This year, bear activity is starting about 5 weeks earlier than last year, probably due to our mild spring.
My hopes were realized - and with my favorite male bear. Milton, the huge male with a white patch on his chest, had lazily hung around a spot where I have multiple trail cams, letting us get a glimpse into the life of a bear whose behavior isn't being affected by fear of humans nearby.
Here's Milton's first sighting two years ago.
In the video from this April, Milton first danced at a popular bear-marking tree. Then, he stood, listening to the world while urinating in front of the cam. Next, he stood in a spring-fed puddle and appeared to listen to the birds and squirrels. Finally, he marked the nearby tree again, before heading off to visit other key spots in the forest.
You can watch the video here or at Youtube.
You might remember that Milton was very badly injured a few years ago. He was not bearing weight on one front paw, and he disappeared for months at the end of the summer. I feared that he'd died. However, he returned and appears to be getting stronger and stronger over the years. I'm so thankful to see him so fat and healthy, after four months in a den!
I love bears.