The protection and reintroduction of the black bear into Mississippi has been a huge success! I’ve heard stories of black bear all along the creek bottoms all over the state – especially near Natchez and Monticello.
I’ve seen photos of a bear in a deer feeder near Natchez and several years ago I saw a dead bear on the side of the interstate near Brookhaven.
Some friends have even told us of seeing bear sign throughout our camping areas near Hazlehurst.
For 2-3 generations, bears have been only the remotest of concern when camping in Mississippi, but in the past few years they are becoming more of a common issue to understand and prepare for.
The Bear-muda Triangle
The Bear-muda Triangle is an old trick from Philmont Scout Ranch, where bears are more of an issue. It is a great way to remember to set up your camp so that you are less likely to attract bears and other wildlife into your camp.
The basic idea is to separate your sleeping site from the other areas of your camp that are more likely to be interesting to bears – namely the food/cooking area, and the privy.
- Cluster your group’s tents and/or hammocks together upwind from where you plan to put your cooking and privy so that the wind blows interesting smells away from your sleeping area.
- Pace at least 200 feet away from your sleeping site and hang your edibles and smellables in a bear bag in a tree. Don’t bring any edibles, smellables or trash into your sleeping area.
- Pace at least 200 feet perpendicular to the line between sleeping and food areas and that’s where your privy goes.