Bears are a normal occurrence in and around the Wolf Grove

John Fowler's local bear - photo taken at 10:01 pm September 4.  Night time shot with a motion sensitive IR camera
John Fowler’s local bear – photo taken at 10:01 pm September 4. Night time shot with a motion sensitive IR camera

The Editor:

The Millstone has been reporting sightings and evidence of bears in and around the Wolf Grove. Folks should know this is nothing out of the ordinary. The Grove has always had a reasonable or good population of black bears, although it may be a bit higher than usual. Theories for this abound. I and some of my hunting friends who live here operate trail cameras as a matter of course, and we regularly get photos of black bears. I got a picture of a large bear behind my house just a few days ago. Bear droppings can be found easily by those who know how to find them.

There is some, although likely slight, danger from these animals, especially perhaps at this time of year when they’re fattening up for winter. There are approved ways of acting during an encounter, depending on the circumstances, and who’s offering the advice. Conservation officers, hunters, trappers and experienced country folk often disagree on the best action to take should you meet a bear that doesn’t run (as most will do).

I’m a hunter and nature photographer, and I live in the Wolf  Grove. I and my family can tell some harrowing tales of encounters with bears in the Grove, as well as in and around Algonquin Park, but  I don’t wish to needlessly frighten people.

My best advice – keep out of the woods during the time between one hour before sunset and one hour after sunrise. And if you live in the Wolf Grove, keep your children and pets under close surveillance at all times.

John Fowler