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Feeding Sign

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Bear "nests" are clusters of broken branches from feeding and are not where bears rest.  They are made when a bear sits in a crotch of the tree and pulls branches closer to eat catkins, buds, leaves, fruit, or nuts. 

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Winter Dens

yearling_in_den.jpgBears den in a variety of places.  If you suspect something is a den, look for a bed of leaves, although not all bears make beds if they den after snow has fallen.  To be sure a bear used a leafy bed, look for a depression 2-4 feet in diameter.  Dampen your hand on the forest floor and rub it around on the leaves to see if any dark hair sticks to it.

Bears investigate possible den sites throughout the summer. If a bear is disturbed during the winter, it will often move directly to another den.

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Summer Beds

bedding_area_cedar_800x600.jpgBears generally bed away from people and other bears.  In cold weather, especially in spring when the ground is still frozen, they insulate themselves from the ground by raking up leaf litter or placing conifer boughs in their beds.  They obtain the  boughs by biting branches off conifer saplings.  Sometimes they strip the bark off cedars to use as bedding.  In warm weather, they bed directly on the ground, often in cool, damp, mossy areas.