I paddled upstream today looking for bears. I found one almost immediately! It was walking upstream on the left and so I paddled upstream on the right. We had rain last night so the stream was flowing faster than normal. We kept pace with each other but when I took out the camera to take this shot I quickly headed back downstream.

The vast majority of salmon a bear will eat are dead. The salmon spawn,die and float downstream. Bears are part of the clean up crew. They walk along the streams edge looking for dead salmon. If you don’t have to work for your dinner why bother?

This bear came across two salmon! It grabbed the first one and promptly dropped it. It than found a second one and walked off into the forest to enjoy but I was surprised to see It come back out 15 seconds later! When I see a bear being “fussy” that means It’s tummy is full! I bet the only fish it would keep would be a fresh squirming one!

I saw three bears on this trip but I still think there should be more! I saw 4 large dead salmon laying very close to the streams bank. Seeing those fresh salmon told me no bears have been around! If just one bear had walked by It would of grabbed one.

This bear was full, most likely because very few bears are around leaving plenty of salmon to eat! Enough salmon that It can afford to be fussy!

74 thoughts on “WHAT YOU LOOKIN AT?

  1. Glad that this one is well fed and happy. Very sadly, the RCMP here had to kill a young bear last week after it attacked a petite teenager. A neighbour fought the bear with a cement garden ornament to get the girl away. She is badly injured. We have lots of bears here but attacks are rare. Not sure what could have happened with this one as there’s been lots of food available this fall. Most are hibernating already.

    1. I had a young female try to get close to me once. I could see she wasn’t being aggressive but just wanted to get closer. I still told her “NO” when she tried to get close. She followed me downstream while I was in my canoe. She couldn’t keep up so turned and walked upstream. I felt she was disappointed. I called her “Teddy”.

      1. I was standing in the stream taking pictures of a bear across the stream. When It left I looked around and found her sitting right behind me waiting patiently for me to notice her. I talked gently to her. The look in her eyes was nothing short of beautiful!
        My furry girlfriend!

  2. So that’s mixed news, really. Yes, there are bears but not so many as usual. Last year’s poor salmon “harvest” really had a big effect on survival rates through the winter. The trees wont be happy either! However, these full bears stand a good chance of making it through winter 2020.

      1. I’ve seen bears so full they have to stand in the stream just enough so the cold water can cool down their tummies! They stand there being still for awhile! If a salmon swimming upstream bumps into one of their legs it instinctively grabs it……….and than drops it!

  3. Like you said above, nature takes it’s course and protects the environment. The bears moved to greener pastures, so to speak. Beautiful photo Wayne.

  4. Beautiful, up-close picture of this bear who is trying to have a staring match with you – who will blink first here? I like the header image on your blog … that fish died baring its teeth, maybe because the bear sunk its teeth into its body.

    1. they stare because they are scared of me and want to know If I’m going to attack them!
      The teeth on that fish are normal. All the males grow a large jaw and the teeth become more pronounced.. It’s so they can fight other males for mating rights. They beat each other up and Mother Nature is doing the same thing. They have about 2 weeks to live once they enter into the fresh water at best.

      1. Tell them not to fear you! They were quite large teeth – I was thinking they looked like a piranha. When I was a kid living in Oakville, we had a very cool neighbor a couple of houses away. He had two boys around my age and all of us kids played together. The father was a forensic meteorologist and had several tanks of piranhas so we kids would go over to wash him feed them raw hamburger. He was a guy who liked his toys – he drove an Isetta (which looks kind of like today’s Smart car only it opened from the front) … like this:

      2. I talk to them gently,they just look at me as If I’m dumb. I think they feel sorry for me to be honest!
        Never could understand people who have Piranhas? Ugly looking and not too cuddly me thinks?

      3. I feel like that with the squirrels sometimes like they think “we’ll be nice and pose – it’s the least we can do for her.” :) As kids we were fascinated with how it gobbled up that raw hamburger, but yes, they were the ugliest things with those big teeth … it looks unnatural to me to see a fish with teeth that look like that. No, not your normal cuddly pet at all.

      4. they feel sorry for you.
        The worst thing is when these people don’t want them anymore and throw them into some pond! People throw away all sorts of critters that can cause trouble…….or they get eaten.

      5. That’s right – they turn them loose in a pond or the people who get sick of buying mice for their big snakes, so they turn the snakes loose. The worse is the chicks and ducklings at Easter time. Every year there are public service announcements that you should buy your youngster a plush chick or duck or bunny for Easter, not a real one. Kids are bored easily and lose interest in them within days and parents … well, it’s “not their thing” … remember the woman I met at the Park who found the group of Pekin ducklings abandoned? It was shortly after Easter – sometimes Easter is in March. They are not accustomed to being out in the cold without their mom’s protection. Sad what people do.

      6. I agree! They do this every year and at one time they used to sell chicks that had feathers dyed in pastels – they looked like Froot Loops! Tell me that isn’t cruel.

      7. I agree. They’re thinking about themselves only. Kids lose interest quickly. My grandmother grew up on a farm in Ariss (near Guelph). Her brother had a farm and my parents drove her there once to visit – he offered me a white rabbit. He put it in a bushel basket, gave us some straw and I assume some rabbit food. I was young. We brought it home and it had to live in the basket and it was just me who took it out and played with it. We fed it/cleaned it, but my mom said it wasn’t fair to the bunny to be cooped up so we took him back a few weeks later.

      8. Yes, I thought he might stay since the dogs did not get to stay and we had not tried parakeets yet. He was white and his name was Scratch. I don’t know why I called him that – I should have picked a cuter name.

      9. Leave it to me to pick the name – you are likely right. I have a photo of us in the yard, but it is not very clear and you really can’t tell what I am holding.

      10. That’s right – I remember all our pet’s names … we had several birds thru the years. They made big impacts. In fact when our parakeet Joey died in 1983, my mom and I said “no more pets” (just as I have sworn off pets after I lost Buddy). We never went out and got a pet – we got our white canary Sugar as we took care of him for Marge when she was in Arizona for three weeks visiting her mom who was sick. When she returned and took Sugar back home, he moped around and wouldn’t sing – he was pining for us as we gave him a lot of attention. She was never home. She called and asked my mom if we wanted him for good – my mom called me at work. I was on Cloud Nine. Otherwise we would never have gotten another bird or any pet. Joey, our parakeet, had a tumor in his esophagus and died in her hands. She was giving him Pepto Bismol … we took him to the vet as he wasn’t eating. Vet said he had indigestion. He died three days after the vet visit.

      11. Yes, my friend Ilene has had Golden Retrievers all her life. She lives in a rural area of Kingsville (Ontario). She tracks with her dogs for a hobby and enters them in tracking competition and also used to go to tracking events as a judge. She doesn’t do this much anymore since her husband died as she doesn’t want to leave the house alone for overnight stays, especially when she traveled to the U.S. Her fellow tracking judge got sick and died, and Ilene took some of her dogs to live with her (a couple of Goldens and a German Shepherd). She has told me for years that each pet has a piece of her heart reserved just for that dog and when it is gone, she remembers the joy they gave to one another. She equated it to a pie … a piece is gone but the the memories are the replacement. Maybe then the solution is having more pets at a time – it is therefore a little easier that way. The other way, having one pet only, is
        more devastating. It could be too, that I have no family … I say that as I’m on your site, as I don’t like to advertise it on my own site (though it is likely obvious). So I think losing a pet that is the only family that I have becomes all the more upsetting. Ilene has lots of family; they don’t live with her, but she sees them almost every day.

      12. very insightful of you Linda! Your right of course…….one should never put all their eggs in one basket! In other words your idea about having many animal friends is wisest to avoid that deadening heart ache!
        I’d love to have two dogs,two cats a bird and maybe a few wild birds like a Crow or Raven! No racoons,I can never trust those things. I’d have to have it from a baby.

      13. No, it is too much of a heartache for the loss – I said I’d never get attached to an animal again after Buddy, but I was already fretting over the squirrels at the Park and their welfare – that was before the hawks showed up. Now I worry about them getting hurt (likely killed) after I happened to feed them and they scurried off. Yes, a menagerie would be a lot of company – I could see sharing the love with such a crowd. I loved the book “Rascal” by Sterling North as a kid and it was a Disney movie too. It was about a raccoon.

      14. It might have been easier if he had just died … he had a stroke and couldn’t hop even to his lowest perch. He could only sit on the floor and kept putting his head against the side of the cage. I had to make the decision to euthanize him and I couldn’t bear to watch, so I peeked between the covers and said “goodbye” and left. I donated all his things (there were lots – he was spoiled, even multiple cages to keep them clean) to the vet’s office when I picked up his ashes. When Sugar died, a few weeks before Christmas, the year my mom died, I opened his covers and started talking to him, he looked at me and flew down to the bottom of his cage, spread his wings and died. That is how birds die apparently. I can’t do it again.

      15. Yes it is … I fear for both of us. The pain and horror for them, the horror if I see it … then I will feel guilty like I do with Grady and his friends. I am very upset about that. I think I am tough as nails about a lot of things and have become a harder and stronger person over the years, but there are some things that are just too tough to deal with it. I am a softie about these little souls.

      16. you should build squirrel houses in your backyard. They wouldn’t have far to go and neither would you. They would become your surrogate pets,like a herd. You’d become a squirrel herder!

      17. I have a Facebook friend … I don’t know him, but he is a friend of Carol’s and he likes squirrels. His friend wanted to build me a squirrel feeder to put at the side of the house. I told him I didn’t want to make anyone a sitting duck out there … he said “let him build it – he is retired and bored and he’ll send it to you.” Apparently the guy had a heart procedure done so is taking it easy now. I had thought of a squirrel feeder at the Park though … toyed with that idea and looked around to see where I could put it – I even looked under the pavillion roof to see if I could put a long metal hook from somewhere and the City guys come empty the trash every Monday and they come in a big dump truck – I would have asked them to fasten it but there is nowhere to hook it … a tree may work, but a hawk can swoop down onto a tree. I’ve been staying near them til they finish their pile of nuts. I didn’t get them apples or pumpkins this year … takes too long to eat and difficult to lug around.

      18. A hawk will take a squirrel at your place or the park,It doesn’t care where the take out service is.
        At the local fish farms they have nets across the top to stop birds or any other predator from getting in. If you did the same and had several squirrel condos in your backyard the Hawk would not be able to get them!

      19. There’s a thought- I would like to be able to put them in a bubble if I could. I despair what happens when I walk away from the Park – that I don’t see (swooping) or hear about. A fellow blogger has a big pond in her yard and she stock it with Koi goldfish and also has a lot of frogs, lily pads … she also has a heron who stops by and helps himself to the Koi and frogs. She had to put one of those nets over the surface to avoid a feeding frenzy!

      20. That’s a idea!! Put out rat traps and than leave the rats for the Hawk. Not only will it take the attention away from your furry friends but also clean the pests up.
        But I can’t see you handling a dead rat,so maybe not a good idea for you. I thought If the Hawks were kept full by other means they would leave your squirrel friends alone.

      21. I like they’d have a distraction, that’s for sure Wayne. But I don’t know if I can handle seeing and picking up the rat traps. My friend Carol lives in rural New York and traps rats all the time, occasionally raccoons and possums and takes them to a wildlife habitat and they set them free. She offered to send me some traps when we first got them in 2008, but I did not take her up on her offer. We got a pest control service … a few times I went in the backyard and found a dead, bloated rat and once a live but sick rat (from the poison). I called the City animal control officer to catch it. By the time they got there, it had moved. But it didn’t go far and he got him with a long pair of grabbers.

    1. I was alarmed at first! Any time I see something that’s anomalous I think about it for awhile and try to come up with a plausible theory. The problem is I do not live there. If I did I’d see patterns year after year. It’s like putting a large puzzle together to get a picture of whats going on but only having a handful of pieces.

      1. Hi Wayne, is there no information out there that explains why this is happening? There are so many issues in our natural world due to climate change that this sort of thing is very worrying.

      2. I’m not a expert Robbie. There may be info out there but this is a micro environment and nobody goes up there more than me……as I rarely see anybody else! Most of the bears recognize me. I wish I could live there to be honest. I’ve been there when It’s pouring,snowing,blowing and of course…..sunny! Each makes the same spots look different.
        All animals (including us) search for food. We search for food in large buildings while 99% of the other animals search the forests.
        If the bears are fewer this year It must be because of food. Last years salmon run was poor meaning less food.
        So I suspect the bears (all animals actually…..except humans) move away from these poor food areas naturally.
        It would be akin to you going to a supermarket and finding very little food. You’d drive to another supermarket to check on it.
        I think the bears have simply done the same thing. They know If they stay the food may be less and fighting would increase. The last thing any animal wants to do is fight because they know it could mean injury or death.
        So they migrate to other streams to let this stream come back.

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