Posts Tagged ‘bear tracks’

bear trails

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

a walk in the snow

The walking trail of a black bear (ursus americanus) near Yuba Pass, one of the passes over the sierra that highway 49 uses.  This particular trail was less than forty five minutes old, likely minutes old. Sun was melting the snow pretty fast that day and these tracks were crisp. Plus he walked right on top of my trail that i had made forty five minutes earlier.

It was a stunning walk. All the snow reflecting the light like some kind of brilliantly lit lab room. I walked in the slush for a few miles out then turned around and came back the way i came only to find the sign of this wandering omnivore. He broke into a run just a few feet up from the photo above. I was singing pretty loudly on my return walk and i wondered if that is what scared him. I am saying him just cause of the size of the tracks. Not actually sure of the sex.

little one

Here’s a smaller one that crossed the trail earlier on my walk. That’s an AA battery for size comparison. I wonder how old this guy was and why he/she was alone.

Ursus Americanus

Friday, May 28th, 2010

ursus americanus (black Bear)

Talked with my neighbor who has lived here for thirty years. He knows the land very well and also saw the dead coyote. He also thought it was the mother of the pup. But a another friend I talked with said he thinks the pup survived. That was just his hunch. I hope hes right. Otherwise I’ll be heartbroken.

Anyways its been raining on and off for the past week or so. Went out for a bike ride yesterday and followed an old mining road down to the stream. It had bee raining all daybut there was no precipitation for the moment . I stopped my bike when I noticed the track above.  Thats a regular ball point pen for size comparison. I was amzed to see completely fresh bear tracks. The rain had just stopped and these tracks had absolutely no precipitation marks in them. The tracks were very fresh and I thought that I  had probably scared him off. The trail was going up the road and then it turned around and headed back down the road. He had probably heard my squeaky, wet breaks, turned around and bolted.

bear front and hind

Perhaps these prints are easier to see. Thats the front-left track of the bear below with the hind-left track above in a walking gait. Some natives of america called the black bear “brother”. For those who have seen one up close walking around you can see why. But unlike us,  bears have a foot structure where the smallest toe is on the inside as apposed to our foot where the Biggest toe is on the inside.

can you see the trail?

As I followed along the road here’s what the trail looked like at times. Perhaps its tricky to see. Can you see the alternating footsteps of the trail, showing up as light splotches in the grass? Because evrything was so saturated with moisture from all the rain, the tracks were showing up in many different substrates:   soil, grass, leaf debris and gravel. I followed him ( or maybe her?) for about a quarter of a mile and then lost the trail when it came down to a riverbed.


Perhaps it’s too difficult to see in the photo but can you see the bear track taking up a significant portion of the bottom of the picture?

right-fore black bear

See the tiny inner toe? These tracks measured about six and a half inches in length with the claws.