Outdoor Life Online Editor

Mississippi now has a native population of black bears. After nearly half a century, the birth of a black bear cub was recorded in the wild. The state has tried to restore the black bear population for years, and it’s starting to see the rewards of hard work. Bears were brought from Louisiana and have successfully integrated to the new environment.

Bears have shown incredible resilience, adapting to new ecosystems as well as reproducing at higher rates. States like New Jersey and Maryland now have thriving bear populations, which are causing concern among some residents. Mississippi could well be the next bear hot spot.

As numbers are sure to grow states will be pressed to reevaluate bear policy, addressing hunting seasons, sterilization and other control methods. For now, though, hunters can be excited to see the beginnings of a herd in Mississippi.