Monday, June 13, 2011

THE BARE FACTS: Sex, Wanderlust Fever & Habitat (But mostly sex.)

A large Michigan black bear.  NOT photographed at Hudson Mills Metro Park!
file photo courtesy of Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Wanderlust fever. Good habitat. Sex.
Those are the three main factors that make a young black bear wander. But mostly it's all about the sex.
So before you get nervous about the (probable) black bear sighting on Saturday, June ll, on the West River Trail of Hudson Mills Metropark near Dexter know this: 
That black bear does not want to eat you.
And it certainly does not want to mate with you.
And here is another bare fact about black bears in SE Michigan. A black bear in our neck of the woods is not improbable or extraordinary and except for the novelty of "Oh my God, I think that's a bear!", a bear exploring SE Michigan is not really a big news item.
 For the past dozen years black bears have been pushing south.  A few years ago a black bear was confirmed in the Waterloo State Recreation Area midway between Jackson and Ann Arbor.  Bear rumors growled about last year near the Ortonville and Hadley State Recreation Areas.  And last fall Oakland County Sheriffs Deputy searched for a bear reported in a wooded back yard on Perry Lake Road in Brandon Township less than a mile from my home. (I was there scouting about with our deputies. No bear found. I have no idea what their plan was if we found the reported wanderer. Maybe the deputies thought I had a plan.) Two summers ago a bear was flattened on I-75 not far from Genesys Hospital just north of the Oakland County line.  And back in 1988 a bear went a wandering into downtown Clarkston. A media circus of mayhem and madness followed the bear. 
The DNR live-trapped that bear and trucked it back north.
Black bears wander wide and far searching for good habitat and potential mates. And sex. 
And without much chance of finding a bear lady looking for romance on the meandering trails and in the sultry woods of Hudson Mills that black bear will in all likelihood keep on moving. 
And hoping. And dreaming.
A FEW WORDS ON SAFETY: If you encounter a black bear you never ever turn and run! Running incites a predatory response be the animal a cougar, coyote or black bear. Just back away slowly and keep an eye on the bear. Bears, like people often follow trails. Give a bear a wide berth. Happy hiking!
For more bare facts on the Hudson Mills bear sightings see the Metropark website.  Got to their blogs link.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hiked Rose Oaks for the first time last week! No bears there (I wouldn't tell even if I saw one :) )

June 14, 2011 at 9:53 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My family in the past has owned much of the property Rose Oaks occupies today. I have never seen any black bears or seen their tracks there, but have seen hundreds of massasauga rattlesnakes. It is a real wilderness park and well worth seeing.

June 20, 2011 at 9:48 AM 
Blogger Jonathan Schechter said...

Not sure what you saw at Rose Oaks..but it was not "hundreds" of rattlers. They are shy and reclusive and NOT in social groups or commonly seen. Perhaps a few northern water snakes? But yes, Rose Oaks does have a few massasauga rattlers.
Isn't this blog supposed to be about BEARS!

June 20, 2011 at 7:25 PM 

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