The sign of the bear!

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One of our regular black bear visitors left his mark on one of the kitchen windows. The size of the paw print can best be appreciated by the size of the window frame. I consider this a good luck sign as the bear his given us his stamp of approval.  Any lesser bear, upon seeing this signature, would be sure to move on.

It also has an effect on uninvited human visitors, who would also get the message.

Last night while driving home in the dark and prior to reaching my driveway I had a small bear cub race across the road in front of me and dash into our woods.  Obviously he had been visiting the bee hives nearby.

This a good sign that at least one of the local bear cubs has survived and continues his residence in our woods. It also confirms that Browne’s woods are not yet bare of bears!

 

Woods visitors return.

In the last few days we have noticed a few small changes around our bird feeder but we were staying optimistic that our black bear had moved on. This morning the platform feeder had been licked clean and a saucer had been knocked down but not true bear signs.

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To deter bear visits I have taken the suet in at night and we close the kitchen porch door. This morning I did a few yard chores and then decided it was time to refill the bird feeders. As I went up the stairs I noticed sand on the bottom panel of the door and was puzzled at how it got there. I am continually hauling things in and out and was trying to think how I could have transferred sand to the door.

As I casually walked by the door my eyes followed the sand marks up the door until I was startled to see the sand went right up to the top of the six foot door and ended in large sandy bear prints!!

My friend was back, and he was obviously trying to find a way into my porch where the stash of fifty new pounds of sunflowers were stored. This guy was getting serious and was getting ticked off, while hungry.

Naturally I had to call Eloise out and show her the latest signs of our visitor.  We moved into the kitchen and talked about the old solid wood door that so far had kept our bear out.  I happened to look out a kitchen window that had a view of our deck and there filling one pane of glass was a beautiful sandy bear print.

Having a bear peak in your kitchen window while having early morning coffee is not the way to start a day off. A quick look outside and around the yard confirmed the bear was gone.

Long ago we were trained to look both ways when crossing the street. Now we slowly look both ways when opening the kitchen door, before make an elderly run for our vehicles.

When I lived in Kenora I frequently saw the damage black bears made when breaking into cabins.  In one case the mother tore the entire door and frame off the kitchen and then went through all the cabinets and drawers looking for snacks for the two cubs that accompanied here. Each can had a large incisor tooth hole punched in the top.  If the contents tasted good, the cubs licked what they could. Their favorites were cans of condensed milk which the mother punctured and allowed to run out onto the kitchen floor where it was licked up by the cubs,  leaving large sticky white areas.

Once the mother bear had opened the pantry and every drawer, she turned to the old upright fridge. She dragged it out doors where she had room to work on it. She opened the door from the hinge side, leaving lots of claw and teeth marks doing so. She obtained a few items but it was mainly empty of everything but the smell of bacon grease.

My bear has no cubs and immediately leaves when it sees me so I am not too concerned but it’s early morning visits certainly adds some zip to our day.

 

Bears, Bears, Bears.

Early this morning, when I was checking my bird feeders through the kitchen window I suspected the bear was back again. Someone had licked the platform and ground and not a sunflower seed was left.

Two nights before the suet holder and a  fresh fat cake of suet had been stolen. My local black bear was becoming a regular visitor. This is my second suet holder this year – gone!

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Bear licking the suet holder clean.

I keep all my seeds in two steel pails with lids in my kitchen porch.  The Suet stash is in the kitchen. The kitchen door from the kitchen into the porch has a glass window. As I approached the door to get more sunflower seeds for my feeders, my eyes met the eyes of a visitor.  The bears was sitting in the porch after finding the seed containers and partaking in a early breakfast.

Bears look bigger when sitting in your porch and peaking in the kitchen door window!!!

We both got a surprise, eyeball to eyeball, but he flinched first and headed for the woods with a bit of a trot.  The porch floor was a bit of a mess where he had opened the first container and licked its partial remains clean.  The second can held twenty five pounds of sunflower seeds (shelled) and that was half empty, lying it is side.

I am sure the bear felt he had stumbled on the mother load and certainly had plans to return. I on the other hand resolved to close the kitchen porch outside door each night. In addition I am going to take my suet in each night and leave the feeders empty.

Had I flung open the kitchen door and stepped into my porch in my usual manner this story might have been even more interesting.

I will remember Sunday, July 1st, the day when I had an opportunity to examine the head and features of a bear, up close. All the teeth were clean and shiny.

Baby Bears

The first week in May I happened to look out my kitchen window and saw a small bear cub in my yard. Because of its size I immediately started looking for the mother but she was no where in sight.

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Not wishing to meet the mother, I stayed inside and the bear cub wandered off into my woods.  A couple of days later the same scene played out but this time I had two small bear cubs.  When I say small I mean they were far to small to be out and about without their mother.

The third time this guy showed up I felt safe in venturing out into the yard and obtained the above photo.  He was obviously alone, looked thin, hungry, and looking for help.

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This photo of the pathetic little orphan makes it obvious it needs help.  I went to the house for a hamburger bun and rolled a piece across the lawn to him. He immediately picked it up and started munching on a corner.

Because of his condition he was not too afraid of me and I could get within a dozen feet before he would turn and move away.

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I was hoping a bit of food would help him survive until he found his mother. From the difficulty he was having it was obvious he was thirsty so I set out a dish of milk.

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Alternating between the bun and the milk he slowly did better then wandered off into the woods.  I left the milk and in the morning it was all gone. The cub never returned and even though I later searched our woods I was unable to find any of the cubs or their mother, dead or alive.

The experts tell you not to feed a bear cub regular milk as they cannot digest it and it makes them sick.  Goats milk is recommended.  Since I did not have goats milk and the cub was in serious condition I did my best.  Had I gone for goats milk the cub would have been gone before I got back.

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As the days past following the bear cub visit we kept our eyes open in the hopes of seeing the mother and her cubs.  I also contacted a few people but no one else saw the cubs again and no one ever saw a mother bear with cubs.

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I did what little I could, all the time making sure I did not get between a mother bear and her cub.  Mother nature can be cruel and I doubt of this little guy survived. All we can do is appreciate his photos and hope he made it.

Morning visitor

 

The day started out with my wife telling me we had a black bear at our feeder. I grabbed my camera and got a shot of the bear lying below the feeder and trying to extract suet from the suet holder. In order to get a better picture I stepped out side and the bear headed into our woods.

I could see the suet holder still held plenty of suet left so I expected he would be back.  Almost on que the bear came back, carefully sniffing the air and anxious to finish his snack.  This gave me the chance to get a better photo, seen above.

The bear looked about couple of years old and it was not too afraid of people.  He slowly sauntered across the yard to my bird bath and had a long refreshing drink, at which time I got another photos.

The bear payed no attention to me but was fully aware of my presence. He turned and strolled off into the woods but returned during the night to finish off the suet treat. While the coat was in good condition the bear looked a little thin and needed to pack on a lot more weight before he retired for the winter.