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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Bear and Mountain Lion at the Same Spot near Lab Valley

 Since being at Lab Valley, I've been trying to find time to explore. In particular, I want to figure out where our large secretive mammals spend their time.

Exploring involves riding my mountain bike on rarely traveled trails. Some of them are a fair distance away. As I ride, my eyes are constantly scanning for signs of bears or mountain lions. Back near our old home, I found that mountain lions often used routes that went near bear marking trees. So, finding a bear marking tree is a double win!

I found one trail not shown on any maps. It paralleled a small intermittent spring. It was steep so I had to push my bike up parts of it. As I arrived near the top of the trail, I started to see trees that bears had marked in the past. They had broken limbs, broken off tops, and scratch marks on them. Then, as I walked, I spotted a very heavily marked tree with bear fur stuck to its bark. Nearby, there were scrapes made by bobcats and mountain lions.

I went back the next day to plant a camera. Then, I waited with anticipation. I thought that there was a chance that I wouldn't see any bears there until next spring because fall is usually not a hot time for marking trees. I was wrong. Within 2 days, my cam recorded video of a bear marking the tree and a mountain lion sniffing next to it!

The bear has a cool blaze on his chest - it's sort of like an upside down triangle. We should be able to identify him in the future if this tree is a favorite of his! It's a short video.

20 comments:

  1. wow... there are so much things I never saw!!!

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  2. You found an amazing place to place the camera!

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  3. KB, I would give my eyeteeth to go on a hike with you and your keen eyes. We know there are bear and lion in our foothills, but in all our exploring have yet to find a single bear tree or lion scrape. Bet we've walked past lots, oblivious. Mike and the dogs did stumble upon a bear cub up a tree in a bitter sapling grove last week (fortunately the dogs were too busy chasing a chipmunk to notice). As Mama Bear was not to be seen, they did not tarry...

    So enjoying your exploration of Labrador Valley and environs!
    Chris from Boise

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    1. One low tech trick - if you see a candidate tree, even one that is not high likelihood, lean a 2-3' stick against the base. If a bear marks it, s/he will knock down the stick. Then you know that you've found one!!!! Fall is not a big tree marking season. So, if a stick is knocked down at this time of year, you know that it's a "hot" tree that is likely to be marked a lot.

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  4. Your new valley is really, really interesting!

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  5. Oh how beautiful they both are. You live is a huge slice of heaven.

    Have a fabulous day. Scritches to the pups. ♥

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  6. Incredible video! You've definitely found the right place to put your trail cam. I'm partial to the big cats but that bear with his white marking is handsome!

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  7. This is a thicker tree for him to mark. Usually, they're bending under the bears weight but not this one!

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    1. You are right! There seem to be fewer of those small trees here so I've expanded my search to include bigger ones. The bigger ones are harder to spot because they aren't mangled!

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  8. Great video as per usual. KB exploring ticks off two good things secret spots and exercise!!
    Hugs Cecilia

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  9. Same tricks different bear! Same type tree different Valley! He looks like a pretty big bear to me and a lion looks huge. You landed in the perfect Valley

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  10. Already you have sorted out the trails, the best places for your trailcam, and that video is wonderful, seeing two different ones come at various times. Still quite warm there, what elevation is it compared to your other home?

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  11. Oh my, your new area is going to be so much fun to explore!

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  12. Wow, nice that the bear has an identifying mark, lol. That looks like a fair sized bear to me!
    Do you download your videos remotely or do you physically retrieve the cards when you are in the area? Does the runner go out with you on these new excursions? - in other words, who keeps track of you?? :)

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  13. We are enjoying getting to know the animals in your new "neighborhood". This bear sure has a distinctive marking on his chest so we will easily be able to identify him. Do you have a nickname for him yet?

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  14. What a handsome fella. Love his blaze marking that coordinates with his lightly colored snout.

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  15. OMD, that is a FABulous spot for your trail cam! OMD, and the lion and bear are so beautifuls! I gots a white spot on my chest too...not as impressive though...☺
    Kisses,
    Ruby ♥

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  16. Love the bear and the big cat has such a beautiful muscular body. Glad your new cam spot is already working for you.

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