Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Since there was a couple comments on my camping post about bears, I figured I'd write a little more about the bears we saw camping. When we arrived in Waterton, we knew that there was obviously wildlife there, but we didn't know how common it was to see animals around there. Our first taste of it was with deer. They wandered through the town completely unafraid of people! Then came the bears!

Being that we are prairie people, we were a little creeped out about the idea of bears. Not to mention Mason's parents had a run in with bears while camping a long time ago! So we were a little creeped out. When we picked our campsite we were told that people with tents weren't allowed to camp in the very bushy campsites because there were lots of bears around at the time (we didn't argue!). On our second morning there we were driving down the road that lead from the townsite to our campsite and we saw a ton of cars stopped on the shoulder-less, undivided highway and some pulled right off. There was also a Parks Canada vehicle. We slowed down and quickly spotted this guy:

He wasn't very big and we assumed he was a grizzly cub based on his size and colour. He was quite close to the road though and didn't seem to notice all the cars at all!

Later that day we were driving on the same road and saw a bunch of people outside of their cars, looking across a little "valley" towards the golf course. Mason got out and asked the people what they were looking at and they pointed out two grizzly bears on the golf course! Then again, closer to the townsite we saw a black bear and two brown cubs (which is when we discovered that just because the bears are brown doesn't mean they aren't "black bears"). The park ranger really watched that situation closely, for obvious reasons. We had one final bear sighting that day on the road back to our campsite again. The park ranger wasn't there, there was only a couple of cars stopped so we went straight to the office at our campsite and filled the guy in. It was really funny how excited we were compared to him, he was just like "yeah, ok".

So being the prairie dwellers that we are, that was a lot of bear sightings for just one day! But it actually set our mind at ease because we saw how uninterested bears were in people if we generally minded our own business.

And finally, on our last day there we had our closest glimpses of bears. The first was in the morning when I drove off alone to get firewood and just outside of our little section of the campsite was a black bear wandering down the road, eating berries from the bushes along the sides. My first thought was "Where is my camera!" (back at the campsite) and my second thought was "Should I go back or let Mason know there is a bear in the area?". I decided that in the 5 minutes it took me to get wood, the bear would probably not try to hunt down and eat my family. To be safe, I also went to the camp office and informed them of my sighting. They sent a van out immediately to keep an eye on the situation. We saw no more of that bear in the camp, so I assume he kept to himself. As we were driving out we saw one last bear hanging around the road between the town and our campsite. Some people were stopped on the other side of the road and actually got out of their car to take pictures while the bear was only a few yards away! Not the brightest people, but luckily the bear wasn't interested.

Hopefully this was a little interesting for you, Connie and Sarah! We didn't have any crazy run-ins or anything. :)

1 wonderful comments:

Connie said...

Thanks Erica. That is very interesting and a whole lot of bear sightings in my books. Glad you don't have any horror stories to tell.