While walking in the woods with my cats, I came across some signs that the bear or bears had been looking for food.
I know that black bears will tear up dead trees looking for bugs to eat and there are quite a few dead trees in my woods that look as if that is just what happened.
Then I came across this tree where the bark had been stripped off and was lying all around the base of the tree. Upon closer inspection, I also found these horizontal markings in the wood on the tree.
I know there is at least one bear that has a trail of sorts through the woods in that area. I’ve found a valley full of very large boulders back in the woods and have seen the bear myself at the top of the hill, standing in the road.
Just this summer my neighbors older kids were up the road in the “bear area” picking blackberries when they were frightened by a baby black bear that came trotting out of the bush.
Knowing that the mama was surely close by, they screamed, dropped their berries and high-tailed it home!
So what do you think, or know, about these markings? They are on a standing, dead tree and are noticeable in many various spots on the tree running horizontally and reaching up about 5 feet. Am I correct in assuming that a bear left these gouges in the tree while ripping off the bark? My other guess would be that insects living inside the tree, underneath the bark, made little tunnels in the wood.