Alaska's Black Bear & Blueberries

Every year we look forward to a few key things here at Caribou Lodge Alaska that signal the seasons.

The bird migration is a refreshing sign of spring.

Cow moose move in closer around the lodge and use the open tundra as a nursery as they raise their calves, and that is a sure sign that summer has arrived.

But one of the biggest signs for us that summer is almost over is every August after the millions of blueberries ripen and instinctively the black bear know that it is time to pack on as many extra calories as they can before they head into the hills and begin hibernation.

Black bear will spend more than 20 hours per day eating berries and only take brief naps between feedings just to make sure they get as fat as possible. It has been recorded that a black bear will consume up to 20 pounds (9 kg) of berries in one day.

As completely wild animals black bear are never to be trusted or approached, which is why we never guide a hike without bear spray and a firearm for protection of our group. But as long as there are no young cubs around these bears just want to be left alone and also do a great job to leave us alone as they are just busy eating almost non-stop!