If it’s an Arkansas black bear, it takes its own sweet time the fine autumn day strolling around on Puddin Hill in Northwest Arkansas at about 400 meters elevation. Puddin Hill is found east of Mt. Sequoya near Fayetteville. This bear is likely looking for grubs and berries and it’s looking the put on some winter fat.
It is not widely known, but Arkansas in the 1860s was known as the “Bear State”, due to the population of American Black Bears. They are usually dark brown, cinnamon, or black, and make their home in the limestone crevices found in the Ozark and Ouachita Mountains of Northwest Arkansas, as well as in the forests and swampy lands farther south.
The bears were hunted almost to extinction, but in the 1950’s the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission brought some in from Minnesota to make their home in Ouachita National Park. They loved it! This young bear is could have been following the West Fork or the Town Fork of the White River, just SE of the City of Fayetteville. The White River starts in the mountains near Winslow, Arkansas, and runs north along Rt. 71 into the Beaver Dam Recreational Area. Some of the best river rafting is on Arkansas Rivers. This stretch is Class I-II. The most famous kayaking is the Buffalo River in NE Arkansas. Bears are usually nocturnal to avoid humans, but when on the move after mating or when feeding to fatten up for the winter, bears like this one can be spotted in Arkansas.