On Sunday, June 27, I placed another "camera trap" on a faint game trail on the national forest near our house.
On Monday the 28th I walked the dogs up the Forest Service road nearby. Fisher, the madcap young Chessie, went galloping up the road as usual, but Shelby, the older collie mix, was staying closer to me.
Then she was lifting her nose and staring up into a narrow little meadow. I looked too, and saw the head and shoulders of a bear up there in the oak brush, perhaps 80 yards away.
Since Shelby tends to forget what "Come" means when she is excited, I snapped a leash on her. Fisher came racing back, and I made him sit and wait for a few moments to give the bear time to move away.
Given the terrain, the bear probably was moving parallel to the road. I did not want the dogs to scent it and give chase--who knows what might happen? So I convinced them that they really wanted to go home and have breakfast.
Fisher did break and run up toward where the bear had been, but I whistled him back, and we went home without incident.
Today I retrieved the camera. Notice the time and date on the strip below the photos. They seem to show the bear first moseying toward the little meadow and then retreating after it encountered us.
I am going to rest this spot for a while, but I think it deserves another camera visit later. It's in thick cover, and I have seen no sign of anyone but M. and me ever walking up there.