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  1. #1

    Default Wildlife activity in a warm winter

    I've noticed a lot of smaller wild life and even several bees this past week around western NC. Has anyone noticed an increase in bear activity in the area? If so, is it a concern with the lack of available natural food supply (eg: berries and seeds)? Should winter hikers/campers be more aware of foraging critters than in previous colder years?

  2. #2
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    Great question! So crazy isn't it the warm winters we get anymore? We have bees and flowers out in January and February what the h-e-double tooth picks? I kinda feel sorry for the bears , when you're winter hiking in these warm temperatures you can see they've turned over big rocks and logs just to get a little grub. Can you imagine being starving and that big and that's all you get. It would be like us being starving and getting 1 cashew yikes. But bears are opportunists eaters ,they can fish and they will catch small deer to eat. But I think hikers should be alot more careful with food in these conditions. A good hang should always be practiced and a little more self awareness.
    Last edited by JNI64; 01-15-2020 at 20:19.

  3. #3

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    I've seen 2 bears in the last two weeks while hiking in the Shenandoah National Park. I don't know who was more surprised, me or him!

    Scott

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oyster View Post
    I've noticed a lot of smaller wild life and even several bees this past week around western NC. Has anyone noticed an increase in bear activity in the area? If so, is it a concern with the lack of available natural food supply (eg: berries and seeds)? Should winter hikers/campers be more aware of foraging critters than in previous colder years?
    Kudos for the observational awareness. Yes, good question. Maybe be more aware of smaller foraging critters than bears. I have heard of black bears even in colder winters leave their sleep state, forage, and go back to that state. I suspect as you have with warmer weather that can signal to bears to awake earlier. No personal observations though of my bears. What I will offer is I suspect the abundance of bear forage, how much bear have foraged, previous to entering that initial sleep state impulse can also affect re awakening.

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    bears really dont do a deep hibernation here in the southeast....

    i have seen bears in the snow in the smokies before....

    basically, if they are hungry----they will get up and wander around.....

  6. #6

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    Thanks for the input, y'all! Some good info to keep in mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    bears really dont do a deep hibernation here in the southeast....

    i have seen bears in the snow in the smokies before....

    basically, if they are hungry----they will get up and wander around.....
    Exactly. Our bears are notoriously poor at reading calendars. In fact, I noticed yesterday that Leconte shelter is under a bear activity alert right now.

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    Bears don't actually truly hibernate, they go into periods of torpor, in which the sleep isn't as deep as true hibernation. Unlike true hibernation, they can and will awaken quickly if aroused (e.g. don't poke a sleeping bear). Their heart rate slows and respiration slows, but their body temp remains higher than a true hibernator. And they will get up and about to eat, defecate (in the woods of course), etc, especially on warm days. https://www.nationalforests.org/blog...ally-hibernate

  9. #9

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    True they don't truly hibernate but they do sleep during periods of lowered inactivity hence why the word hibernation was not used and sleep state was. It more likened to a state of decreased activity that does include sleeping during this state more likened to a state of torpor as 4EB another willing to add and correct.

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