The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is seeing plenty of bear activity this year at its survey sites.
According to the TWRA, its most recent black bear survey showed bear activity was very high in the Foothills Wildlife Management Area in Blount County.
Volunteers placed sardine cans atop trees and spaced them about a half mile apart. The TWRA said it checked the sites after five days, and surveyors found very high activity rates -- 80% of the cans were picked over this year. That number has been high as 90 - 100% in the past 33 years they've been conducting the survey.
The TWRA said it has been doing a lot of management on the forest through thinning and burning, which they said produces a lot of summer foods for bears.
As it stands, things continue to look good for Tennessee's black bear population across the area. The TWRA said it's seeing strong bear population numbers, and the species has been slowly but surely reclaiming ground in spots it had vanished from -- like Knox County.
"In Knox County, we’re not used to seeing a great number of bears although we’re seeing more as time goes by and it’s something we kind of predicted would happen," TWRA's Matt Cameron said in June.