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Friday, August 17, 2012

Bobcat and bear cub stories

I owe you all a huge thank you! I won the trail camera contest sponsored by, thanks to your votes!!!! It was announced on their blog. Thank you SO much for voting! has supported my trail camera efforts for years as a sponsor. I asked them to sponsor me because I believe that they are one of the very best companies that I've ever encountered. Their customer service is amazing. Their return policy is unrivaled. And, their extensive testing of each camera model gives invaluable information to help a customer choose the best camera for them. I hope that, if any of you is interested in a trail camera, you'll check out my favorite company.

I've had a lot of animals visiting my trail cameras lately. In particular, at least one bobcat has been extremely active on an animal path cut into a steep hillside. I believe that "she" has kittens in the area, based on how she's stayed in the same area for at least a month. When she catches prey, she carries it long distances, probably taking it to her kitten(s) in a den. We saw the same pattern with a bobcat last summer, and then we glimpsed the kitten for the first time at about this time of year. My eyes are peeled for cute kittens!

This bobcat has suddenly become very curious about the scents around bear marking trees. The bear tree is just behind the bobcat's shoulders. She is sniffing the area where the bears doubtless urinate as they mark their territory.
This is the part of her behavior that I've seen only once before. She appeared to rub her neck and face on the rock at the base of the tree.
A bull elk had been in the same spot a day earlier... perhaps his scent caught the bobcat's attention.
I took the bobcat behavior as one odd incident until it happened again about a mile away. Perhaps this bobcat is vigilantly marking her territory to keep other bobcats away while she raises her kitten(s).
Or, perhaps she is responding to the scents of other animals. The same spot has seen lots of bear visitors. Here are just two examples. This first bear ended his visit by sticking his face right in the camera (I showed you that photo a while ago).
This dark colored bear, one of the fatter ones in this drought year, seemed to be interested in the rose hips and other berries close to the ground in front of the camera.
The same spot has seen two mountain lions visit recently (now that I'm compiling the photos, I see what a great spot this has been for a trail camera).

Based on how many animals have hung out in front of this trail camera, I am wondering if the bobcat is reacting to their scents. I'll probably never know the answer but it's fun to speculate.

Here's the last wildlife story for today. There's been a very small and thin yearling bear cub in the area all summer. When I first spotted this yearling, I didn't want to show you photos because she was so thin that I feared that she wouldn't last long. She didn't look much bigger than a small Labrador.
To my delight and surprise, she is still around, and she looks a little better despite the fact that she's shedding her fur, probably in preparation for a winter coat. Our first frost is probably less than a month away so it's time for the animals to prepare for it. Here she is in late July.
And, again, very recently. She was feeling feisty during this visit, and gave my camera a thorough examination. She left a large scat, full of chokecherry pits, so she's finding food. Yay!
Well, this feisty little bear marched toward the next bear tree in the area, and she marked it!!!! I'll take that as a sign that she has energy to spare. Back during breeding season in June, she sniffed bear trees but didn't mark them.

I've compiled her visits to two cameras into a video. Her happy tree marking is in true video format near the end of the clip. If it doesn't run here, you can watch it at Youtube.

I'll get back to telling you our trip tomorrow, as we visited another very scenic place before we headed for home and I'd like to show you a few photos of it.

R says that any post must contain at least one photo of him. Here he is during our camping trip in the light of the setting sun.
Again, thank you so much for winning the contest for me with your votes!


  1. Hi Y'all,

    Oh so happy that you won the trail cam. We love your posts of the wildlife.

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  2. I think that you won it mostly with that great pic of the Bear doing the Bruin Boogie Woogie on the tree! That was way better than the other pics. And suppose we did help a little with our votes, the big bear earned them!

    Jo, Stella and zkhat

  3. Khyra and I say KHONGRATS!!!

    Of course, thanks for sharing all those incredible picture!

  4. Congratulations, KB! Such a lot of wildlife activity in your area. I wonder what is wandering my trails at night? Hiked at Beaver Creek and found both bear paw markings in mud and scat but saw no bears.

  5. Congrats - you so deserved to win. ANd now we benefit from even more great photos from your new trail cam.

  6. Congratulations...can't wait to see what you capture with the new camera. glad R is telling you he needs to be in every post, such a handsome boy!! How old is he again??

  7. Woo Hoo! You won. And we get the benifit of it. Looking ofrward to more wildlife shots.

  8. Congratulations on winning the contest! Your pictures make ME want a trail camera, even though I live in boring suburbia.

  9. Yay, congrats to you! I love all your pictures, but as a fellow trail camera enthusiast, I appreciate them too. Here in the northeast we don't have the variety of wildlife that you do, so it's great fun to look at yours.

  10. First place US and Canada!!! I'm so glad to have been a small part of it and always look forward to your wildlife posts. That R is definitely a photogenic guy!

  11. KB, I can't think of anyone that deserves the camera more than you do-you bring us so much life/wild life to view up close. You are a fearless gal and I so admire your courage in the face of all you've gone through. So glad you are including posts of beautiful R. I count it a privilege to vote for you for the camera.
    Hugs, Noreen

  12. Yay! I'm so glad you won the camera! We benefit from all your terrific pictures too. They help take us away for awhile and see some things we normally would never see! Thanks. Great pictures and video but the best of all......R of course! :)

  13. I'm so pleased that you won the camera, and look forward to seeing even more photos on your blog.

    Loved the video too.

  14. We are so happy for your winning the trail camera! You share so much with us because of that wonderful hobby you have of capturing these special moments of the wild.
    You have given us a gift by your sharing!
    R is right- we want to see Big R!
    The bear dance is beyond amazing.
    It is a blue ribbon winner!
    Congrats KB!

  15. Ann...from...Outer Banks of just made my day KB..Congratulations for winning the trail camera..I love all your pictures and videos....and I know K is so proud of you well as R and the Runner.....Oh Heck..we are all so proud of you...good luck in all you you inspire us with such beautiful posts.....and seeing that beautiful boy (R) in every post would be an added thrill to our hearts.....HUGS

  16. Congrats, KB! Oh and R is right!

  17. The very heartiest of congratulations !!!, you so deserve the new Trail Camera, and we all know it will be used for the very best, for you to use, for us all to see. K would be smiling down and saying" Yes KB, I knew it would be you to win it".So good the little one is doing OK. Hope that he/she does well in the wintertime too.What a wonderful ending to your holiday, , fond greetings, Jean in NZ.

  18. I think it's GREAT that you won the trail camera and can't wait to see even MORE pictures of the wild animals in your backyard.

    BEAUTIFUL photo of R! He is such a handsome boy. He looks like he's listening to K...

    She is, of course, watching over you all.


  19. ARe you kidding. WE had to vote for yo. By you getting the trail cam, we just get all the more pleasure. It is so fun to see all the wildlife you capture on film.

    Loved the video of the skinny bear and have to say, i appreciate you not telling us about her until she looked stronger. I get so attached to your friends, I would hate to see her get worse, better is much nicer.

    Bert and My Vickie

  20. Congratulations!!! I'm so happy for you over your contest win! You deserved it.

    The bobcat reminds me of one of our house cats. She was FASCINATED by the smell of our bathmat for whatever reason. She loved the smell and she'd often come in and rub herself all over it. I have no idea if she was trying to make us smell like her or make herself smell like us, but the little ritual amused us greatly -- until she started peeing on the darned bath mat! :P

    R, your handsomeness knows no rival! I'm so relieved you got KB to tack a picture of yourself on there at the end for us!

  21. Congratulations on winning the contest, you deserve it!

  22. Congratulations to the first place!! Lovely pictures from our trial cameras. I havent got our home yet, must do so now. Been out for a long time...
    R looks very beautiful, handsome guy!

  23. So happy you won, KB! I may be in the market for a new camera soon, I've been wanting to get a basic DSLR (never had one so I am a tad intimidated by them). I will be sure to check out this company!

  24. A big congratulations and we love your wildlife pix. R is looking very handsome. Have a wonderful Saturday.
    Best wishes Molly

  25. Congratulations on your win! It couldn't go to a more deserving person!!


  26. Oh, am thrilled for you !!... and, we all win as I think of your blog as taking a course in wildlife behavior and you are my favorite professor :)

  27. Congrat's on your big win! How exciting is that.... We can't wait to see where your new trail camera will be placed. Then we'll be able to enjoy even more of your beautiful pictures.

    Thanks R for making sure each post contains a picture of you. We agree, it is a necessity!!

    Lily Belle

  28. Congratulations, KB! We're so happy that you won!

    Love ya lots,
    Mitch and Molly

  29. Holy cow, KB!

    I can't even fathom getting photos of Bears, Bobcats, AND cougars in the same area! Makes me envious of those that live in the west!

    Congrats on winning the trailcampro contest! I totally forgot about it this year....but know from past years that it's amazingly competitive, so kudos!

  30. HOwdy KB, congratulations on the camera. Yay, cause we will all benefit from it too! We love your photos and loved the little bear too. I didn't realise how much they shed from their coat. You live in a wonderful place in our world. Love the photo of R. Thinking of you all. No worries, and love, Carol (and Stella and Rory)

  31. Congratulations! Well well deserved!
    Benny & Lily

  32. Congrats,
    Your pictures are amazing from this side of the camera lens.

  33. KB- this data you have on these bears is absolutely amazing. I hope you know that your hobby is worth alot of scientific moola. I hope to hook you up with some folks out of MA someday. With myself in tow, of course. I think what they have, and what you have is publishable...and needs to be!

  34. Hoorah for winning the trail cam! On the selfish side, more fun pictures for all of us to enjoy!

    That bobcat looks like a giant house cat marking its territory. The black feral cat (one of about 12 cats fed by two crazy cat ladies) is the only one who face rubs my stoop and seems to be the only one allowed to sit on it. I know they have special scent glands under their chins so maybe face rubbing is a way to emphasize that a cat owns something.

  35. I'm so glad you won the trail cam! Thanks for sharing these wonderful photos and video. Love them all, especially handsome R. :-)

    Sue T in AZ

  36. Great shots as always and congrats on winning the contest.

  37. I'm trying a new strategy this time; reading from the back forward. :)


    Fabulous shots of the cat and the bear, and R looks so at home and so at ease. I'm glad you had time to get out there into a favorite secret getaway!


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