The first day of bear season is like a holiday as dozens of families cram into a small bloodied garage to see truckloads of bears pull in. It's what you do on that Saturday night in Bolivar, home to one of six game commission weigh stations in the state. Some bears are big, and some are surprisingly small. "That bear is as big as you," one mother whispered to her wide-eyed young son, who probably weighed 60 pounds.
Game commission workers and volunteers lift the bears on a suspended scale, dripping. Then, they removed a tooth to determine the bear's age. Men in orange roam the garage with a proud smirk as children pet their trophies. It's a family affair to learn and appreciate the nature around us.