It’s Blueberry Festival weekend in Ely, Minnesota! And, being that blueberries are the favorite treat of our big, black friends it is time for another bear report from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). Most of my information comes from the USFS, and some of it is just unconfirmed chats with BWCAW paddlers.
Two weeks ago a bear on Disappointment Lake tore into a food pack that was hanging from a tree. Bears are determined and don’t care that Cinco de Mayo has passed; therefore they love to play piñata with a hanging pack. Please make sure your hanging pack is well off the ground, as much as 12 feet or more. Also, keep the pack away from the tree trunk. A hungry bear will climb the tree and reach out or climb out to get your pack.
Better yet…throw your food pack in the canoe when you leave for the day.
Yogi and Boo-boo are much smarter than you think. A bear on Basswood Lake came into camp and was able to crack open a bear-resistant container. According to the North American Bear Center in Ely a bear will make 40 attempts at a food source before giving up. More proof that there is no such thing as a “bear-proof” container.
Like humans, bears are creatures of habit, when they find a campsite or a series of campsites that have food they will just make their rounds. One such bear is on Malberg Lake, he just keeps coming around looking for a handout. And while he didn’t find or take anything he came into camp five times.
Many bears have just simply lost their apprehensiveness around humans. There is a bear in the Upper Basswood Falls area that has been trying to get invited to a campsite breakfast. One group of campers last week didn’t feel like guests so early in the morning so they left without telling the bear.
Keep your camp clean. Hang your food pack. And NEVER take food into the tent.
Have a great time on the water, and send me some photos!