The soggy spring and early summer posed a lot of problems for Mainers. Such was the case for our noted trail camera contributor, Colin Chase of Gray.

A few months ago, Chase went to one of his known hot spots and put out a video camera in the hope of capturing more great wildlife footage. Chase is a whiz at finding out-of-the-way locations to set up his cameras, but on July 8, he found it a challenge to access the site. Although it was ultimately worth the trip, it required considerable effort to retrieve the memory card.

His efforts — and those of his dog, Stryder — on that July day were complicated by wet conditions and a logging operation that was working nearby. Chase and Stryder had to pick their way through the woods and the muck, then across a stream at the outlet of a pond, to get to the site.

“I’ll tell you, that was gnarly, but it sure beats the mud we had in the spring,” Chase says on camera. “It’s still muddy with all the rain.”

Not unlike a small child playing in a puddle, Stryder takes full advantage of the opportunity to get up to his neck in the mud.

The footage made it all worthwhile though. There are black bears living in that area and Chase had previously discovered that they frequent this particular spot to take advantage of the trees, which is what this video shows.

If you’re thinking that rubbing against a tree might be the only way bears can get their back scratched, you may well be right.

Scientists have long believed that the rubbing shown is a scent-marking behavior designed to announce their presence to the other bruins in the vicinity. And the bears do seem to do a lot of sniffing when approaching a tree.

According to a story in The New York Times, bears may actually have another practical reason for rubbing against trees and posts. Apparently, the sap and resins that can sometimes leach out of conifer trees, including with the help of some claw-scratching by bears, might be useful. The study theorized that the gummy substances might provide a way to aid in keeping ticks from setting up shop on the bears’ backs, sort of a natural tick repellent.

In any case, the bears’ enthusiastic use of nature’s back scratchers provides plenty of entertainment in Chase’s video. The rubbing even seems to result in a kind of comical rhythmic dance.

The video features one of the cubs aggressively scratching and climbing on a dead tree that Chase had cut down to size in the hope of attracting some itchy users. Another segment shows what appears to be a large boar gracefully executing his own pole dance.

Our great thanks to Colin Chase for allowing us to share his beautiful wildlife videos with Bangor Daily News viewers. Be sure to check out more of his fantastic work on his “Maine Woodsbooger” YouTube channel.

Do you have an outdoors photo or video to share? Send it to and tell us, “I consent to the BDN using my photo/video.”

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Pete graduated from Bangor High School in 1980 and earned a B.S. in Journalism (Advertising) from the University of Maine in 1986. He grew up fishing at his family's camp on Sebago Lake but didn't take...