(BRYAN SPICKLER PHOTO)

Black bears were sighted this weekend on the Gettysburg Battlefield and in the Brushtown area west of McSherrystown.

Barley Circle resident Terry Hinkel said the family had been cooking hotdogs Sunday when they saw the bear walking around checking things out. The bear, she estimated, was no more than 15 or 20 feet away.

Hinkel got one picture of the bear before retreating into the house. Her husband, she said, wanted to know why she hadn't taken more pictures.

"I wasn't staying out there with the bear," she explained.

The bear did not appear frightened or aggressive, and cleaned out the bird feeder before crossing Route 116 into Allwood Manor.

A black bear crosses Route 116 on Sunday toward Allwood Manor.
A black bear crosses Route 116 on Sunday toward Allwood Manor. (SUBMITTED)

Jen Buck Spickler said she saw the bear again in the Sunday Drive area Monday morning, before he recrossed Route 116 and headed back into the woods near Allwood Manor.

"It made the weekend," she said.

But, she added, she felt sorry for the bear and hoped he found his way out of the area.

"He's just looking for someplace to be," she said.

Supervisory Ranger R.P. Levins said a bear estimated to be about 3 years old was seen Saturday in the area of the McPherson Barn west of Gettysburg on the first-day battlefield.

"It wasn't aggressive or showing any signs of being a threat to anything," Levins said. "We just let it do its thing."

Licensed Battlefield Guide Don Walters was giving a tour to a group of about 30 Saturday when the bear was spotted.

Walters said the bear raised up on its hind legs about 30 yards away.

"It seemed to be nonplussed. It wasn't aggressive or anything," Walters said. "I was trying to see if there was a mother around. I was concerned that a mother might take it personal with us being there."

Later Saturday afternoon, the bear was seen north of the Peace Light.

It was the first bear spotted on the battlefield in many years, Levins said.

There are no plans to do anything about the bear, though Levins cautioned anyone seeing it to keep their distance.

"People are going to take a photo or feed it, and we don't want that to happen," he said.