Summertime is the best time to slip off by yourself or load up the family and go looking for bears. We’ve got a great black bear population in eastern NC but many people have never seen one. They’re more accessible than you realize, you just have to know where to look. If you have permission to be on private land, great, but if not, no problem.
Alligator River and Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuges are full of bears and have folks that will tell you or show you when, where and how to best see them. 5 p.m. to dark is prime time. You need good binoculars and a camera but stay in your car if you don’t want to get eaten, not by the bears, by the yellow flies. Bears are skiddish, yellow flies ain’t!
A couple of weeks ago I walked to a feeder on a private farm and was able to take a few pictures of a bear at 30 steps (not recommended unless you’re familiar with the bears in the area). Monday evening I took the girls to River Road in East Lake and we saw 7 in about 30 minutes. It’s not out of the question to see 15 or 20 in a couple of hours.
That’s more bears than most people will see in a lifetime, for me it’s great family time, something different to do, and very unique to eastern NC. Email me if you’d like more info.