We have some sad news to report. A small bear had to be put down at Ft. Abercrombie last week. The story is that he charged a couple who was walking their dog. But others say he was so young that he was probably looking to play with the dog instead of attack anyone.
Apparently, there are a few bears at Ft. Abercrombie and at the Spruce Cape USCG/Navy Seal winter training area. They are separated by Mill bay and you see both of those places on most of the pictures I take out of our window. Some say they probably swim across the bay often. Incidentally, they have documented 2 bears that swam the 25 mile width of the Shelikof Strait which separates us from the Katmai peninsula, where we took last week's bear viewing pictures.
As for determining the size of a bear from his foot print, measure the width at its widest point of the foot and add 1 inch. That is his length from forehead to rump when he is walking on all 4 legs. Here are a few pictures.
My shoe is 4 inches. So the little one is 5 feet...he is a small one by the airport at the Buskin River. The larger one was the average size of the bears around us at Geographic Point on the Katmai Peninsula. That one was 7 feet. I have one that measures 9 feet, but it is lightly smudged because the foot slipped, so maybe he was only 8 feet.
In any case, don't worry about us. Only 2 people have been killed on Kodiak Island by bears. Both of those were hunting by themselves, one of the with a 30-30 rifle, big enough for a deer but not a bear.