Dear Wood Folk,

Would you believe me if I told you Makwa has started to CHARGE at chipmunks? Those same scary chipmunks that were making him skedaddle up trees?! He even had a moment of bravery when bluff charging that frightening housecat for invading his bear space. It helps that he is so much bigger than he was…

BEARFORE
BEAR AFTER

This transformation sure didn’t take long. It was less than three months! Makwa packed on the pounds and the bravery over his yearling summer. Black bears are even better than I am at gaining their coat of winter-weight. I’d be *ahem* lucky if I go up 20 in the harvest season, but bears will pack on as much as 30 pounds per week!

Our friend was around less and less as he focused more on high-fat nuts in late autumn. So when he returned with all his limbs and belly jiggling as he moved, I was overjoyed. I had wished to get a video of his vibrant blub, but the opportunity never presented itself. So, you’re just going to have to visualize a blob of bear-shaped jello swaying back and forth.

While I never got clear bear tracks from him, he left other signs:

A fresh apple and guessing nut bear scat (he was caught in the act!)
A black bear run (frequented path)

And here’s a scratch and plop from the studio, which has its own set of bear folk:

If he hadn’t left the scratch marks I might have assumed this was raccoon scat.

Other bears have left tracks at the one-acre woods over the years, but I have yet to get a crystal clear footprint. We saw a massive track that I first thought was a man’s boot track, in the swampy area behind the studio. It was the largest track I’ve ever seen. That bear must have been at least 500 pounds. Makwa will hopefully be that size by the time he’s about five years old.

Clear tracks being absent, here’s something better perhaps – Makwa’s foot:

We can’t even!

If you like tracking, check out this “bible of tracking” on Amazon (it’s 50% off, $23.49 as I write this – hopefully still is), and the coolest tracking group on Facebook, Animals Don’t Cover Their Tracks: Animal Track Identification Help Group. The Admin of that group has pages and pages of black bear sign at her website.

Our big boy was growing up and ready for his first winter on his own! We’ll be saying goodbye soon! But more friends are coming, firstly the adorable fox kits.

If this is your first time stumbling upon The Wood Folk Diaries, Makwa’s appearance starts at The Wood Folk Diaries: Volume 1, Chapter 2: Makwa The Black Bear. If you’ve enjoyed his antics please subscribe or follow us on your favorite social media and be sure to turn on notifications so you won’t miss his upcoming features!

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