Predator Masters using UBB.threads ™ Infopop Corporation.
PM Gear Moon & Weather

Welcome to the Predator Masters Forums
Be sure to visit the main Predator Master website at





PM Gear
PM Gear
PM Gear
The Official Predator Masters Search Engine
Search Predator Masters

Topic Options
#214841 - 06/14/01 12:33 PM Bear territories?
Daryl Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 04/23/01
Posts: 806
Loc: Arizona
Until a few yesrs ago, I had always hunted bears in SE Arizona and the country where I hunted was mostly covered in oak brush, mesquite, prickly pear and manzanita. Scouting involved finding food sources like prickly pear and manzanita berries and then looking for tracks and scat. Sounds simple, huh?

Then a couple of years ago I started hunting sometimes up in the mogollon rim country of Arizona. This country is covered with pine trees, aspens, and sometimes cedars. I don't find any berries because the birds usually get them very quickly and tracks are impossible to find because the ground is covered with pine needles. I have found some scat, but not much.

The kind of sign that I do find is scratches on trees. It is usually an aspen tree and the bark will be torn off of one side of the tree, and it will often be the side of the tree toward an opening or meadow. It looks like the bear reaches as high as it can and then scatches the tree all the way to the ground. Sometimes there will be several of these scratches along the edge of a meadow. Often there is an old sctatch on one side of the tree and a fresh scratch will appear on the other side of the tree sometime in September.

Can anybody tell me what the significance of these scratches is? Are they a territorial marker?

Why do the scratches always seem to appear in September? I am wondering if this is just the time of year that the bears are in the area or if they will be there year round?

What kind of food sources would you look for in this type of country other than prey animals?

Sorry for so many questions, but any advice is really apprieciated.

------------------
Take care,
Daryl

Top
#214842 - 06/14/01 12:58 PM Re: Bear territories?
Critr Gitr Offline
Retired staff

Registered: 04/21/01
Posts: 2456
Loc: Oak Ridge, TN
They were there last July and August, eating berries and just staring back at me. I saw them every time I was there.

Gonna buy me a bear tag this fall.........

------------------
Critr


FLAG DAY - June 14

Top
#214843 - 06/15/01 10:29 AM Re: Bear territories?
Mike Gappa Offline
New Member

Registered: 06/11/01
Posts: 13
Loc: Eau Claire,Wi.,U.S.
[ Probably what your seeing on the Aspen is them feeding on the cambium layer.This inner layer is very juicy and they will peel back the bark to get at it.Even though this feeding behavior isn't common , it does happen.
Territorial marking usually happens in the late spring,early summer when they're approaching mating season. But that isn't to say that they may be re-marking. The damage you've indicated though,is more extensive than "mark" trees and I'd say they're seeking this cambium layer associated with these soft bark trees.
Since these animals are opportunists,anything edible is considered food. If there are grasses in the area,this is a favorite,nutritious food item of theirs. They love insects and the associated larva. They'll also consume carrion ,rodents and anything else that will provide energy.
I would assume that these animals are in the vicinity all year. In the fall though,studies have shown that these animals will travel considerable distances (100 miles + ) seeking out food or going to a known food source. Here in Wisc. I've had bears travel long distances in the fall to an available food supply ( may be an acorn ridge or a cornfield), "pig out" (may take a month or so), then go back home.
Hope this helps you somewhat. Good Luck in your pursuits. Mike QUOTE]Originally posted by Daryl:
Until a few yesrs ago, I had always hunted bears in SE Arizona and the country where I hunted was mostly covered in oak brush, mesquite, prickly pear and manzanita. Scouting involved finding food sources like prickly pear and manzanita berries and then looking for tracks and scat. Sounds simple, huh?

Then a couple of years ago I started hunting sometimes up in the mogollon rim country of Arizona. This country is covered with pine trees, aspens, and sometimes cedars. I don't find any berries because the birds usually get them very quickly and tracks are impossible to find because the ground is covered with pine needles. I have found some scat, but not much.

The kind of sign that I do find is scratches on trees. It is usually an aspen tree and the bark will be torn off of one side of the tree, and it will often be the side of the tree toward an opening or meadow. It looks like the bear reaches as high as it can and then scatches the tree all the way to the ground. Sometimes there will be several of these scratches along the edge of a meadow. Often there is an old sctatch on one side of the tree and a fresh scratch will appear on the other side of the tree sometime in September.

Can anybody tell me what the significance of these scratches is? Are they a territorial marker?

Why do the scratches always seem to appear in September? I am wondering if this is just the time of year that the bears are in the area or if they will be there year round?

What kind of food sources would you look for in this type of country other than prey animals?

Sorry for so many questions, but any advice is really apprieciated.

[/QUOTE]

Top
#214844 - 06/15/01 11:25 AM Re: Bear territories?
Bob Mc Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 04/24/01
Posts: 597
Loc: Fort Jones, California, USA
Daryl,

As has been suggested, what you are seeing is probably where bears have been feeding on the cambium layer under the bark of the trees. If they have completely torn the bark away from the tree, sometimes even girdling it, this is the case. This is why timber companies in certain areas of the Pacific northwest hate bears. The bears girdle the trees and kill them. They (timber companies and biologists) are experimenting with suplimental feeding of the bears in problem areas to discourage this type of damage.

Bear markers are something else entirely. The bear that made this mark is the "he bear" of this mountain!

[IMG]http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=1265871&a=9382029&p=50412997[/IMG]

Top
#214845 - 06/15/01 07:27 PM Re: Bear territories?
Daryl Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 04/23/01
Posts: 806
Loc: Arizona
Mike & Bob,

Thanks for all the info. I'm going up there this weekend to do some fishing and maybe a little scouting for bears so maybe with the info you guys gave me I can make some sense out of what I find. Thanks again...

------------------
Take care,
Daryl

Top
#214846 - 06/15/01 09:56 PM Re: Bear territories?
Bob Mc Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 04/24/01
Posts: 597
Loc: Fort Jones, California, USA
By a coincidence, a friend of mine who is a game warden in Washington state sent me some photos today depicting damage to trees by bears stripping the bark for the cambium layer. I am going to include 2 of these photos here.

[IMG]http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=1265871&a=9382029&p=50431210[/IMG]

Top
#214847 - 06/15/01 10:11 PM Re: Bear territories?
Bob Mc Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 04/24/01
Posts: 597
Loc: Fort Jones, California, USA
In this close up, you can really see what the bear was after; the sweet cambium layer under the bark. Often the trees will be completely girdled, thereby killing the trees and earning the wrath of the timbermen.

Another possibility of what you have seen Daryl, is where bears have torn the bark and old wood from trees in search of beetles and larvae. This is often seen in old partially rotten trees and dead snags. I know where there are many trees like this, and may possibly post some photos of this at another time. I have recently taken the leap, and have ordered a digital camera. When I get it, and figure out how to use the new fangled gadget, I won't have to wait to get film developed before posting pictures.

[IMG]http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=1265871&a=9382029&p=50431211[/IMG]

Top
#214848 - 06/15/01 10:27 PM Re: Bear territories?
Daryl Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 04/23/01
Posts: 806
Loc: Arizona
Bob,

That second photo looks a lot like what I have found. And what I am finding has always been on live, standing trees. Thanks!

------------------
Take care,
Daryl

Top
#214849 - 06/27/01 03:27 PM Re: Bear territories?
Bob Mc Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 04/24/01
Posts: 597
Loc: Fort Jones, California, USA
I just came in from a short (wet and wild) trip to the mountains. I had the new digital camera with me, and found this old snag just out of camp. This is very typical of bear looking for grubs, beetles, larvae, ants, termites, ect. They tear away the bark and old rotten wood, and lick up the goodies.

[IMG]http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=1265871&a=9382029&p=51014898[/IMG]

Top




© Predator Masters™, All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.