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Black Bear spotted driving ‘Cross Country Road’

Jenn of Wildwoods Farm was driving ‘cross country road’ – the road between Roddickton where one crosses the top of the peninsula to get to the Straits side via Grenfell Drive, Route 432, when she saw a Mama Black Bear crossing the road.

“She was very casual in her stroll. Once I got closer I saw in the woods she had single youngin’ in there, but they disappeared fast into the woods by then.”

Her photo was taken  about 9 in the morning during the first week of June. It is incredible the amount of wildlife one has the opportunity to see when driving our highways in Rural Newfoundland & Labrador. I had travelled over this past weekend to St. Anthony, L’Anse Aux Meadows, Quirpon, Main Brook, Conche, RoddicktonBide Arm and Englee and saw quite a few moose and other smaller critters. However, I have yet to see a bear this year. One trip to Conche last summer with a friend from Montreal, we did get a view of a young cub at roadside. It was my first black bear sighting in nearly 25 years on the rock. A few days later I would spot another black bear on the Trans-Canada Highway en route to Paradise to visit my sister.

I re-call when Winnie the Pooh was trapped in Rabbit’s burrow and Rabbit  placed a sign, “Don’t Feed the Bear!” Remember, that is good practise as they are wild animals.

Thank you Jenn for providing Live Rural NL readers the opportunity to see your supplied photo. I encourage you and others to send images of Great Northern Peninsula and I will do my best to make them available. Email

Discover the Great Northern Peninsula –

Christopher C. Mitchelmore



Great-Great-Grandmother, 90-years Traps Bear

Each community has a character or iconic individual that is memorable or does something out of the extraordinary. For the Town of Hawke’s Bay on the Northern Peninsula that person is 90-year-old Great-Great Grandmother, Cecilia (“Celie”) Smith.

Over a pot of rabbit stew today at dinner, the conversation between my great-aunt, great-uncle and grandmother turned to bear sightings. I had mentioned to my uncle that while on vacation travelling to Conche (the French Shore) I saw a small cub near roadside. Then travelling on the Trans Canada Highway later in the week I saw another black bear. I have lived in rural NL for nearly 20 years and have never seen a bear until this summer. This re-called a recent article in the Northern Pen, Western Star and Telegram newspapers with the title, “90-year old bags bear”.

This is not the first bear for this spry woman. I recall back in 2007 watching an episode of CBC’s Land & Sea, which profiled her at 87 & 88 years of age having trapped at least two previously (Celie’s story can be viewed at: This woman built her own home, a home for her parents and others, provided maintenance and worked 32 years at the Maynard’s Motor Inn, worked as a fisherperson and logger. She still maintains a large garden, does woodwork and other daunting tasks that most people my age and younger wouldn’t tackle, yet at 90, she makes it look easy.

She has a real love for the great outdoors,  the forest (woods) and at her cabin, which she built. She enjoys rabbit snaring and does so on her own snowmobile, accompanied by her great-grandson. To me she is one pretty cool great-grandmother. Even today she continues to beaver trap with her son and continues to hold a bear hunting licence.

Celie Smith has the right attitude about many things including:

  1. Trapping or growing her own food instead of eating products at the grocery store with ingredients we can’t even pronounce
  2. Staying active and getting fresh air
  3. Keeping a good sense of humour
  4. Having that one drink of whiskey at night

I remember a book given to me by an elementary school teacher, called The Legend of Princess Sheila NaGeira, which I read 15 years ago. The book left an impression on me because I remember she lived to be 105 years old according to the Legend and that she lived by the philosophy that “it is better to wear out, than to rust out.” So let’s take a page out of  Celie Smith’s book, get outside and enjoy rural living.

Slowly Sipping Whiskey –


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