Friends of Big Bend National Park
Big Bend Conservancy

Over-estimating your experience or under-estimating the terrain in a place like Big Bend can result in serious injury or death. Use the information and advice found here wisely. Climb/Hike/Camp/Drive at your own risk.


Big Bend Wildlife Sightings Report

  • 149 Replies
  • 27887 Views
*

Offline BigBendHiker

  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 3057
    • http://groups.msn.com/bigbendphotos/summer2005.msnw
Big Bend Wildlife Sightings Report
« on: August 27, 2006, 04:40:32 PM »
The July report is on the website:

http://www.nps.gov/bibe/naturescience/upload/sightings_0706.pdf

Here is the link to the "wildlife sightings" page on the BIBE website:

http://www.nps.gov/bibe/naturescience/sightings.htm
Link corrected by Moderator.


BBH
AF5HO

*

Offline Vince T

  • Black Bear
  • *
  • 889
July Bear and Mountain Lion Sightings Report
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2006, 10:08:42 PM »
Thanks for making us aware of this...plenty of sightings in July I would say.

I saw David posted pix of mountain lion tracks near Croton.
I too have seen tracks there.
We also saw lots of track heading towards Slickrock Canyon once, but have never seen a lion...but likely have been seen at least a time or two.

Vince

*

Offline DavidW

  • Black Bear
  • *
  • 284
Re: July Bear and Mountain Lion Sightings Report
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2006, 08:11:36 AM »
Quote from: "BigBendHiker"
The July report is on the website:

http://www.nps.gov/bibe/naturescience/upload/sightings_0706.pdf

Here is the link to the "wildlife sightings" page on the BIBE website:

http://www.nps.gov/bibe/naturescience/sightings.htm


Mama bear and two cubs are sighted almost daily now in the Basin campground. Have not, as of yet, seen them myself. But, my camera goes with me everywhere out here. :)
David

*

Offline Casa Grande

  • Site Founder
  • Administrator
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 5676
  • Bending It Since 1991
    • Virtual Big Bend
Re: July Bear and Mountain Lion Sightings Report
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2006, 12:24:48 PM »
Quote from: "DavidW"
Quote from: "BigBendHiker"
The July report is on the website:

http://www.nps.gov/bibe/naturescience/upload/sightings_0706.pdf

Here is the link to the "wildlife sightings" page on the BIBE website:

http://www.nps.gov/bibe/naturescience/sightings.htm


Mama bear and two cubs are sighted almost daily now in the Basin campground. Have not, as of yet, seen them myself. But, my camera goes with me everywhere out here. :)


In the basin campground? Really?  Is this the same Mama Bear and cubs from the Boot Spring? Or another family? Do they know?

*

Offline TexasGirl

  • Black Bear
  • *
  • 460
July Bear and Mountain Lion Sightings Report
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2006, 02:14:21 PM »
When we talked to the staff in the Basin on the 29th, they told us about the sightings of mama +2 and mama +3 the day before--recorded in the report for the 28th.  Their conclusion was 2 mamas and 5 cubs between them.
As a matter of fact, I _do_ have an opinion on that....

*

Offline JeffB

  • Black Bear
  • *
  • 232
    • http://www.astroforecast.org/bbindex.html
July Bear and Mountain Lion Sightings Report
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2006, 09:01:34 PM »
I was lucky enough to see a Mama bear and two cubs in the basin in early September.

I woke up at first light and walked from campsite 52 up to the campground registration area.  I sleepily began filling out our campsite envelope when I heard something behind me, some rustling in the brush.  I briefly looked around and saw a deer moving across the road and away from me.   While I finished writing on the envelope I kept hearing rustling sounds.  Finally I looked again and saw a small bear at about 50 yards come out onto the road.  The bear was small and looked lanky and I assumed it was a juvenile.  Then a few seconds later two very small cubs popped out on the road.  They walked down the road toward me for about 20 yards and then went back into the vegetation.  The mama bear was leading the way with the two cubs following about 20 yards behind, playing in the sotol.  It seemed like the cubs found something particularly interesting about the sotol, I couldn't tell if they were playing or forraging for food.  

I watched them for about five minutes as they made their way down into the valley immediately to the east of the basin campsites (next to sites number 29,30).  I was torn between sprinting down to get the camera or savor the moment.  After a couple minutes I decided to go get the camera.  I ran down to our campsite woke up Terry and we sprinted back to where I had last seen them.  They were gone.  We scouted about 20 minutes but no trace.  

The mama bear looked very small, much smaller than the bear we saw at Boot Canyon a couple years ago.  It was amazing to watch them for that period of time.  I only wish I had the camera in hand.
Jeff Bullard
Dallas, TX

*

Offline BIBE Webmaster

  • Coyote
  • *
  • 82
    • http://www.nps.gov/bibe/
September Sightings of "Charismatic mega fauna"
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2006, 08:21:49 AM »
September bear and mountain lion sightings now available. Take a look.

E
Eric Leonard, Park Ranger
Big Bend National Park / Rio Grande Wild & Scenic River
http://www.nps.gov/bibe/
http://www.nps.gov/rigr/

(Big Bend Park Ranger 2004-2008)

*

Offline Vince T

  • Black Bear
  • *
  • 889
September Sightings of "Charismatic mega fauna"
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2006, 08:29:12 AM »
Thanks Eric-
Always enjoy going through that list.
Any idea why some say date unknown?

Thanks.
Vince

*

Offline BIBE Webmaster

  • Coyote
  • *
  • 82
    • http://www.nps.gov/bibe/
it's visitor dependent...
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2006, 08:39:28 AM »
The information posted here is a summary of wildlife sighting cards primarily turned in by visitors-if they don't provide a date or time, we don't have it...

E
Eric Leonard, Park Ranger
Big Bend National Park / Rio Grande Wild & Scenic River
http://www.nps.gov/bibe/
http://www.nps.gov/rigr/

(Big Bend Park Ranger 2004-2008)

*

Offline Vince T

  • Black Bear
  • *
  • 889
September Sightings of "Charismatic mega fauna"
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2006, 08:46:31 AM »
Aha -
I just figured these were from oral reports...that's why I was confused.
I was envisioning the following (amusing) conversation:

- "So, when did you see the bear?"
- "Umm...well...geez.. .I don't know exactly."
- "Ok...we'll just put unknown."
- "Sounds good...have a nice day."


Sorry...should have finished the coffee and thought about it before asking the question...
 :)

*

Offline okiehiker

  • Black Bear
  • *
  • 708
  • cryptantha crassipses
Bears and bears and bears, oh my!
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2006, 11:09:11 AM »
The summer of 1993 was one of the driest in history in southern Colorado.  Across the state, bears were driven from their usual foraging grounds, increasingly looking in dumpsters and other human treasure troves for the hungry beasts.

I was running a camp in Rio Grande National Forest, 35 miles southwest of Alamosa, Colorado and we experienced more than a little bear trouble.  In the middle of 1,000,000 acres of forest, fifteen miles from the nearest paved road, we were the only non-natural source of food for the increasingly fearless critters.

Over a period of roughly two weeks things progressed from an occasional sighting of a bear in the area of a camp, to almost nightly encounters, to the bears just hanging out on the roof of our dining hall.

The dining hall was a 2,500 square foot log building.  To create windows, the logs were irregularly spaced, leaving gaps anywhere from 12” to 30” long, and one logs-width (8 inches) high.  The openings were covered with a flimsy window plastic.  The building was (I thought) completely bear-proof.

One morning I came into the kitchen at 5:30 AM and noticed that it was a bit drafty.  I looked all around and didn’t notice anything.  Something made me look straight up and I noticed that the skylight was gone!  The Plexiglas cover had been ripped right off.

Other than their being a 21 ?” by 30” hole in the roof, there was nothing out of place.  Later that morning I climbed up on the roof and replaced the missing cover.

The next morning when I came in, the skylight had once more been ripped open.  On top of the huge Blodgett commercial double oven, I had left a #10 can filled with bacon drippings from the previous morning’s breakfast.  There, in the top of the can was a perfect nose-print of a black bear.  The wily creature had hung from the rafters, too scared to drop all the way to the floor, and gotten herself a snout-full of grease.  A few people in camp were afraid of the bears, but they had not really gotten too close to anyone in camp and the primary conversation surrounded how cute they were, or “they are really kind of little.”

We had a couple of groups in camp at the time, eighty high schools kids from two Christian churches in southwestern Oklahoma.  The two youth ministers were brothers in seminary at Phillips Theological Seminary in Enid, Oklahoma.

Paul and David were big boys.  David was the big brother in a chronological sense.  But at 6’2” 245# he was the little brother in the family.  Paul came in at 6’3” 315# and most of us thought of him as pretty big.  Paul had a full ride to UCLA that earlier in his youth he had squandered for academic reasons.  

In any case, one evening about dusk Paul heard a knock on his cabin door.  He slammed it as quickly as he could.  “I’m not accustomed to looking up at people, and that bear was standing on the porch, and I was looking up into its face.”

Paul was lucky that the bear didn’t really want in too badly, because the homemade wooden door would not have slowed a 350# adult black bear down for a second.

One summer, while camped in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, I observed a nearby “camper,” who had reserved a cabin next to the campground, feeding (against every park regulation and admonition) an adult bear.  After a few minutes the novelty wore off it was time to move on to the next tourist amusement.  The bear, however, had other ideas.  The man rolled up his bag of marshmallows and retreated to the cabin, hastily closing the door behind him.

The bear simply reached its claws under the bottom edge of the door, and ripped it right off its hinges.  The terrified family scrambled out of the cabin while the bear merrily shredded packs and bag and coolers, feasting on whatever it could find.

The next evening I saw the mama bear up on the dining hall roof again.  She was standing up on the peak, considering her means of ingress to the kitchen.  I grabbed a rock about the size of a baseball and drilled her square in the head.  She fell backwards, rolling down the roof.  I was horrified.  I didn’t really want to hurt her; I just wanted her to go away.  She stopped, just a foot or two short of falling off the building to the ground.

It might have been better if she had fallen clear to the ground.

Two nights after the bacon grease incident, I again had fixed the skylight, this time with a piece of ?” plywood screwed down to the frame that had housed the Plexiglas cover.  But the bear was a bit more emboldened.  Sometime in the middle of the night, she got into the kitchen, dropping down to the floor this time, and having a field day with everything that wasn’t securely stored inside refrigerators or stainless steel cabinets.  When she was through shopping, she apparently could not remember how she had gotten in.  

The little windows in the logs were far too small for a bear to climb through, but that didn’t stop her from trying.  Every window, more than 100 of them, was ripped out.  It took me nearly two days’ work to replace all the shredded plastic, removing cedar 1x2’s cutting the plastic, wrapping and renailing them one by one.

During the time that we were dealing with this problem, there was a bear that had broken into a trailer near Salida, killing and eating the resident.  The Colorado Division of Wildlife came and trapped the bears we were dealing with, dropping them some miles away.

Summer of 2004 I had bears ransack my camp in the Wet Mountains, southwest of Pueblo, Colorado as well.  Interestingly they drank all of the soda that had sugar in it, but left cases of Diet Coke alone.  How could they tell what was inside the cans??



Bears ransacked the kitchen at my camp in the Wet Mountains.


The work of bears not on a diet!


Happy mama bear!


Who says bears can’t climb trees?
Funny... I have a story about that...

*

Offline RichardM

  • Admin
  • Global Moderator
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 6781
Re: Bears and bears and bears, oh my!
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2006, 11:20:55 AM »
Quote from: "okiehiker"
Interestingly they drank all of the soda that had sugar in it, but left cases of Diet Coke alone.  How could they tell what was inside the cans??

I have heard that a bear's nose is sensitive enough to smell what's inside a can.

Quote from: "[url
http://www.americanbear.org/senses.htm[/url]"]There is perhaps no other animal with a keener sense of smell. Bears rely on their sense of smell to locate mates, detect and avoid danger in the form of other bears and humans, identify cubs, and FIND FOOD. Although the region of the brain devoted to the sense of smell is average in size, the area of nasal mucous membrane in a bear's head is one hundred times larger than in a human's. This gives a bear a sense of smell that is 7 times greater than a bloodhound's.
Moderator still needs a new job. If anyone has any good leads for a software engineer position (preferably in Texas), shoot me a PM or email.

*

Offline Undertaker

  • Ham Radio: KD5YA 1999 Ford F-350 4X4 Diesel 150 Galllons Home: Richmond, Texas
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 1338
  • Cooking BBQ for Trail Rides and Contest
    • http://www.GodboldAppraisals.Com
September Sightings of "Charismatic mega fauna"
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2006, 11:43:25 AM »
Bear stories, while staying with my uncle in Ruidoso NM, we had an interesting bear encounter.  A quick discription of site, home in on piece of land that backs up to mega acreage BLM land on three sides, you drive up to home, go in on second floor to living, kitchen, bath area and first floor is off edge of hill with bedrooms and baths, you drive around the hill to go to garage area built into hill bedrooms and rear of home face saddleback on BLM land.  

About 3:00am one morning we heard a noise up stairs which woke my uncle and myself, needless to say both wives were up by this time.  My uncle headed up the stairs as I calmed the wives and started upstairs, about the time I hit the top of the stairs all hell was breaking loose, pots banging, plates breaking, in all a great deal on noise. As I came around  the corner into the dining room my uncle had my aunts china in hand sailing it across room at a large fur covered arm reaching through kitchen window trying to drag bean pot off of range. My uncle told me get the shotgun downstairs, as I turned to do so, my aunt standing with my wife said forget the shotgun, because if my uncle threw one more piece of her good china at the bear, she would use the gun on my uncle.  

I guess both my uncle and the bear figured this mad woman would kill the both of them, the bear ran off the garage roof which was how he managed to get close to the window with the beans and my uncle very carefully placed the "last" plate of my aunts china on the dining table.

"How could you use my good china?"  :? was my aunts question. My uncles response was "because it was less dangerous than going for the old stuff at window were bear was and where was the shotgun?"

Whole family stayed up rest of night cleaning. The next morning when we went into garage (actually carport in hill with no door, my uncle's suburban rear door window was gone and so was dogfood, dog never did bark, I guess he figured better to stay in doghouse than get killed (good call), thank God it was a big doghouse as I think my uncle was going to be sharing same. :lol:  :lol:  8)
Visiting BB since 1966, nothing like being lost and finding heaven.

*

Offline okiehiker

  • Black Bear
  • *
  • 708
  • cryptantha crassipses
great posts
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2006, 12:02:32 PM »
Great story undertaker... and thanks for the nose info RichardM.  Both the bears and lions are amazing creatures.  If we respected their capabilities a little bit more, and could get rid of the people who feed them, etc. there would probably be a lot less to fear.
Funny... I have a story about that...

*

Offline BigBendHiker

  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 3057
    • http://groups.msn.com/bigbendphotos/summer2005.msnw
December 2006 Wildlife Sightings
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2007, 11:05:42 AM »
The December 2006 Wildlife Sightings are on the NPS website:

http://www.nps.gov/bibe/naturescience/upload/sightings_1206.pdf
AF5HO

 


©COPYRIGHT NOTICE

All photographs and content posted by members are to be considered copyrighted by their respective owners and may not be used for any purposes, commercial or otherwise, without permission.

+-Calendar For Sale

 2016 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!

Powered by EzPortal

Facebook Comments