Words and Images from Ed Felker

Bear Tracks


My friend, naturalist and outdoorsman Brian Balik, called me today to come along as he had a lead on some bear activity. It was fun to track this bear, to see how he meandered through the woods which were, at times, dense with brush. We were a day behind him, so I don’t think there was a real chance we’d encounter him, but it was fun. I’m no expert, but this seemed like not a small bear. Hind print measured almost nine inches from heel to the tip of the claws. The snow was perfect for capturing detailed impressions. The last several weeks of this godforsaken winter have ranged from irritating to downright dangerous. But today’s outing made me think I should make the effort to get out into the woods after a snow. There are so many tracks, each just waiting to tell a little part of a big story.





5 Responses

  1. I thought that bears hibernated.

    February 24, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    • Dispatches from the Potomac

      Not in Virginia. Well, not in this part of Virginia. Maybe up in the mountains farther. These have been the coldest days of the year. They can go through a sort of false hibernation, sleep for a week, up for a couple days, but I forgot what that’s called.

      February 24, 2015 at 9:42 pm

      • Torpor!! A sort of dormancy or false hibernation, just like ya said. So interesting to see these tracks in the snow, as they are incredibly preserved. . .until the snow melts.

        February 24, 2015 at 10:43 pm

      • Retirement.

        February 25, 2015 at 9:43 am

  2. Anne Dubrow

    Very cool. I’d like to know where most of the tracks were found…so I can find them as well. What fun!

    February 25, 2015 at 12:50 pm

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