Locals saw an unique visitor in the Black Hills yesterday

Published: Jun. 23, 2020 at 6:59 PM CDT
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The Black Hills is full of large game like mountain goats, white tail deer and mountain lions.

Monday morning however, people outside of Hermosa noticed an unusual critter running around the area.

Video making the rounds on social media showed a large creature running around the Black Hills Monday morning. This video behind me was taken by a local on their commute to work. So what exactly did they capture?

Driving to work yesterday morning, Craig Nelson was shocked to see a large animal run across the road. And to his surprise, it wasn't a dog like he first thought.

"Well I've heard about it, but that's dang sure the first one I've seen outside of bear country, said Craig Nelson. "I was just driving up Highway 79 going to work and was talking to my brother actually on the phone and I said know what I said, you aren't going to believe this but a bear just ran across the highway in front of me. And I hung up the phone and I said, I'm going to shoot a quick video of him and that's what I did."

A black bear was spotted outside of Hermosa yesterday and although it might have been quite a shock to people passing by, Game Fish and Parks says there have been consistent bear sightings the last few years.

"The last three years, we've actually had pretty consistent reports of black bears in the Hills, whether that's the same bear sticking around or multiple bears moving in and leaving, it's really hard to tell," said Trenton Haffley, Regional Terrestrial Resources Supervisor. "We do occasionally get just a random report, I think last week or two weeks ago we had a black bear sighting in Aberdeen."

Haffley says its not uncommon for bears to roam 2 to 300 miles and that the bear in Hermosa could have come from northern or central Minnesota, the Big Horns in Wyoming or even Montana.

"I mean seeing a bear in the Black Hills is a pretty unique experience so you know, take pictures, take videos, report it to Game, Fish & Parks but just understand that it's a really rare instance to see that. So it's pretty cool," said Haffley.

Haffley added that generally, bears don't pose a threat to humans, but if there is one in your area, they can get into trash cans, bird feeders or any food that might be outside. So keep an eye out, you could see a bear here in the Hills.

Apparently you can find black bears in more than just bear country here in the Black Hills. Although reports of sightings have been more consistent lately, Game Fish and Parks says it's too early to tell if bears are moving back into the Black Hills.