Four bears gather in an Aroostook County field on this trail camera image. Credit: Courtesy of Al

Walk through the woods of Maine, and you’re not very likely to come face to face with a black bear. The stealthy beasts largely avoid humans, and are aware that we’re around long before we spot them.

Some buddies of mine and I saw a bear while moose hunting one year, and I’ve seen a few others in my lifetime, but experiences like that are exceedingly rare. At least, they are for me.

Put a trail camera up in the right spot, however, and you might be surprised how many bears you have prowling around in the woods near your house. That’s the lesson for today, courtesy of Al from Aroostook County, a BDN reader who answered our request to share trail cam photos and videos with us.

Al’s great photo features four black bears lounging around together, seemingly without a care in the world.

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The bears appear to have been photographed on May 14, 2015, though I can tell you that the time stamps on my trail cameras have sometimes — despite my best efforts at deciphering the instruction manuals — been off by a month (or a year).

Assuming Al is better at programming his cameras, and that this photo’s time stamp is accurate, the bears show up about when you’d expect them to: At 8 p.m., or just about sunset for that time of year.

So what were the bears up to at that point? If the time stamp is accurate, they were likely munching on anything they could find, having recently emerged from their den after a winter of hibernation. Bears are omnivores, and will eat nearly anything they can get their paws on. Maybe the green grass is the best snack they could find. Or maybe they’ve been munching on ants or other insects.

Al’s submission is the second that we’ve featured (you can find the other one here) and we’ve got dozens of great photos queued up and ready to share with you. Keep watching this space in the days ahead.

Do you have a trail camera photo or video to share? Send it to and tell us “I consent to the BDN using my photo.” In order to prevent neighbors from stopping by to try to tag particularly large bucks, moose or bears, some identities and towns of origin may be omitted.

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John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. He spent 28 years working for the BDN, including 19 years as the paper's outdoors columnist or outdoors editor. While...