May 27-05

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2005: May: May 27-05
Honey, I'm home for dinner!    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Ellen Campbell
Bird feeder bears    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Ruth Beljan

Mary Drew at Pasty Central on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 06:49 am:

Bird feeding is a very gratifying hobby, giving a sense of peace as you watch the birds flitting back and forth gathering the seeds…unless you get unwelcome guests! Here in the Keweenaw, of course, there is quite an array of visitors, some wanted, some unwanted, including squirrels, raccoons and even BEARS! The top bruin was captured (on film) by Ellen Campbell in her Traprock Valley backyard, where he's been a regular meal crasher. The second shot could be a scene out of The Three Bears and was snapped by Ruth Beljan, who tried to get the feeder high enough off the ground to prevent this very episode from happening! These carnivores certainly enjoy a meal of seeds or berries and can be quite bold at times. Our neighbors had one that would regularly come right up on their deck, pick up the bird feeder, lay on his back and pour the seed right in his mouth! Talk about making yourself at home!

By smf in troll land on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 06:52 am:

Wow - sure glad I don't have these visitors at my feeders! Cute pics.

By Margaret, Amarillo TX on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 07:16 am:

Oh, the bear stories we have. When my brother and I were really little, my dad brought home a small black bear he got while hunting (mind you he was a Bad River Native American)and both of us were terrified. Second time we caught sight of one of these critters, Tom and I were driving to Newberry in the early summer--late at night, and right there on the side of the highway was a black, strolling along foraging for supper. We do have them down here, but they are confined to the NM forests. Friends of ours always had a wintery visitor to their back porch, tumbling over the outside refrigerator.

By Captain Video on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 07:18 am:

..."can't get enough of that Sugar Crisp!..."

By Mr. Bill on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 07:22 am:

Great pictures - ours are all nocturnal raiders.

We've found that keeping birdfeeders out all year round in the UP, is to become a zookeeper.

By julie b., MI on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 07:31 am:

Good point smf! Kind of puts my squirrel problems in perspective!

But the bear shots are fun to see - thanks!!

By sur5er on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 07:36 am:

Love the bear pics. Looks like there was a line a the second birdfeeder, eh. Wonder how many seeds it takes to fill up a bear's tummy. ;)

By Donna on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 07:55 am:

Do our black bears normally get a patch of white on their chests? Seems to me that's a bit unusual? GREAT pictures!!!

I put out some orange slices to attract the orioles, which they did. However, one day, I looked out...and there was a paw on each side of an orange slice and he was just cleaning out the orange was dripping off his little chin!! The most Vitamin C the little guy has seen in awhile. Had me just howling! (They gotta eat too...)

Have a Blessed Memorial Day weekend. Thank you Vets for serving, and thanks to our current military members too!!! Bless you all.

By Mary in Maryland on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 07:57 am:

Woops! the only way to get to the comments this morning is by clicking on the pictures. Maybe it's my computer, or maybe the connection isn't working properly.

By Janet NW Ohio on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 08:02 am:

Great pictures, we was standing outside the icecream shop in Copper Harbor when a bear came across the street went behind the shop and sat there and watched us eating our cone, being from Ohio we thought that was great. We used to go to the dump or as we called it the theatre in the round and we really miss the bears and that just made our day. Great news Sharon

By maijaMI on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 08:39 am:

one year in Eagle Harbor we noticed all the people out by the road. A young black bear was banging a cooler up the road. (no one rushed to save the cooler!) One man said, "That bear's gonna be very disappointed when he finds there's nothing but beer in the cooler!"

By gmw on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 08:41 am:

Many, many years ago, along a roadside park near Copper Harbor, relatives and I were there having a picnic. Grandma was grilling hamburgers. Out of the woods came a bear. We all ran to the car, left everything sitting on the picnic table. Tried to get grandmas attention, she just kept on frying those burgers. She couldn't hear well. Finally, she turned around and dropped the spatula and ran. I guess by her scream, bear got scared and ran back in the woods. Carried on with the picnic.

By Sarah, Central WI on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 08:44 am:

That must've been an awesome sight to see. The only time I was ever "close" to a wild bear was when I went to Silver City to see them feasting on the garbage.

By tinkerbell fan on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 08:53 am:

What a neat picture. It made me wonder about Tinkerbell. Has anyone seen him lately???

By Shelley , Corunna, MI on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 09:15 am:

Neat pictures! We feed the birds down here in the middle of the mit and have our share of non-bird visitors. For a while last winter, we had a deer who would visit nightly and unload our feeder! The kids enjoyed watching him, but the birds were less than happy! Here's hoping everyone has a wonderful Memorial Weekend!! Guess Summer is just around the corner now!

By Gerry S. Mi on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 09:27 am:

Hope everyone has a splendid Memorial Day. Remember those active service persons and those who gve their life for our freedom.

By Foghorn, Lil Betsy, Mi. on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 09:33 am:

Great Picture!! Yes, we had to take our feeders down, as the bear came around this spring again. He was humongous--it was about 11 p.m. and we looked out and saw him enjoying his meal. We watched him for awhile and then put the light on and he went lumbering off. He sure was big. Last year, I had the window open, was frying pork chops and he came in the yard, smelled the pork chops and came and put his nose up to the storm door. I wish we could have the "dumps" as we did in the old days. Those bears need that food and what a good way to get rid of left-overs.

By Dave Hiltunen In the Smoky's TN. on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 09:41 am:

My Uncle Alvin hit a Bear with his Ford wagon pulling a small camper in Alberta,MI.When they found the dead Bear it had only 3 legs from a trap injury long ago.I can't remember how big it was,Alvin is gone now to ask,but he said it was large.Took out the fender on the wagon & blew the tire.I have seen alot of Bears being from up there.And have seen one down here so far in the Smoky Mountain National Park.I was close enough to one to feel his breath on me! I was giving him or her a bottle of soda pop in Christmas, MI.

By Steve in VA on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 09:57 am:

Wondering (just for giggles) if the bears also go for the hummingbird feeders (as that was a big topic recently).

By MissingdaUPinMN on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 10:03 am:

Great pictures and stories! I'm waiting to go up to Copper Harbor for our Memorial Weekend camping trip! Leaving today for the beautiful UP! It's always fun to look for bears along side of the road on the way up to Copper Harbor. Had a few experiences when the bears would come up to Fort Wilkins where we were camping and cause a few problems. Always adds excitment to the weekend! Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!!

By Alex Tiensivu, Georgia on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 10:24 am:

Are these bear "U.P. Friendly" like the ones we've fed along the Gay Road, or do you need to STAY AWAY?

By Sue, Calumet on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 10:27 am:


That white mark is a "chest blaze". Here's more info:

"80% of all cubs are born with chest blazes, but many lose them as they age."

By Selma on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 10:42 am:

As a young girl, I used to hold the flashlight so my dad could finish repair on the car. I would always be looking towards the woods looking for bear and naturally, every noise I heard would cause the flashlight to quickly check it out. My dad used to tell me "the bears are just as afraid of you as you are of them." I never quite believed him. Even so, I was always willing to jump in the car to go see if there were any bears at the 'dump'.

By Trapper Dan on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 11:35 am:

No bears can be trusted, especially the U>P> friendlies. They are a wild animal and should be treated as such. Beware of the bear. Don't bother them and they wont bother you.

By Kathy from Ann Arbor/Cheboygan on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 11:49 am:

maijaMI, I remember a news story about a bear that did get into some campers' beer--in fact, he had a brand preferance--he tried a can of each then stuck with the one that tasted good to him. If I remember right, that's also how they got him into the live trap: beer bear bait

By Mel, Kansas on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 12:22 pm:

I tried setting up a bird feeder in Houghton when we moved out to a more remote location, rather than being in town. Bought the feeder and a bag of seed, set it up in the side yard where I'd have a shot at watching the birds, and called it good.

Feeder didn't even make it through the night. We found it a couple days later out in the woods, empty as could be, with toothmarks in the lid. Didn't take much imagination to figure out that the bears who frequented our dumpster also got the feeder.

I'm having more success down here, but something still comes by and empties out my sunflower/corn/millet feeder on a regular basis. Can't seem to keep that one full, but have better luck with the thistle feeder. Also can't seem to keep a block of suet out for very long. But have been seeing many cardinals, some doves (turtle or mourning, I'm not sure which), gold & house finches and even an indigo bunting or two for my efforts. There's orioles down by the river (couple hundred yards away) but with whatever keeps emptying my feeder, I don't want to tempt it with orange slices and jelly. Nor do I want to attract that many more ants!

By Roudy Mi on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 12:46 pm:

Boy,one can "barely" get a word in edge wise.

By Roudy Mi on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 12:56 pm:

Mr bear had no trouble bending our 1/2" dia. iron rod shepards hook to the ground to get the humming bird feeder. Wife claims he even tried to push the cabin of its moorings one night when she left bacon grease in the garbage in the kitchen uncovered. All the drippings go in the freezer now till garbage day. Cabin is safer that way. Little more peace of mind to the cabin occupants too.

By Roudy Mi on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 12:57 pm:

That's "off it's moorings"

By Skylar in Wi on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 01:39 pm:

Cool pictures. Last August while staying at Krupp's Resort in Twin Lakes my wife woke me up and said that she thought a bear was outside the next door cabin. I told her it was probably a raccoon. So we get up and look out the window, sure enough the bear was sitting down, with his/her feet out in front eating something out of the garbage can. He finally finished it up and headed off toward the state park. The next morning we figured out it was eating a Subway sandwich. My first ever live bear sighting. Too bad we didn't think of trying to get a picture. Later, Skylar.

By julie b., MI on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 03:36 pm:

A ranger at Fort Wilkins told us a story about a family feeding a bear in the parking lot from the back of their van. Of course it didn't take long before the bear decided to cut out the middle man and climb in the van. The family scrambled out and then slammed the back doors trapping the bear!! Of course the bear proceeded to rip the inside of the van to shreads. The family wanted the State Parks to pay for the repairs to the van!

By Frank, Northern WI on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 04:13 pm:

Another good story! It was opening day of fishing. After a great day of fishing I was making a cobbler, outside in a Dutch Oven over charcoal, like all good Boy Scouts can do. It was finially finished so I set it on the porch to cool with the cover ajar. I went inside, came out 10 min later and found a bear eating right out of the pot. He ran away after I yelled but the cobbler was lost!

By Misty Bond, MI on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 04:14 pm:

What a terrific picture! Really a great capture--not everyday you see something (or someone) like this so close up!

By Jim, Houghton, MI on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 05:09 pm:

Hello All,

Beautiful day here in Houghton - now. It was raining earlier, but now it is really nice out.

Our favorite Copper Country bear story is a few years back when my sister in law and family were up for a visit. We were going to go to Copper Harbor to see the July 4 fireworks, but bad weather approaching caused us to go to Lac La Belle (sp?) for a late supper instead. After a great meal, we were going to show them the falls at the park (Havens Falls?). Our guests were just asking if we had seen many bears lately - we said not lately. As we pulled into the park there was a huge male black bear standing up and leaning on a tree! After we all (including the bear) got over the shock, the bear ambled up the hill along the falls. The Copper Country never ceases to amaze us.....!

By the way, our 6'6" "cub" Josh is graduating from Houghton High School on Sunday. I can bearly believe it!



By yaya on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 05:15 pm:

beary beary COOL!!! i once seen a mother bear and her four cubs crossing the road on my way into the u.p.

By Ernie WA on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 06:17 pm:

Like the pic of the bear. I've met up with bears in the woods like about 6 ft away one time, without a weapon! It's no fun. One walks away very slowly and gently. I followed a bear with my car in Jacobsville at 40 mph. So you can see if the bear decides your his target, you won't have much of a chance. Nice pic.

By Ernie WA on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 06:30 pm:

TO STIX OUT WEST -- Read your e-mail about the Jake lighthouse. I'm Phil from Mantons older brother. We have been in the old lighthouse tower when your grandparents were there. My dad worked on it alot at that time when they perchased it. Your mom & dad should remember me. I helped your dad move there house on the shore. I think my wife was at your garage sale last summer in Jake, or was it your parents. She gave some one a black & white pic of some steps and the lighthouse. I'm taking early retirement as of June 30 and will be moving to Jake to start building our new house. If you want, send me a mail.

By ii on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 07:15 pm:


By julwisc on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 08:09 pm:

Setting: Near Eagle Harbor, Michigan
Cousin said, "You're crazy. There aren't any bears around here." We reply, "Oh, yes there are." Cousin accidentally leaves his nice Coleman cooler with wheels in the woods overnight. The cooler is found (totally destroyed) the next day about 50 yards away. The lid was ripped off. The contents were consumed! Pepsi cans had the tops ripped off. Tooth & claw marks on the cooler and the cans. Did you know a bear would eat jalapeno sausage? No wonder it needed the Pepsi!

By CC Mom on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 09:45 pm:

Ernie WA: My daughter and son were stopping in Eagle River on their way to Calumet to change drivers. They were getting something from the trunk. Son says,"Sis!" Daughter says annoyedly, "What?" Son says, "Sis!!" pointing behind her. Two bear in the garbage cans RIGHT behind her car. You talk about walking backwards calmly and slowly!

moral: don't tell mom these things.

By gmw on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 09:54 pm:

Interesting bear stories everyone had today. Nice to share stuff with Pasty Cam friends.

By The Z-Man on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 10:06 pm:

Eye to Eye with the Z-Man.

By Frank Picotte, Ca. on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 11:09 pm:

I remember a fellow from Lake Linden Shot a bear during hunting season. Probably a record for the UP as the bear weighed six hundered fifty pounds. Not something one would want in their van.I believe this was in the fifties.

By Susan, Fl on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 11:59 pm:

An addition to Donna's comments early this morning about squirrels and oranges....we have fox squirrels in our back yard....a large variety, about 10 inch body and 10 inch tail. Ours are mostly black with golden ears and noses. Anyways, when the oranges are in season the little guys come and carefully check out any that have fallen to the ground (they are so big they just pick them up in their "hands"), look them over, throw them back down and go up the trees to pick their own! Even newly fallen ones with no discernable bruises don't pass muster with these little shoppers....nothing but the freshest for them! Wish we had bears to go with them, but although they are in Florida, we don't see many of them in Pinellas county...too congested for them...and me!

By Maggie, Minnesota on Saturday, May 28, 2005 - 12:10 am:

My grandparents bought what is now "The Summer Place" right around the time that my mom graduated from Houghton High. She told a story of my grandmother chasing a bear out of the garden with a broom and my grandfather chasing after her trying to make her stop. Sometime after that, one evening some friends dropped my mom off and it turned out that my grandparents were not home. She didn't have a key and ended up waiting for them sitting in a lawn chair in the dark. She heard many noises and knowing that there were bears about made the wait seem endless. Thankfully, whatever was crashing through the woods decided to stay there and not come in for a closer look.

By ILMHitCC on Saturday, May 28, 2005 - 12:45 am:

Please, please, under NO circumstances try to feed any bear, whether it seems 'friendly' or not. Unless, of course you're looking to be the next recipient of the Darwin Award, or take pride in putting the 'dumb' in 'dumb tourist'. Worse yet, you will be responsible for the next bear that is trapped and taken away or put down. It's not fair to the bear, of course, or the next tourist you put at risk, or the locals who depend on the nature tourists' dollar for their livelihood, etc. They're great to see, but use a zoom lens and a bit of good ol' common sense.

It's interesting watching the bears out doing their evening grocery shopping. Besides the usual trash bins, picnic areas and restaurants, they know to check out parking lots. They don't have to smell food, they already know what a cooler is for and will look for them in parked cars late at night.
When the bear sees one, it will get up on its hind legs and 'test' each window by bouncing on it with its front paws, checking to see if it will give way. If the window is cracked open it gives way fairly easily under the bear's weight, and the bear climbs right in for a bite.
Sometimes shining a bright light, if you have one, or making some loud clattering noise will scare the bear off, sometimes it won't. All you can do then is find your insurance number, and remember next time to close your windows and hide the cooler.

By maijaMi on Saturday, May 28, 2005 - 07:41 am:

ILMHitCC: great advice. I hadn't thought of that about coolers and/or cracked open windows. Will now attend to both those issues! Thanks.

By agb, PA on Saturday, May 28, 2005 - 06:03 pm:

Ah, we had a bear and four children.
The three older kids were in one tent, my wife and the 2 year old in another.
Woke up in the morning when something hit the side of our tent - it was a bear cub!
He threw open the front of the tent, and started to ramble in. Momma bear was patrolling outside.
Baby bear was now halfway inside the tent, standing over me. I was in my sleeping bag.
My wife screamed: Do Something!
I did. I screamed, knowing that if the baby bear was fully inside the tent, and became frightened,
momma bear would come to the rescue, and we would be in danger.
Fortunately, baby bear backed up and left, along with momma bear.

By Shirley, Indiana on Monday, May 30, 2005 - 05:15 pm:

Seeing those bears makes me think I am a wimp for chasing the squirrels and "pinies (or so I call them) from my bird feeders. They are real trapeeze artists flying from the trees to the feeders!

By Dawn M Mi on Saturday, June 4, 2005 - 02:19 am:

You know I had just moved from the Delta county area,Rapid River as a matter of fact back on county Rd 511.I've lived there for 7 months and never ever seen 1 even in my yard (considering my yard was nothing but forest).We have often heard and smelled them.When we moved up there the residents were telling me how to know when there's one around.One weekend when my daughter came up to see me my neighbor (1/4 mile down the rd.)was telling her how to know when a bear is around,that night we left her house and on the way back you could smell it real bad,then my daughter goes mom can you smell it?Then I started talking loud as to scare them off and she froze up on me,talk about hilarious I felt like a fool walking down the street talking aloud by myself You just had to be there I guess

By Jim Storm,Brighton Mi on Wednesday, June 8, 2005 - 06:32 pm:

Approx. 10 years ago we were driving from our cottage at portage entry down the snake river hill and I noticed what I thought was a black dog standing by the roadside. As we got closer we noticed it was a bear so I sped up but just as I got near him he ran into the side of my car. We stopped the car and walked back towards the bear that was lying in the middle of U.S.4l with all 4 legs upward. Just as I got within 10 feet of the supposingly dead bear he sprung up and ran into the woods.

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