The brown leaves of fall tumble to the snow-covered ground, an intro to the coming winter. You’re out in the wild staying in a log cabin, hunting some game. Little do you realize that you’re not the only one on the hunt.
An unbearable shock
An Instagram video, shared by Rogue River Outfitters, unfolds with the sight of a snow-draped cabin, beside which stands a massive grizzly bear, appearing resolute in its mission to break down the cabin wall. His keen senses picked up the scent of moose meat just on the other side.
In a matter of seconds, the grizzly bear tears down the wall, snatches a portion of moose meat and drags it out back to camp. The person capturing the scene exclaims, “There goes a moose quarter.”
Bear with me
The bear’s desperate behaviour is likely due to the fact that his hibernation period is around the corner. He needs sustenance, pronto. And why bother to waste time and energy to hunt down prey when it lays so conveniently still for the taking?
Laying the facts bear
1. Subspecies of the brown bear.
Grizzly bears are considered a subspecies of the brown bear (Ursus arctos). The main difference between them is in diet and geography. Brown bears are mainly coastal with access to marine foods, whereas grizzlies live further inland.
2. Why “grizzly”?
Their hair is grizzled, meaning silver tipped. However, it is believed they originally got their name after the word “grisly” meaning gruesome or scary. Their scientific classification ‘Ursus arctos horribilis‘ was also named after their ‘horrifying’ reputation by a natuaralist in 1815.
3. Top of the food chain.
Grizzly bears are apex predators. They hunt large mammals, such as moose, caribou, and bison, using their speed and strength to catch them.
4. They can run at 30 miles (56kmp) an hour.
Despite their large size, they can move fast. The large hump on their shoulders powers their fast-moving front legs. This is why they tell you if you bump into a grizzly, don’t try and run from it!
5. When do they give birth?
Female grizzly bears give birth while hibernating. The grizzly cubs will stay in the den drinking milk until the end of winter.
The hunter would be wise to fortify his defenses, or maybe consider heading back home, because the bear will likely return to this easy target. This encounter attests to the raw and dangerous nature of the wild, a great privilege to be a part of.
If you enjoyed this article, read about fat bear week here.