No Shxt Shirlock!

I found this uneaten apple about a perfect bear length in front of a pile of bear scat. Since there is but one apple tree on my entire AT section I can only deduce that it came from a tree three quarters of a mile away!


Shenandoah National Park, August 20, 2015 — It’s been a crazy summer for black bears in the park. They aren’t behaving normally. 
Ridgerunners report seeing far fewer bears than normal. Yet, bear sign is everywhere. There’s plenty of scat, not to mention a huge increase in overturned rocks, shredded logs and the like.  Why this, now, when food in a wet year is especially abundant?

That’s my main complaint. Our furry but elusive buddies are making a mess of everything. They’ve never done that to this degree before. 

Take for instance the section of the Appalachian Trail that I oversee. I can appreciate the “guys” help in keeping down certain invasive species such as the raspberry snares that are proliferating in the aftermath of a 2011 fire that burned through the lower half of the trail. Thanks for that. But, to paraphrase what we used to say in the Army, “One aah shucks wipes out every atta boy!”

Message to bears: Stop tearing up my waterbars and check dams!  I mean it. It’s going to take half the winter to repair the damage. 

Here bro bear trashed a perfectly good waterbar checking for grubs. At least the log was heaved where I could find and reuse it. 

In this instance of bear banditry, the SOBs took the the log which is nowhere to be found. 

All right already!  I know the log on this check dam is starting to rot and needs to be replaced.  I just don’t need the ursus crowd chowing down on this insect motel. 

Guess what?  I know who you are. I saw both of you last week when I was working on keeping the weeds (Lyme disease-bearing tick habitat) in check. If you don’t behave, I’m going to have to post your picture in the Jellystone post office. I mean it!

13 thoughts on “No Shxt Shirlock!

  1. Any evidence that bears get Lyme? (Probably not your area of expertise — more just a random question.)

    When we hiked on Mt Rainier a few days ago, we were told in a very off-handed way that bears are in the area. Of course we knew that. Just thought the park employee could have been a little more straight-forward. We did not see any, for which we were thankful.

  2. I wonder where the bear hid the one log. I guess the logs are just so darned convenient for them right in their path. You could put pepper powder under each log when you install them. Would that help? 🙂

    • Booby trapping the logs would be a Leave No Trace transgression. Not kosher. Besides, the pepper would wash away in time. I do wonder where the log went. Black bears never take food away – especially a log. They either look underneath or rip them up.

  3. I feel your pain. The bears keep digging up the waterbars on my section as well (Upper Piney Branch). Most of my older structures are rock, so the materials don’t travel far, but it’s still a pain to have to heave them back into place when your actual purpose for the day is taking a bush-hog to the blackberries that threaten to choke the trail closed. Also annoying is when they turn over rocks up-slope of the footpath, leaving random boulders sitting in the middle of your trail.

    Ah well, can’t really hold it against them, I suppose. Bear’s gotta eat.

  4. Bears need to learn a thing or two about “Leave No Trace”!! Maybe they are taking the logs to build their own shelter for the winter????

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