Case: I’m just here for the bears

AP file photo by Robert F. Bukaty / Bears have long fascinated humans, and that continues today as they thrive in the United States.

There is something about bears. As hunters, they capture our hunter's heart, our psyche, our spirit.

The whitetail deer is a wonderful game animal, and small game and waterfowl are blessings given to us on this earth, but bears are different. An eastern whitetail hunter, sitting in a tree stand, may hardly notice when does and small bucks pass by. If a bear wanders through, he may remember it the rest of his life.

Bears are different.

They wander throughout ancient folklore and mythology. The Greeks gave us Callisto, who was transformed into a bear and then became the constellation Ursa Major, the Great Bear. Native American folklore is rife with stories of bears, which they saw as keepers of dreams because the bear sleeps through the winter. The Big Dipper constellation was seen as a bear in Native American and Hebrew tradition.