Are there Bears at Mons Lake

Yes as is the case with most northern Alberta lakes, there are bears at Mons Lake. As I was told by a long time resident, the lake at one time was called Bear Lake because of the many bears in the area. You rarely see them in the spring and early summer, but around the first of August as the berries start to ripen they seem to become more active.


Going for a walk:

CampsiteMy first experience this year is when I took the dog for a early morning walk down to the Mons Lake campsite. It was a weekday and the campsite was empty. The dog is dragging me from place to place as she is investigating the many smells. She soon has me on the edge of the campsite neer a very dense area of bushes. It is quiet with the exception of the distant call of the Loon. Now I here a short grunt sound coming from the bushes only a few feet away. I am thinking that sounded like a large pig. I read somewhere that Bears make a similar sound. Right about the time I am thinking it must have been my imagination, the sound comes again, this time with more aggression. I decide it is time for Heidi and I to be on our way.

When we get back to the cabin I do some internet research and find that, yes bears can make a similar sound to a pig. I guess there was a bear feeding on the berries and didn’t like me and the dog in its proximity.




Sitting on the deck:

CampsiteSeveral weeks later I am sitting on the deck, surfing the web on my laptop computer. Some movement catches my eye and I look up and see a large black bear investigating our garbage can about 8 yards from where I am sitting. I yell and at the same moment Heidie spots it and explodes from her resting place under the deck. Wow she is in full attack mode barking her face off. She hit the end of her leash at full speed but by then the bear had spun around and was on it’s way past my trail camera. In the video you can see the bear looking back to see if the dog was in pursuit. I am sure glad I had her on leash as I do not think a 20 pound sheltie would’ve been much of a match for that black bear.


Our Bear Dog:

It is about a week later and we are enjoying a quiet evening on our deck savouring the late summer weather. Suddenly Heidie starts barking and charges across the deck towards the corner of our property. I look up to see the back end of a bear making a hasty retreat. Again she was on leash so things ended well. Now every time the dog starts barking Gail is running for the back door.


My trail camera tells me what is going through the yard after dark.  In this video we see a mother with three cubs passing through the property just after dark.

Many of us have an exaggerated fear of Bears. However in most cases they are more afraid of us then we are of them. They are simply a part of a Mons Lake wilderness experiance. Through this summer we have enjoyed watching at least two red fox families raising there pups. You will even see deer and the odd moose from time to time.


Bear scat:

This morning I noticed a large pile of Bear scat about 10 yards from the house.

How do you tell Black bear scat from grizzly bear scat. I wish I could take credit for this one, but I read it on something years ago.

Black bear scat is black an loaded with berry pits. Grizzly bear scat smells like pepper spray and has bear bells in it.

link to “Feer of Bears”