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SpekJones
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« on: October 15, 2011, 08:01:03 PM »

Been over at Trading Bay the last few weeks as bear guard for some seismic crews.
Got a week off and will be going back the 22.  There's a lot of bear sign around
but with all the noise you don't see them very often,  but I did get one pretty good
black bear picture and a couple shots of brown bear dens to post. 
This black bear was huffing and groaning in the alders about 50 yds down in front of us and then finally went up a tree.  It was a single bear and I thought it was sort of strange that he treed rather than just running off.  After we went by him I found fresh
brown bear tracks about 50 yds on the other side of the tree.  He must have felt he was getting squeezed and a tree was the safest place.  Smiley
 
This brown bear den was right on our line. Fortunately the bear wasn't in it yet but
there was a lot of brown bear sign around it. We ended up off-setting the survey
line around it to avoid getting someone mauled later on. 
This is the mouth of the den:

and this is the inside of it taken with flash:

Anyway, thought maybe if there's anyone here that's never seen the inside of
a bear den it might be interesting.
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AK Fur Man
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« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2011, 09:17:56 AM »

Nice pictures, Spek.  Thanks for sharing.  How does one go about getting hired as a "bear guard"?
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SpekJones
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« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2011, 10:43:46 AM »

Thanks AFM.  Sending you a PM.
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DHahn
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« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2011, 10:01:46 PM »

Nice pics spek
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SpekJones
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« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2011, 06:11:08 PM »

Thanks DHahn.   Just got home again so still in catch-up mode.  Got six weeks off
this time. Hoping to get a few snares out  but with a week long trip to Redding CA
and the holidays coming up not sure how much I'll get done.
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cweg94
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« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2011, 12:04:29 PM »

Those are cool pics! never seen a brown bear den before. they look pretty big
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SpekJones
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« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2011, 04:36:22 PM »

Thanks Cweg94.   Where the bed is at the hole is about 5 foot diameter. The entrance
of course is smaller.  They seem to have a little different denning habits there around
trading bay than they do here on the Kenai.  All of the den's we have found there
(around 8 or 10) were dug out underneath big birch trees on  north facing slopes,
so they are not dug back in very far.  I've seen them here on the Kenai tunnel back in
to a hill 10 feet or more (and they will den on south facing slopes here. Maybe they do
over there too and we just haven't run across one yet).
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SpekJones
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« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2011, 05:26:52 PM »

This is not a very good picture but thought I'd throw it on here.  This is a brown
bear "day bed".  You run across these pretty often.  Usually these are found back
in the brush along salmon streams and is just a shallow hole dug in the ground,
sometimes in a cool shady place in the alders or a shady place under a spruce.
They will dig down maybe a foot or so into the dirt and is shaped like a basin,
maybe 3 or 4 feet across at the top.  They will get a belly full of salmon and during the heat of the day, (especially in the summer) they will lay up in these beds and
sleep.
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SpekJones
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« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2011, 02:01:05 PM »

Ran across this picture in my files so thought I'd put it on here.  I took this last spring
around the first of April.  Seemed kinda early but this was a sow and 2 yearling cubs.
They had already left the den.  I trailed them about 3 miles and they went down into a river bottom that was too brushy to get through and the snow was too soft for
snowmachineing at that elevation so I dropped it.

It must have been getting wet in the den so they left, you can see where they tracked mud out on the snow.
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