OREGON COUNTY -- Yes, there are bears in them there woods, or in this case on Highway 63 north of Koshkonong.
Oregon County Conservation Agent Paul Veatch reports that on April 20 at 9:30 p.m., he received a call from Troop G of the Missouri Highway Patrol saying that a bear had either hit a vehicle or a vehicle had struck a bear about one-mile north of Koshkonong on High 63.
"The bear was injured in his hindquarters. Connie Roberts of Brandsville was driving a Chevy Blazer when the incident occurred. At first the bear was just crippled, but when I arrived at the scene it had died," Veath said. Veatch said Roberts said the bear ran into the left front corner of her vehicle.
The conservation agent said the bear was an older Brown Bear that had an ear tag in it from the state of Arkansas.
Veath said his department will have to get with Arkansas Game and Fish to see if the tag can reveal more information about where the bear came from and how it got to Oregon County.
"I do know that Arkansas has done some studies of Black Bears. The bear population in Arkansas saw a decline in the 1950s and they were re-introduced to portions of Arkansas," he said.
He said some of these bears have migrated north into Missouri and his department is just trying to manage them.
Veath said Black Bears are not real common to this area. In the last 10 years two bears, not this large, were sighted in the Thayer city limits.
He estimated the bear weighed 300 pounds and would stand approximately five-feet tall.
"I have been with conservation here for 25 years and this is my first experience with bear road kill," he said.