Maine’s Black Bear Research Program

February 5 – While fishing with customers I often chat about the natural wonders of nature all around us and that there is much more to a day spent in the back country of Maine than just the fish.

During our off season another dedicated group is very busy trudging through the woods looking after those very creatures we find so fascinating.
An email came to us the other day about the ongoing Maine Black Bear Project that we want to share with everyone. Good stuff that goes on during the dead of winter.

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has been studying Maine’s black bear population for quite some time. Biologists have been tracking a number of radio collared bears year round. During winter hibernation they get the opportunity to pay a visit to den sites and check on hibernating bears and their newborn cubs. The little guys, helpless at birth, are born in the den during the winter months. They feed on mother’s milk while she tends to them between naps, all tucked away in their den until the snow leaves when they emerge to begin their new lives as one on Maine’s fascinating and elusive creatures.

If you haven’t seen this yet, it’s a video of one typical visit to a bear’s winter den. The mother bear is safely tranquilized so she and her offspring can get their physical unharmed then be returned to their hideaway to continue their long winter’s nap. Although this biologist’s visit to a bear’s den is routine, what they discovered at this particular den was not.