The photo above was sent to me by Doe Clinton, a State Farm Insurance agent in Broken Bow of a sow and her two cubs.
The photo was taken Thursday by Clinton’s office manager, Vonna Jewell of Broken Bow, who was on her way to Poteau with her husband when they spotted the bear near the intersection of SH 259 and the Talimena Drive in Le Flore County.
The bear was only about 35 feet off the road and she was able to take a few photographs.
“I’ve never been fortunate to see one and I am out there with them,” said Clinton, an avid deer and turkey hunter. “I am in the woods all the time.”
Clinton said he hunts in Pushmataha County and frequently catches bears on his game cameras.
“We know on the place where we hunt we have five different bears,” he said.
State wildlife officials have been reseaching the bears in southeastern Oklahoma for years. Through DNA testing of hairs taken from traps, state wildlife officials have identified 500 different bears in Le Flore County alone.
Oklahoma first bear hunting season opens Oct. 1 in four southeatern Oklahoma counties. Hunting is restricted to archery then muzzleloaders at the same time as the deer muzzleloader season. Only a total of 20 bears may be killed by hunters.