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So you’ve been to the zoo or maybe you’ve been camping and you’ve seen those big bulky bears just lumbering along and you’re wondering in your mind, “do bears climb trees”?

 

A Sudden Encounter…

 

Image of Mama Bear coming out of the water at our campsite.About a month ago we were camping on Rock Creek in the Eastern Sierras. I put a leash on my Kaylee girl, we headed out for a walk and went through the opening in the bushes between our campsite and our neighbor’s.

Suddenly Kaylee and I froze… about 15 feet in front of us was a mama bear coming across the creek right at us. Then Kaylee let out a bunch of healthy barks and all three of us took off the other way!

 

This mama bear had been in and out of our campsites for the whole time we’d been camping there, sometimes twice a day and I really should have expected her at anytime. She had even cleaned out some folks goodies right after arriving and getting everything unpacked and safely stowed in the bear box!

 

So, Do They?

 

I don’t know about you but a situation like this kinda makes me think about my next encounter with a bear and what my best route of escape is and many times I’ve wondered, do bears climb trees? You used to Link to Randy's YouTube Video on Can Bears Climb Trees.always see cartoons about folks headin’ up the closest tree when they happened upon a bear.

 

Well, a few days earlier we shot this video which gives ya’ a pretty good answer to anything you might be wondering about bears climbing trees. The video, granted, is pretty shaky and definitely amateur… but after all, I was there for the fishing! What the camera pretty much failed to do was show you Mama’s little cub tucked way up towards the top of the tree.

 

And Here’s the Why…

 

It’s my guess that Mama wanted a mini base to operate her campsite raids out of and during the day she would keep her cub safely secured high above the activity and then just bring her down when it was time for Image of Mama Bear and Little Cub crossing logs.another lesson in “Smash and Grab”.

 

If you’ve ever wondered about bears climbing trees or maybe even why do bears climb trees, hopefully you’ve found this interesting and realize now that it’s probably not a good idea to stop and try climbing a tree if that bear is in hot pursuit of that bacon grease you might have wiped on your britches!

 

Now… if I could just figure out how them bears stick their paws in the water and come out with a big ‘ol trout every single time!!!
Any ideas???

By R.C. Stude

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8 Comments

  1. Mary

    LOL, so funny about your wife having to nearly tie you to a tree to stop you adjusting their attitudes!! Also that you remember the cartoons where people always go up a tree to escape – thanks for the reminder, it all comes back 🙂

    Reply
    • Randy

      Hey there Mary,

      Yah, I was pretty hot! The bears hadn’t messed with any of us at all… they never do. They only take stuff that people leave out for ’em. When folks get careless with their food, Mama bear is usually not too far from camp and always willing to teach Jr. how to profit from them funny looking humans when they get stupid… LOL!

      Thank ya’ for checking us out Mary… really appreciate ya’!!!

      Randy

  2. Ellen

    Hello Randy,
    Excellent share and very interesting about Bears climbing trees. I always assumed they did, but never gave much thought as to why.
    I love nature and all her inhabitants, however coming up on a mama bear with cub is not something I would want to experience.
    Thank you for sharing the video and insights as whether or not bears climb trees.

    Reply
    • Randy

      Well thank ya’ Ellen,
      Yah, this was one of them memories that stay pretty vivid in your mind for quite a while. Kinda glad I had my Kaylee girl with me. When she barks it’s a pretty healthy bark and I think it kinda startled the bear a bit. She turned around as quick as we did and we all watched each other from afar! Couldn’t believe there was a young daddy upstream a bit teaching his young boys to throw rocks at the bear. My poor wife had to practically tie me to a tree to keep me from going over and adjustin’ their attitude…LOL!

      Ellen, sure do appreciate ya’ checking out my site! Hopin’ your New Year is starting out nicely!

      Thanks again,

      Randy

  3. cass

    Heh. Yup, I don’t think he was probably hungry for a while after that. The bear on the other hand… Lucky for you the baby was away from you guys, mamma bear can get ugly if someone gets in the middle. Bears aren’t tiny and cute like stuffed animals, they just look docile. I remember going to the dump in Alaska in the evening to watch the bears rummage. Man, that was terrifying for an 8 year old! That was close enough for me, and we were in a car. That’s our tax payers dollars at work, and it was probably just a couple of bears, going back and forth. Wonder what the bears thought of all that!
    Thanks for getting back with me, cass.

    Reply
    • Randy

      Indeed… I’ve seen them mama bears get tense when the baby wondered a little too far away from her and too close to people. When I was a little tyke camping up in Yosemite, it was the same for me… I’d go back to the campsite and be freaked out for the rest of the day and night. I’ve always had a healthy respect for them creatures… love ’em but stay well away from them except for the little accidental crossings of paths. Ey, thanks Cass… hope your new week rocks!

      Randy

  4. cass

    Haha. Randy, my man, the question shouldn’t be if they can climb, but will they still eat me after climbing up to me!

    One time my uncle was remodeling a house in Alaska. He told me he heard one of the guys downstairs in the kitchen, rummaging around. He thought, “Man, I hope he’s making pancakes down there, and coffee!” He tossed on some clothes and hightailed it down to the kitchen. Coming around the corner he saw that it wasn’t one of the guys at all, but a big ol bear. He said he skidded to a stop and looked at the bear, who also seemed a bit startled by my uncle’s sudden appearance. They looked at each other for a sec or two until their brains caught up with the situation, and they both turned and ran, in oposite directions. Just so you know, bears can climb stairs too!

    They used to take the problem bears from here about 40 miles south to Cloudcroft. The problem bears in Cloudcroft they would trap and bring up here!

    I pinned this on Pinterest, cass.

    Reply
    • Randy

      Doggone is that a great story. Probably didn’t take long to forget about the pancakes and coffee, huh? Yah it’d be just my luck that bear chasing me up the tree would just happen to be hungry too! Fortunately when Kaylee and I came around the corner and faced off with the mama bear, all she was thinking about was her cub and she just spun around and headed back across the creek. I don’t reckon I ever want to get that close to a bear again.

      I’ll bet ya’ they can climb stairs and I’ll guarantee ya’ they can probably do it three times as fast as I can depending on how hungry they are! Sounds like they were operating a prisoner exchange program out of Cloudcroft, ey? Kinda like a bear recycling program!LOL!

      Cass, thank ya’ for the shout out… I sure do appreciate ya’!!!

      Randy

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