Black Bear in the Food Plot
This bear. He’s quite a character. I saw he though I don’t know this to be true, it could be a sow for all I really know. We’ll see if “he” comes back with cubs next year. I watched this bear on the next to last night I sat over bait. There were trees between us until it got to be too dark to make an ethical shot. I snapped a twig to scare him away so I could climb down and come back to the house. This isn’t the first black bear in the food plot but it’s the first to stay any length of time. First one to return, and return he does, over and over.
I still have a camera on the empty bait barrel behind the house to see how long he’ll return. He keeps coming back, flipping the barrel over, pulling the logs out, finding it empty, and coming back again. I keep standing it up, putting the logs back in, and watch him via pictures. I’m always looking for more information. He’s gotten his payback for the empty barrel so don’t feel bad for him. 😉
This is the top of the food plot. There’s a trail that goes to the wood yard on the left side of the treeline. On the right side of the log laying along the treeline, the dark spot, is a small trail the animals use often. It goes to an old skidder trailer made when the woodlot was harvested 18 years ago. I’m planning to write a long piece about the food plot now that we’ve had a year’s experience and good information to share. Anyway, there’s a daytime shot of where the bear spends most of its time eating clover and being a brat.
I accidentally deleted the first pics of him in the food plot. Here he is on the third night, most likely coming in from the wood yard. We’re in a drought so we bought a Fortex pan to provide water for the deer. Two weeks later I moved a game camera to the back side of the pond and learned they’re drinking there. They have no interest in the pan. I dumped out the water, leaves and a frog when I noticed a little algae growing. Rather than bring it back to the barn and then lug it out again when the pond freezes, I left it there. We got a little rain so there was a bit of water in the pan.
Most evenings the bear shows up by 6:30. Reliably. If he was there yesterday it will be five evenings in a row. He ate clover and grass, left, and returned six hours later. He left again and returned in less than an hour.
This is the trail from the wood yard where it enters the food plot. He left and shortly returned.
He was back and forth until 1:57 am.
Hey look! Something other than crows is drinking from the pan!
Nap time! This is to the right of the water pan, in the center of the plot. I wonder what he did to wear himself out?
Here he is coming in from the wood yard at 1:54 am. Notice anything?
Look closely. That bum!
Did he return last night?
I’m eager to check the cameras this morning to see if he returned last night. I’ll wait until mid-morning. If the deer are in the plot in the morning they arrive between dawn and 6:30 and stay an hour to an hour and a half. I keep hoping that if I don’t scare them too often they’ll continue to browse and that a buck will show up with them.
So did you see what happened? The water pan is gone. I thought he was drinking from the pan but it turns out the bum stole the pan! I went out to get the cards and noticed the pale yellow grass where the pan used to sit. There might have been a quarter-inch of water, not enough for him to quench his thirst. It’s brand new and never had food in it so it doesn’t smell yummy. The brat used it as a toy. Go ahead and laugh. I did. gees. Maybe he played so hard he needed that nap. When I go out this morning to pull cards I’ll spend a few minutes looking for it, and this time I’ll bring it back to the barn. Having a black bear in the food plot has been interesting. He can go hibernate now. 🙂