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DayCreek Journal

December 21, 2005

The Bear Truth

A bright moon illuminates a cold December night in Mound Prarie, MN

A few years ago a story was circulating around these parts about a bear sighting just a few miles from here. Someone said they saw a mother bear with two cubs. Now these stories travel through the area

 

But, the neighbors are all talking about the black bear that was sighted back in November. The first sighting came from a neighbor who claimed to see it across the road from our place heading down towards the Root River. When one person sees the a bear in the area, it always seems to be taken with a grain of salt. Maybe they saw a shadow of something? Maybe they were sipping on too much egg nog? Maybe it was the neighbor's cow? It usually takes a second person to see the bear before the story is substantiated to any great degree.

Even so, every year or two you hear a story of how somebody told somebody about someone who talked to someone that saw a bear. (They're almost as hard to confirm as UFO sightings in some remote place in South America.)

Usually bears stay well north of here where forests are much denser and larger. Sometimes though, a few migrate down the Mississippi River valley and make a right turn at the Root River. Is it possible that one may be in our area? I was a bit skeptical at first, but after yesterday I am a believer.

No, I didn't see the bear myself, but a friend of ours who is allowed to bow hunt on our land stopped by the other evening to say hi. We talked for about a half hour as he recounted this year's how-the-deer-got-away story and he was just about to leave when he said "Oh, did I tell you about the bear I saw last month?"

He said that it was the week before Thanksgiving and while he was perched in a tree stand, he saw what looked to be a juvenile black bear foraging on the other side of a gully located on our property. Hmmm...it seems to me we might have a new friend in the neighborhood.

The bear by now is probably hibernating somewhere, but one of these days I might have to take a hike and bring my camera along just in case. I am elated that there might be a bear living on our land or at least in the forest nearby. It would be great news if it were true!

Looking Forward to 2006
Gosh! I've still got a lot of work to do on the house! Hopefully I will be able to fit in the time to get some serious work done. I really am going to do my best to get the staircase finish before spring. We'll just have to wait and see how much free time I will have. In any event, both Jo and I are looking forward to 2006 and we wish you and your family the best of times this holiday season and a healthy and happy new year.

See ya next year!

A Bald Eagle fishing along the open waters below a damn on the Mississippi River.