Bear Signs

By Kathleen Kalina

All photos by Kathleen Kalina.

This is an excellent example of a bear rub. Hair was found attached to the bark of this aspen, so the rubbing occurred recently. You can bet that this an area that the bear favors, he is leaving his marks and scent on the trees as well as scratching his back.  He will be back. St Louis County, MN.

This is a spring-time (June) bear scat, probably a month or so old. It's the color of digested grasses and bark. It was found near berry bushes, so he will be back for the berries, he's marking and checking his territory. St Louis County, MN.

A bear has scratched the side of this hill to get the ants and other bugs out.  He spent awhile here.

Bear scat with undigested berries. He was full and eating well. St Louis County MN.

Back paw prints with more weight on right paw. He stood up to see what was ahead.

Front paws and back paws are clearly visible. After standing the bear tapped his front paws near his back and then a bounding set of front tracks up further. These are very clear and unusually good tracks in wet sand. (Pickle lake Ontario). Very recent and probably less than a half hour old. Sand will start to crumble as sun dries it.

This was the bear that made the clear sand tracks. He was not far off and had been sitting in sand resting, until he spotted me.  Notice how his lip is curled showing the irritation of having been disturbed. He made a "woofing" noise, but nevertheless retreated. He's an old bear which is obvious by his size and weight.  Old male bears can often be very disagreeable, so they shouldn't be messed with. (what was I thinking?).

Another big bear at Pickle Lake, Ontario. He's huffing and lip curling.  Don't mess with this bear. He is squinting, not from sun, but so that he can see better what I am doing. Bears can see almost as good as humans. But I was carrying a telephoto lens on my camera and he's trying to figure out what that is. Bears are curious, but smarter than most people think. They can distinguish items that you are carrying.  (Is it food, is it a gun? Just what is she carrying?).

On hot days, bears search for berries along the roadside rather than deal with thick vegetation accompaning bugs.  In remote Ontario, it's common to see a bear taking a walk on side of the road.