They weren’t! Or at least, this one isn’t. He should be hibernating, but he’s out and about in Sparta, NJ where Rob lives.
Actually, NJ black bears aren’t true hibernators, in that they are fully capable of getting up and moving around if the weather is mild. The funny thing is, I wouldn’t call 22 degrees mild! Guess this bear and I have different opinions about what is cold!
This one looks healthy and still fat, so maybe he/she is just getting some air. You know, those nights when you can’t sleep, have bad dreams, or just need a midnight snack? This one also wasn’t that hungry, because it never bothered the bird feeders. Just took a stroll around and went back into the woods.
So, all of you NJ hikers out there – be aware. They may not be sleeping after all.