABLY 80% OR MORE HAVE BEEN IN THE LAST 10 TO 20 YEARS.>>RIGHT NOW WE’RE GOING UP INTO THIS AREA.>>GRADUATE STUDENT DAN KAMINSKI GOES OVER THE SEARCH AREA FOR THIS MASSIVE BEAR STUDY.>>I WANNA GET IN THERE AND PUT IN THIS SIGHT TODAY.>>DAN AND HIS TEAM WILL SPEND THREE YEARS SEARCHING THE NECHES AND SABINE RIVER BASINS OF SOUTHEAST TEXAS.>>YEAH THIS AREA IS LOOKING PRETTY GOOD!>>YEAH IT’S ACTUALLY RIGHT UP HERE! WE’RE PRIMARILY INTERESTED IN LARGE CONTIGUOUS, UNDEVELOPED HABITATS, LARGE CHUNKS OF FOREST.>>WE MIGHT BE ABLE TO FIND A GOOD SPOT UP HERE.>>WE’RE KINDA FOCUSING IN ON AREAS WHERE WE’VE HAD A LOT OF HISTORIC SIGHTINGS OF BLACK BEARS OVER THE LAST 30 OR 40 YEARS.>>TO IDENTIFY POSSIBLE BEARS THE TEAM IS USING BARBED WIRE AS PART OF A NEW DNA SAMPLING TECHNIQUE.>>THAT’LL HOLD IT!>>IT’S CALLED A HAIR SNARE TRAP.>>A HAIR SNARE TRAP IS AN ARRAY OF BARBED WIRE STRUNG AROUND THREE OR FOUR TREES,>>DOWN A LITTLE BIT.>>AND AN ANIMAL ACTUALLY HAS TO CROSS THROUGH THE BARBED WIRE TO GET TO THE BAIT, HOPEFULLY LEAVING HAIR SAMPLES ON THE BARBS. THAT LOOKS GOOD.>>AND THE BAIT OF CHOICE, IT’S USDA PRIME COW BLOOD.>>THAT’S A RIPE ONE! THE LURE WE USE IS A THREE TO ONE MIXTURE OF CATTLE BLOOD AND FISH OIL, AH WE LET IT AGE FOR ABOUT FOUR MONTHS AND THEN BOTTLE IT UP INTO INDIVIDUAL ONE LITER BOTTLES.>>100% GUARANTEED MAGGOT FREE!>>WELL I WOULDN’T SAY THAT! (Laughter) ALL RIGHT!>>THE IDEA IS YOU WANT SOMETHING THAT REALLY SMELLS A LOT, IT’S GOING TO PROJECT AN ODOR OVER A LONG DISTANCE.>>THERE YOU GO PERFECT!>>AND FOR DESSERT, CHERRY PIE FILLING.>>WE’RE ALSO TRYING TO APPEAL TO THEIR SWEET TOOTH ESSENTIALLY. NO MATTER WHAT KIND OF, WHAT THEIR PREFERENCE IS, THEY’RE GOING TO FIND SOMETHING TO BRING THEM IN HERE! WE’LL I THINK THAT MIGHT TURN OUT PRETTY WELL, HOPEFULLY WE’LL GET SOMETHING.>>WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO GET HAIR SAMPLES IN THIS BOTTOMLAND ANYWAY!>>IN MONTANA, RESEARCHERS HAVE MOUNTED REMOTE VIDEO CAMERAS TO STUDY GRIZZLY AND BLACK BEARS USING THE SAME HAIR SNARE TRAPS.>>SO WHEN BEARS GET TO THE HAIR TRAPS THEY EITHER HAVE TO GO OVER OR UNDER THE BARBED WIRE AND AS THEY PASS HOPEFULLY LEAVE HAIR ON THE WIRES AND SOME OF THE BEARS WHEN THEY COME INTO THESE PILES THEY’LL ROLL IN THE BLOOD, KINDA LIKE A DOG WOULD ROLL IN A DEAD ANIMAL.>>BEAR RUBS ARE ALSO GOOD SPOTS TO CAPTURE NOT ONLY BEAR BEHAVIOR BUT BEAR DNA AS WELL.>>SO AS BEARS TRAVEL THROUGH THEIR HOME RANGE THEY’LL USE THESE NATURAL RUB OBJECTS AS AN INDICATION TO OTHER BEARS TO SAY HEY I’M IN THIS AREA. AND SO WHAT THE RESEARCHERS IN MONTANA HAVE DONE IS THAT THEY’VE ACTUALLY PUT BARBED WIRE ON THESE NATURAL RUB OBJECTS SO WHEN BEARS RUB ON EM THEY CAN COLLECT GENETIC MATERIAL THROUGH THE HAIR, THROUGH THE HAIR FOLLICLE FOR DNA TESTING.>>BACK IN THE FORESTS OF EAST TEXAS, DAN’S TEAM CONTINUES TO CHECK THE SNARE SIGHTS AND THEY’RE FINDING SOME HAIR. (Machine whizzes)>>WELL HOW DOES IT LOOK?>>I THINK THIS ONE’S A HOG LOOKIN AT THE MEDULLA.>>DAN HAS HUNDREDS OF SAMPLES TO ANALYZE.>>BASED ON THE CUTICULAR STRUCTURE THE SCALING ON THE HAIR, I CAN USE THIS KEY TO HELP IDENTIFY IF WE HAVE A RACCOON OR A HOG OR EVEN A BEAR HAIR SAMPLE HERE.>>IS HOG WHAT YOU’VE SEEN MOSTLY?>>IT’S BEEN PRIMARILY HOG AND RACCOON. (Music)>>INTENSE LOGGING OF BOTTOMLAND HARDWOOD FORESTS IN THE LATE 1800’S WIPED OUT MOST OF THE BLACK BEAR HABITAT IN TEXAS.>>THERE HAS BEEN A GREAT LOSS, AND RECLAMATION IS A MECHANISM TO REGAIN WHAT WE ONCE HAD.>>J.W. SMITH LIVES UP ALONG THE TEXAS OKLAHOMA BORDER AND HAS SEEN BLACK BEARS ON HIS PROPERTY.>>AND THE PECAN CROPS THAT BROUGHT THE BEAR IN HERE.>>YEAH, I WOULD ASSUME.>>HE’S WORKING WITH TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE TO RESTORE SOME OF THE SAVANNAHS… AND BOTTOMLAND HARDWOOD FOREST HABITAT THAT USED TO BE HERE.>>THE EASTERN RED CEDAR THOUGH IT’S NATIVE IT’S REALLY TAKEN OVER. SO IN ORDER TO RESTORE THAT DIVERSE FOREST SAVANNAH THAT SHOULD BE HERE, FIRST OF ALL YOU HAVE TO REMOVE THOSE CEDARS SO THAT THE OTHER THINGS CAN RETURN. SO YOU BASICALLY GO FROM 500 TO 600 ACRES OF POOR HABITAT TO A QUALITY HABITAT.>>YEAH, TO FANTASTIC HABITAT. YEAH THIS RECOVERS AND DOES WELL. (Bird call)>>WE’RE RIGHT NOW IN PECAN BAYOU IN NORTHEAST TEXAS. PECAN BAYOU RUNS PARALLEL TO THE RED RIVER, AND IT’S A HIGH QUALITY HABITAT CORRIDOR. SO ANY HABITAT WORK BEING DONE ADJACENT TO THIS PROVIDES CONNECTIVITY FOR THESE BEARS TO MOVE THROUGH THESE CORRIDORS.>>MAYBE WE CAN SET IT AS AN EXAMPLE, I GUESS I AM REALLY AM GLAD TO SEE THAT THE BEARS COMING BACK AND I HOPE THAT WHAT WE DO IN CONSERVATION AND HABITAT RESTORATION WILL HELP THAT. (music)>>IT’S BEEN THREE YEARS NOW AND DAN’S TEAM HAS COVERED THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF ACRES.>>THE MOST IMPORTANT PART RIGHT NOW IS JUST MAKIN SURE WE GET ALL THE HAIR COLLECTED BEFORE WE DO ANYTHING ELSE.>>THE HAIR SNARE TEAM FOUND HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS OF HAIR SAMPLES.>>WHEN I COME ACROSS THESE HAIR SAMPLES THAT I’M NOT SURE WHAT THEY ARE, IT’S USUALLY BECAUSE THEY’RE UNDER FUR.>>IT TURNS OUT NO SAMPLES PROVED TO BE BEAR HAIR. (music) BUT ONE THING DAN’S LEARNED ON THIS STUDY, THE HABITAT IS HERE, AND THE BLACK BEAR IS COMING BACK TO THESE REMOTE PARTS OF EAST TEXAS.>>IF WE DON’T HAVE BEARS HERE IN EAST TEXAS RIGHT NOW, THAT’S OK BUT WE KNOW THAT THE HABITAT EXISTS FOR EM, IT’S JUST A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE THEY ESTABLISH A SELF SUSTAINING BREEDING POPULATION. (Music)>>WE KNOW THAT THIS IS GOING TO TAKE A WHILE AND IF WE WILL JUST GIVE THEM A CHANCE AND TRY AND LEARN TO LIVE WITH THEM AND NOT HARM THEM I THINK PEOPLE WILL BE PLEASANTLY SURPRISED AT THE OPPORTUNITY TO SEE THEM AND LIVE WITH THEM AGAIN IN THE FORESTS OF EAST TEXAS.

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26 thoughts on “The Real Bears of East Texas – Texas Parks and Wildlife [Official]

  1. I really enjoyed this video. I am glad bears are coming back to Texas. I am also glad that enlightened landowners like J.W. Smith are taking constructive action to create bear habitat.

  2. Yay I love bears!… Wait do I want bears to come back and eat pets and hurt people? Of course I do there bears… 😀

  3. Shame on u blooddy rascals….u r soo lucky that god made you human. ….wht would yu do if we do daah same thing wid u??!! Think idiots….thing before doin dis kinda f things. .. rascalaas

  4. lets add this up! For the last 20-30 years there have been a hundred plus substantiated sightings of Black bears in East Texas. And after three years of setting traps and baits the geniuses SAU didn't get even ONE hair sample for a black bear. Yep, this is the quality of people that Texas Wildlife is known for recruiting and hiring.

  5. For all the self proclaimed "experts" calling into question the study, the students and the TPWD I can only say this. They are DOING something while your keyboard warrior tactics do nothing. I've met a couple of people who have seen the black bears deep in the woods of East Texas. But one sighting in thousands of hours of outdoor activity proves there are DAMN few bears at this time. Both guys that have made sightings saw them at night. These are timid small bears. Not like their bigger cousins in West Texas. The reestablishment of habitat, the getting onboard landowners and outdoorsmen is what will give the bears the CHANCE to make a substantial comeback. TPWD has done some phenomenal work. If all governmental agencies had their track record the USofA would again be a world leader.

  6. keep them trash rummaging calf killing overgrown varmints out of Texas. They got "overhunted" for a reason.

  7. This video is weird.
    Black bears are vegetarians so don’t understand how the cow blood would attract them.

  8. I tell you all dumb stupid dumb forest animal preservations…if im ever out there for any eason and see this giant hairball…im gonna shoot it ..stab it behead it and bury it…if it kills and eats people..its dieing..

  9. So i dont mind them i get it they are wild and its their habitat but what do i do when they come after my cattle since they are protected

  10. The whittle bitty bwaby cub at the end just needs bwunches and bwunches of wuvins and wuvins..

    And a good scratch behind the ears

  11. We have then in north Texas. Wise county, chico, Bridgeport, jacksboro, and a lot of the banks of the trinity river between eagle mountain lake and Bridgeport lake. A man was raising them and they got loose started making babies now they have spread here

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