Since 2009, just four southern Oklahoma counties have allowed black bear hunting: Latimer, Le Flore, Pushmataha, and McCurtain. Black bear hunting will now be permitted in all areas south of Interstate 40 and east of U.S. 69 during archery and muzzleloader seasons. Bear hunting remains illegal in Cleveland and McClain counties.
If you come across a bear in Oklahoma, stay where it is safe to do so and call 911 or the local wildlife department. Do not approach any bear! Bears are dangerous if approached or attacked.
Bears are protected by law, but that doesn't mean they don't pose a threat. They can weigh up to 400 pounds and grow to be 13 feet long. Their large size and aggressive behavior make them potential victims too. Since bears cannot speak, we must use their actions to determine how threatening they may be. If they are resting peacefully, there is no need for concern. However, if a bear is acting aggressively, it may be necessary to defend yourself.
Black bears are typically shy animals that prefer not to hurt anyone. However, if pushed to the edge of a cliff or cornered, they will defend themselves. It is important to remember that bears are still animals, not robots, and therefore act according to their natural behaviors. A bear that has been wounded or is feeling threatened may attack to finish off an injured animal or someone who has encroached on its territory.
In Oklahoma, there is no hunting season for mountain lions, although it has been permitted to shoot the animal if a person feels endangered or is defending cattle or pets since 2007. Otherwise, they can be killed in the same manner as other wildlife.
Mountain lions are predatory mammals that like to climb trees and cross-country travel to find food and shelter, usually hiding out in remote areas where humans don't live or go hunting. They're not interested in attacking unless threatened or attacked themselves. If you come across a mountain lion, stay calm and back away slowly if it shows any sign of fearfulness; speak in a low voice and avoid eye contact. Throw rocks, make noise, spray perfume on plants (the cat will likely leave if it smells something it doesn't like), and call police or wildlife officials.
If you have a gun and happen upon a mountain lion, you have two options: You can try to scare it off by shooting at it with your rifle, or you can try to fight it face-to-face. Neither option is recommended. If the mountain lion attacks you, try to remain still and quiet while fighting its aggressiveness with your arms and legs. Try to get away from it as quickly as possible because it will continue to follow you until it finds something to eat.
Bears are protected by law because of their value as a resource. They help control the population of other animals that can be found in forests across the country. Without this control, these other animals could eventually cause many problems for humans who live in close proximity to bears. For example, bears that find themselves without food often look for others to eat, which can lead them to search for human food. This is why it is important not to provide any kind of incentive for a bear to come into contact with people.
If you see a bear in Ohio, stay where it can see you and don't run. Make some noise by shouting or banging objects (not recommended if there are children around). If the bear doesn't leave, call the police. Never try to force the animal away from yourself or your property; they may feel threatened and might fight back.
In conclusion, bears are valuable resources that deserve our protection. Although they may appear dangerous, they are usually afraid of people and will avoid contact whenever possible.