What does Paulsen learn from the bear encounter in Woodsong?

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In Woodsong, Paulsen learns from his encounter with the bear that the smell of meat draws them in like flies. As a result, he and his wife typically have two or three bears around the kennel at the same time.

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Camping out in the wilderness has more than its fair share of challenges. But one of the biggest is dealing with bears. It's springtime, and the bears have just emerged from hibernation. As one can imagine, they're absolutely famished, and their first order of business on waking up from their lengthy slumbers is to get something to eat.

This creates something of a problem for Paulsen. He feeds his team of sled dogs on processed meat, and the smell of it lingers over the kennel. Somewhat inevitably, this attracts hungry bears, who are drawn to the smell of meat like flies. As a consequence, there are frequently two or three bears hanging around the kennel at the same time.

For the most part, they don't bother Paulsen and his wife. But of course, they are wild animals, and very dangerous wild animals at that, with the capacity to maim and kill. Paulsen's wife had a lucky escape when one of the bears chased her from the garden to the house one morning.

But it's the dogs that are really bothered by these fearsome creatures. The bears trade on their fear by scaring a dog into his house and stealing his food. On two occasions, bears have even killed dogs with rough swats that broke their necks.

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