When I think of bears I think of them as living somewhere way north of Shreveport/Bossier, or in traditional places like the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. My daughter came upon a black bear cub on a hiking trail in Smoky Mountain National Park a couple of years ago.  She was walking ahead of the rest of us on the trail, and when we came around a corner she was walking slowly backwards toward us with her finger to her lips.  The cub was just off the trail, and though he wasn't very big, we figured Mama Bear was probably somewhere close by.  After a few minutes of wariness on our part, the little guy ambled back into the brush and we continued on our way after taking copious pictures.

So, for me, it's easy to forget that 400-pound black bears live not too far over the Arkansas state line.  ArkLaTexHomepage.com yesterday reported that a woman driving a pickup struck a 350-400 pound black bear near Collins in Drew County, AR. That's just about 3 hours from here.

The impact killed the bear and caused the air bags in the truck to deploy, but luckily the woman sustained only a minor wrist injury.  Her 12-year-old grandson who was a passenger in the truck was uninjured.

While most black bears are concentrated in the more northern climes of North America, they are commonly found in Arkansas.  State Game & Fish Commission wildlife officers who removed the bear from the site of the accident near Collins said it was a pretty large bear for the state and that it's not unusual to see them roaming around during the day.