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 Post subject: Tales of woe department
PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 1:54 pm 
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Location: Magalia, California
Last November I tried once again to get overhead videos of bears rubbing on trees. It’s a lot of work and not recommended for old men, but with a helpful friend and a ladder we got it done. The target tree was a Douglas fir next to the bears’ favorite rubbing tree, a big-leaf maple. They never rub on this fir tree, but I thought I might lure them with pitch from ponderosa pines. Pitch from Douglas firs and incense cedars turns them on, so why not pine pitch? Pine pitch is easy to collect with all the beetle-infested trees here. So I smeared the bark with pine pitch and set one GoPro 8 feet above the ground. The cam was attached to the 1-inch Ram mount and had a rubber bungee cord shock absorber, just in case a bear tore it loose.

Attachment:
Set-823.04C-741.jpg


I set a second GoPro near the base of the tree, and set a Browning Extreme to monitor the whole scene. The screen shot shows first bear, a 2-year-old, immediately rearing up to inspect the tree cam. After it tried to dismantle the ground camera, it body rubbed on the maple tree. The pine pitch failed to turn it on.

Attachment:
Bear-views-cam-WEB.jpg


A big male came seven days later. For some strange reason, the tree camera failed to capture the event, but the Browning saved the day. It showed that this bear also couldn’t have cared less about the pine pitch. It just reared up to check out the camera, and tilted it toward the tree.

Attachment:
Bear-tilts-cam.jpg


This would have been a great clip for the tree cam. I also learned that the ground camera was a total failure – probably due to a short -- the inside was filled with moisture. On the positive side, the tree camera’s new perspective was great for squirrel footage, and I got some good videos of high-speed chases. If I keep at it, I’ll eventually get some good clips of the bears too.

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WGS-on-tree-WEB.jpg


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 2:35 pm 
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I love it Chris... I so so want to see this when it all comes together ... what an idea .. good stuff


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 5:50 pm 
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Great idea there. Awesome perspective.

Blessings..........Pastorjim

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:26 pm 
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Almost looks as if that Bear is walking across a fallen tree towards the camera, great perspective. I once saw Cliff, AKA Wildebeest do a set like this years back with no lure.
A bit of fish oil and smoked Oysters aught to work as a good enticement.

I want to ask, do the Bears in southern California hibernate or go into some semi dormant state during the winter months?

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:38 pm 
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Thanks guys. Gary -- Cliff's smoked oysters would get me into the tree, too. Bob Ruse (Wallawalla, WA) used to get them up there with day old donuts. This is northern California, but no matter where, the bears here stay active year round at lower elevations. They may not hibernate here at 2500 - 3000 feet, but you don't see them much from January to late March, at least when the weather is cold. Up in Sierra Valley at 5000 feet (where I also set overwinter cameras) they go under for the winter. It's a cold windy and miserable place in winter.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 9:56 am 
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cameratrapcodger wrote:
Thanks guys. Gary -- Cliff's smoked oysters would get me into the tree, too. Bob Ruse (Wallawalla, WA) used to get them up there with day old donuts. This is northern California, but no matter where, the bears here stay active year round at lower elevations. They may not hibernate here at 2500 - 3000 feet, but you don't see them much from January to late March, at least when the weather is cold. Up in Sierra Valley at 5000 feet (where I also set overwinter cameras) they go under for the winter. It's a cold windy and miserable place in winter.

Hahaha............Cliff's Oysters.

California sounds like a good place to spend the Winter.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:33 pm 
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Great try Chris, keep at it and you may get some great stuff. In any case, the bears will be entertained.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 11:29 am 
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Thanks Woody. As you guys know, it's hard to out-think bears. They say they're smarter than dogs, and they have a knack for surprising you. If I can get my act together I'll make a little movie showing all the times they've tricked me. BTW, the latest bear book is by Barry Gilbert, who was badly injured by a grizzly several decades ago. Titled "One of Us, a biologist's walk among bears", it looks like it's going to be a good read.


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