Spring Bears 2013

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Spring Bears 2013

July 28, 2013

Alan Ramsey shares a report on 2013 bear sightings and behavior.

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Spring Bears 2013

Table of Contents

Bears 2012-2013- Red text highlights bears absent in spring 2013. Blue text identifies new 2013 bears.

We detected sixteen total bears and five new bears this spring from March 30th to June 15th.

March 30th-­‐April 15th

April 7th- Ear Notch Bear spent a week on the front side of Baldy. He appeared first in Baldy Draw on April 7th, stopped in Whaley Draw on April 10th, ravished a cow carcass above Woodchuck Draw on April 11th, and headed toward the SE exit in Woodchuck Meadow on April 16th. We have not recorded him since. Back Float Bear surfaced in Tongue Creek on April 18th and may have prompted Ear Notch Bear’s departure.

April 12th- We recorded Big Tan once this spring. He followed the trail of a smaller bear on the hillside between Davis Creek 5 and 8 on April 12th. He is the lightest-colored large bear. Fur striations on Big Tan’s side stop at armpit level but go up to the spine on Big Mama. Big Tan appeared first last year on May 26th. He may again venture into Back Float Bear’s territory, as he did last year (see bottom left and center images).

April 14th- Badonkadonk exited through the NE gate on May 14th but returned by the 18th. She scent marked and sniffed the rub tree at Davis Creek 3 on the 18th. She and Black Boondocks Cub are the only two jet black bears. Size comparisons show the bear in the top image is an adult bear, so we infer it is Badonkadonk. We first sighted her last year on May 9th in Woodchuck Meadow.

April 18th- Back Float Bear first triggered a camera this spring in Tongue Creek on the evening of April 18th. Later that night, he visited Sheep Camp and returned to Tongue Creek the next afternoon. The following night he swam in the stock tank in Whaley Draw and rubbed a large ponderosa there in the morning. The bottom middle and right photos compare Back Float Bear (BFB) to Ear Notch Bear. Back Float Bear’s grey eyebrows give evidence that he is the older bear. He has no left ear notch in the Tongue Creek or Whaley Draw images.

April 21st- We first recorded Back Float Bear last year on April 21st 2012 at Wirespool Junction and this year on April 18th at Tongue Creek. The top images compare Back Float Bear on April 21st of 2012 and 2013. Camera exposure determines the saturation of the bears coat color. The top left image is overexposed. The dark plum color of the bear is visible and the light grass is bleached out. The top middle image, taken two minutes later, is under exposed. The bear is dark with little color and the green and purple in the grass are visible. The top right image is of medium exposure. The bottom images compare Back Float Bear to Ear Notch Bear at the same location. They look the same size.

April 25th- Wide Ranging Rumple Bottom tramped through the cover of an Aspen Grove in the North Draw on April 25th and scent marked a rub tree in Baldy Draw a week later on May 1st. We identified her for the first time last year on June 7th at Davis Creek 3 (center).

April 26th- Rattails, Mop, and Top inspected the rub tree at Davis Creek 3 on April 26th. We recorded no clear images of Rattails in 2012, but the bottom right image of her from last year shows a small white chest patch like the one in the top right image. Her legs are dark, but she had not yet shed all of the tan hair on her back by 08/05/12. In 2011, a black and tan female bear with a cub passed through the North Draw. A shadowed chest patch is evident in the bottom middle image. The bottom left image shows her black and tan coat. We detected the family twice this spring at Davis Creek 2 and 3 on April 26th.

April 26th- Mop or Top has a large white blaze in the bottom right image on April 26th, 2013. Rattails, Mop, and Top ate hawthorn berries during the fall of last year in Woodchuck Meadow. The mother looks dark in the upper left image because she shed most of her tan hair by the fall of last year.

May 3rd- Wee Tan ate grass and marked the rub tree along the roadside above Davis Creek on May 3rd. She took a look at the camera at Davis Creek 8 five days later (bottom right), then continued down the trail to the NE entrance gate. She has made the boondocks home after she dispersed last year. To our knowledge, she has not ventured on to the front side of Baldy as an adult but passed through the North Draw in 2011 as a cub.

May 7th- Wide Ranging Rumple Bottom climbed a rub tree in Tongue Creek at 17:43 on May 7th. In the same hour, Doppelganger marked the rub tree at Davis Creek 3 at 17:17 on May 7th (slide 21).

May 9th- Wide Ranging Rumple Bottom visited Woodchuck Meadow, the Boondocks, and Tongue Creek within the span of a week from May 9th to May 14th.

May 15th- Black Boondocks Cub (BBC) pillaged tree stumps for insects on the hillside above Davis Creek 5 on May 15th. All of his triggers last year occurred at Davis Creek 5. Wee Tan ate arrowleaf balsamroot on the east side of Baldy at the same time on the same day (not shown). Black Boondocks Cub was at eye level with the stumps and is the same size as Wee Tan. Badonkadonk (lower right) is pictured for comparison.

May 18th- Two Patch’s first and only record occurred at Davis Creek 4 on May 18th. This medium-sized bear’s height on all fours is 2’6” and on two legs is 5’0”. The measurement on two legs is low because the bear stood at the lowest spot beneath the tree.

May 19th- Wide Ranging Rumple Bottom rubbed at Davis Creek 3 on May 19th and was back in Tongue Creek on May 24th. Her belly rounded out and her rumple accentuated it.

May 20th- Wee Tan visited the swimming hole for the first time this year on May 20th. She grazed at Davis Creek 2 on May 24th and Davis Creek 5 on May 29th. The top left picture shows her with Big Mama last year.

May 29th- After an absence of a month and five days, Doppelganger swam in the Davis Creek 3 water hole and inspected the rub tree on May 7th. He is not detected again until he returns to the swimming hole twenty two days later on May 29th. He is pictured on the left at the water hole and rub tree last fall.

May 30th- Black and Tan Big Mama, Tab, and Coca Cola headed in two different directions (bottom left) at Davis Creek 5 on the road that leads to the NE gate (Davis Creek 8) (bottom left). The cubs reversed directions before the family pivoted again and entered the small grove where a spring surfaces (bottom middle and right). Another about-face brought them up the draw past the NE gate 43 minutes later (top images). Big Tan courted Big Mama last spring on June 15th and 17th. Back Float Bear courted her on June 17th as well. The color of the cubs suggests Back Float Bear is the father.

June 9th- White Diamond rubbed at Davis Creek 4 on June 9th. A medium-sized male, he reaches 2’5” on all fours and 5’6” on two legs. He showed up at Davis Creek 2 sixteen minutes prior to his visit to the rub tree and may be the bear exiting the property at Davis Creek 8 ten hours later. We did not identify him again this spring.

June 9th- White Diamond and Two Patch are close to the same size and color. White Diamond may have a more ruffled coat than Two Patch.

June 10th- Big Mama and Cubs returned to the spring at Davis Creek 5 (bottom right) on June 10th. The location provides habitat for favorite spring bear forage such as cow parsnip and horsetail. Big Mama visited the grove with her two-year old cubs Black Boondocks Cub and Wee Tan on June 6th and 9th, 2012 and with her one-year-old cubs Tab and Coca Cola on June 5th and 10th, 2013. We did not record the family on other dates this spring.

June 12th- Wee Tan attacked the Davis Creek swimming hole on June 12th. She may have pounced on one of the small trout that live in the pool, but she came up empty. She rooted through stumps for insects on top of Spike Camp Ridge three days later. (last image).

June 13th- Itchy Badonkadonk rubbed at Davis Creek 7 on June 13th. She swam and scratched with her left hand once this spring in the water hole at Davis Creek 3 on May 21st.

Boondocks and Baldy Camera Locations

Draw Camera Locations

Ranch Camera Locations

Previous Research Report

MPG Ranch Bears 2012