A Colbert woman and her kids reported seeing a bear crossing Colbert-Danielsville Road near the high school a couple of weeks ago.
And while bears are not common in Madison County, it is also not uncommon to spot them at certain times of the year, according to Department of Natural Resources officer Shane Sartor.
“It’s fairly common in the spring to spot them as they move through the area,” Sartor said, noting that it is a little later than normal to be seeing them now.
Sartor said he’s received about six to eight calls about bear sightings this year, mostly in the spring, which is common for this area. And while he can’t say for certain, he thinks there’s a good chance that there might be a few year-round residents here now.
Most of the time, he noted, they are not a problem, and should someone see one, they should just stay out of the way and leave it alone.
“Unless someone gets between a sow and her cub, or corners one in some way, they’re not going to bother you – they’re going to try to get away from you,” Sartor said.
But there are a few common sense precautions: don’t feed them, don’t approach them for any reason and keep food items and trash picked up and stored safely.
If residents have a problem with a nuisance bear that just won’t go away, call the Gainesville Game Management office at 770-535-5700 for assistance.
It is against the law to shoot a bear in Madison County. Sartor said some counties in Georgia do have a bear hunting season that coincides with deer season, but Madison County is not one of them.