Centuries of Black Bear Natural History Lost in a matter of Six Decades

“Image of Aster eating aspen leaves taken late May 2012. Aster was born in 2011. Ursus americanus (American Black Bear).” https://bear.org/vegetation-the-dietary-mainstay/

The Black Bear has lived for centuries foraging, living off the land; it is the natural history of his kind. Now lost due to Wisconsin Bear Hunter’s Association baiting them with donuts and running them down with hunting dogs.

I’m speaking of the black bear living in the woods, making his living for centuries. The Raven comes by asking but not wanting to know and always flies toward the wolves. Wolves move swiftly, catching a scent as they trot down the deer trail. The doe with her fawn moves softly through the sweet grass into the woods as dusk arrives.

As the acorns fall, they make a muffled sound, and one can hear black bears munching down the fresh nuts as a time memorial. Tall trees creak and crack, bowing in the night’s wind. The sound of water rushing in a nearby river as owls talk back and forth. The full moon’s bright light shines through the trees as the wind pushes the clouds through the sky. The night reveals three or four wolves howling low and long, a sound that breaks through the woods.

The black bear is sleepy, and fully grown fox kits play as they hunt the mouse in the dry leaves. The coyote keeps a distance between the bear and the wolf as they sing softly from afar. The buck snorts and stomps, springing about, showing their strength.

Autumn is the time of the black bear that knows the natural ways from centuries past and sleepily makes their way through the woods in the cool evening mist. It is the time of the hound dogs that wear the collars and serve the handlers from afar as they push away all peace in the woods and run down on the black bear, the wolf, the fox & the coyote for a man’s pleasure.

Rachel Tilseth

Learn more at The North American Bear Center is the only black bear and wildlife educational facility of its kind. Dedicated to replacing old myths with facts, people learn from the bears themselves about bear behavior, ecology, and their relations with humans. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. https://bear.org/visit-us/about-us/


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