I do have a license, I also have a cold with a nasty hacking cough! So there won't be any hunting for me until I get well enough to be able to sit for 5+ hours without coughing up a lung! A couple more days should do it.
The heat hasn't been helping bear movements either. My baits have been slow. Early falling acorns didn't help either. And the plentiful summer rains have provided another bumper crop of natural foods for the bears. And a bumper crop in the farmers fields too! No wonder things are starting out slow. I'm predicting another tough year for us bear hunters.
I also lost my go to spot that has provided me with so many trail cam photos of some great bears! So I'm currently working on 2 new spots that need more time for the bears to find them.
But all it takes for a successful year is one good bear to make one bad mistake and end up in front of me...good luck to everyone!
Most bears are down for the winter now, and have been for a while. The tracks that you saw were probably made by a younger bear that was making it's 1st den on it's own and something wasn't right about it. Sometimes they make them in the wrong spot and a late rain will flood them out and they have to start over. Some drought years will keep them on the move pretty late too looking to add to their fat reserves for the long nappy. Too much food this year for that though. Who knows for sure, but it's always fun to see their sign!
One winter I was out exploring with my dog and we were walking across a beaver pond when I heard a low growl coming from a little island. I searched the island but didn't see anything until we reached the other side. There was a hole in the bank and all the grass was matted down. It looked like someone had trapped an animal. I looked in the hole but the sun was in my eyes so I kept leaning closer while being tensed to jump back in case a PO'd fisher came flying out. I heard a low moaning sound coming from the hole. Then I saw a light colored object move directly below my face about an arms length away. When my eyes focused on the object the shape of a bears face came into view.
The bear had opened up an abandoned beaver bank den and was spending the winter in it. Wolf tracks in the snow showed that they had found and harassed the bear. A biologist said it was probably a boar based on the openness of the den. He said that he'd found boars that simply laid down in a low spot and pulled leaves over themselves. He also said sows make a more secure and warm winter den.