Bear Season Ends and All I Get Are Moons

Scrapper giving us the Full Moon. Notice you can’t even see the barrel. (c) S. Warren

Bear season ended pretty quietly. The bear never came back until two nights before the baiting season closed. The temps were low, the weather good and sunny during the day, and I sat hoping to see the bear. Any bear. After all, I had plenty of bear on my site at night. The Cuddeback camera failed again and although we knew there was a bear there the night before, we had no pictures to verify the time. The final night revealed just how big Scrapper is, and he topped it off with a proverbial moon of his own, as if to be laughing at me as he finished off the sticky nougat. A younger bear showed up at 6 am in the morning on the last day to get a few bites before the big guy came back that night. The only reason we know this is because we took our cameras down the last day so when we went back to remove our stands, all the bait was eaten. Makes clean up easier…but then again…we’re not done! Scrapper hasn’t won yet. We were amazed to see the exact tracks Scrapper took to come into the bait…they walk in the same tracks every time they come into a bait site. Perfect impressions in the forest floor and mud tracks to show just how big he really is. This will be a challenge and we may not be successful, but it will be another new adventure.

Nice sized bear. Note the nice perfect ears…not Scrapper. (c) S. Warren

Trapping bears, which we’ve never done, ends October 31st. John trapped for many years but hadn’t found the time to keep doing it. With a few papers signed and notarized and all permits purchased, John is now a licensed trapper, and he’s going to try to trap Scrapper. I can’t trap because I have never held a license before, and an apprentice license can only be obtained if you trap with someone who’s trapped for the last three years…so at this point I will be an observer. Hopefully it will be exciting!

So bear season for me ended. However, I got to see the Blood Moon, lunar eclipse and super moon whatever you want to call it…I loved it…and I even got to see a few shooting stars as I watched the lunar eclipse unfold.

In my frenzied moments of anxiety when no bears present, I also spent a good portion of the season investigating Maine mushrooms. This is new field of study for me, yet I find it entirely fascinating. It’s a lot like searching for fossils. Identification and the satisfaction in finding a species that you can actually eat makes the finds seem like treasures. As it turned out, my backyard yielded many lobster mushrooms, which I am trying to figure out how to freeze for future uses in my rabbit, partridge, and just maybe bear dishes. I can’t wait to find others that I’ve only read about but haven’t managed to find yet. Onto my next adventures…bow hunting!

Lobster Mushrooms…yes they are edible! I found all of mine under oaks. (c) S. Warren

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