By Pat Maurer
“It’s not unusual for bears to be hit by vehicles around this time of year in Clare County,” said Department of Natural Resources Area Law Supervisor Sgt. Jon Wood. “This one drew a lot of attention because it was a very big bear.”
Wood said the DNR was notified and the 465 pound black bear was collected around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday morning on the U.S. 127 Expressway just north of Harrison. He said he had heard the bear was hit by a pickup, but the driver didn’t stop.
Wood said last year at least three were killed on roads in Clare County. “Some years there are none,” he said. “Some years as many as three to five are reported.”
“This time of year, we get a lot of complaints about bears,” he continued. “They are just out of hibernation and looking for food right now. They cover a lot of territory, and get into garbage cans while foraging for food.”
When a bear is hit by a vehicle, it is sometimes given to the person who hit it, Wood said. “Or sometimes we donate the meat, but not in this case, since we weren’t sure when it was killed. Bear meat spoils very quickly.”
If the bear is not claimed, the carcass is weighed, measured and used for scientific, statistical and educational purposes by the DNR.