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Monday, January 14, 2019

Last Two Bears of 2018

I am now sure that the bears who visited our home in late December of 2018 were the last ones of the year.

At a site that is almost impossible to get to at this time of year, two bears went past trail cams. Just like their order in visiting our land, the bear with no ear tags ("untagged") was in front, being followed 24 min later by the bear with white ear tags.
Since my last post about this bear pair, I've learned that white ear tags do not mean that a bear has a "strike" against him for misbehaving near humans. In this case, the bear with white ear tags was an orphaned cub. He was helped last winter by our wildlife officers, and they ear tagged him so that they could keep an eye on him in the aftermath.

"tagged" - tag inside left ear

I'm not sure how well he's doing. He doesn't look as fat as most bears before they go into dens for the winter but that could be because he's young. Also, he's been visiting homes. At our place, his behavior wasn't particularly bad, and he got nothing to eat. Still, he was near a house, which is dangerous for a bear.

My attitude is that it's up to us, the people living in bear territory, to make all forms of food unavailable to bears. We take the approach of making our home unattractive to bears to deter them from coming around. It's worked for us over the years. It seems as if local bears don't bother with searching for food near our home anymore.

I believe that the two who were here in December weren't long-term local bears. I'd never seen them before and they weren't hanging out in the usual places where bears like to go. That would explain why they were searching at homes where there's routinely no food available.

After seeing the two bears so close together at the last sighting, I found myself wondering if they were heading toward neighboring dens or (gasp) might even share a den. I've never read about adult male bears sharing a den so I doubt that's happening. However, I keep reading that social behavior among bears is far more common that we usually think (e.g., books by Benjamin Kilham). That's why I even mention that crazy idea.

Here's the video of the last two bears of 2018.


  1. So happy the tagged bear isn't one that's in trouble. Hope he finds a den, and has enough fat to last the winter.

  2. Hari OM
    I love the lingering look toward camera at the end!!! YAM xx

  3. I hope they found a den, alone or shared.. glad the tag did not mean a strike against him. I love to see them stand up like people but he looked pretty cute sitting also

  4. I hope they both will do fine over the winter sleep.

  5. So majestic and life like standing. I've always enjoyed your videos especially when they stand against a tree to scratch their back. I do that sometimes at the door frame. LOL
    Ohhh that last video at the end, he was up close and personal.
    Hugs Cecilia

  6. Love watching the bears and we hope they're both sound asleep in their den/dens now.

  7. I hope this one will be safe during the winter. I wouldn't feed then either. That's just asking for trouble.

    Have a fabulous day and week. ♥

  8. Hope they are able to have a nice winter's snooze. 🐻

  9. We hope both those bears make it through the winter and have a nice long nap.

  10. How interesting to think they could be denning near each other!

    I agree that it is our responsibility, as humans, to make our homes as unattractive as possible to bears(and other wildlife).

  11. We love seeing your bears and learning about the "ways" of bears. We sure hope that White Tag fattens up a bit and finds a cozy den for himself while the other bigger guy hunts for his own.

  12. I love seeing and reading about "your" bears! I learn so much from you!

  13. Now I am worried about the bears. I hope they are OK

  14. It's so cool how much you know about the wildlife. We can tell you really study them and know what all the different species are all about. Hopefully both of these bears will survive the winter fine and stay out of trouble when they wake up.

  15. That's good news about the tag! I miss feeding the wild birds but we've never wanted to contribute to the delinquency of wildlife! I don't miss having my bird feeders stolen though. :)
    And of course, now with our birds, there's no way we can afford to draw anything like bears into the yard.
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets


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