Friday, September 5, 2008

 Southern Illinois Bear

Southern Illinois Outdoors


 An Article in the Gazette Democrat (Union County Illinois) indicated that two hikers spotted a black bear in union county. They were apparently hiking in the Kaolin Pits area looking for an old cemetery. They indicated they smelled something musky and initially thought it was a skunk and continued on . When they saw the animal they mistook it for a dog initially. They walked to within 30 feet of the animal before they realized what it was.

With all of the sightings in South East Missouri I knew it would just be a matter of time before they found their way across the river. just didn’t think it would be this soon.


That was me and my cousin that seen the bear.When your fourty years old and youve never seen a bear out side of the zoo its hard four your brain to believe what your eyes are telling it its seeing. I really thought it was a dog but why is it so tall, I told myself.

We were hiking looking for the old cemetary at kaolin pits, thats in between Anna and Cobden on Kaolin rd.. We found the cemetary about a half mile up the trail.The trail goes up the old Iron Mountain Ridge, after checking out old headstones we continued on for about another half mile. We smelled a strong odor before we seen it, I thought it was a skunk my cousin said no I dont think so. When we seen it up ahead in the trail we wernt sure what it was at first. I put my arm out to stop my cousin from walking any farther and we kept trying to figure out what it was. It was standing so still, my cousin said is that a cut off tree that someone did a cool bear carving on and started to walk towards it and i stopped her and said no something aint right.. I said no I think its a big dog, but it still didnt make sense to me, it was so still. at that time all we could make out was the black image with two small ears. I looked down to find a big ass stick and here it come . It charged us, my cousin took off running saying run its a bear, I started hollering as loud as I could and clapping my hands together which is pretty loud early in the morning in the woods. When my cousin seen I wasnt running she stopped and slowly walked towards me. It got pretty (I’m an idiot for swearing)(I’m an idiot for swearing)(I’m an idiot for swearing)(I’m an idiot for swearing) close to us about 15 feet before it stopped and ran back to where it was originally turned sideways in the trail looked at us and took off into the woods. My cousin was still hollering at me to run. We were so scared that as we were running we made a video on our phone saying what happened, for our family just in case.we knew that bears can track you. We ran all the way to the car and didnt feel safe till we shut the doors.

We wanted to warn people for there safety, Kaolin pits is a popular fishing,swimming and hiking area in southern Illinois. I called the local newspaper and forest ranger to post a sign at Kaolin Pits “BEAR IN AREA” but everyone I talked to seemed to be in disbelief. Nothing was posted, an article was posted in the local paper that we were thankful for.