Welcome To The U.P. Sugar Shack Website

Posted February 5, 2015

Hello and welcome to the new and improved U.P. Sugar Shack website!
Greetings to all the wonderful people I have met over the years. I am happy to have brought you the great taste of Pure Maple Syrup, as well as the many chats we have had. I look forward to seeing all you again soon.

As for the new and not-yet-met friends, hello to you as well, and welcome to our site.

When I get to chatting with my customer-friends who stay for a bit, we usually end up talking about living here in the wild north, and the critters I have as “neighbors.” Many of you have a camp or cottage, or just come up to stay at the many great parks we have. So for those who have not yet stopped, I thought I might share something that happened here a few years ago.

We were packing syrup for the store and for deliveries. A customer stopped in and said, “Did you know that you have two bear cubs in your yard?” Of course, we stopped what we were doing and went to investigate.

The customer had kept the cubs out of the highway by driving slowly and “herding” them into our yard. They were up in one of the maple trees here in the yard, and we decided to just let them be, and watch for their mom to show up — but she never did. We don’t know what happened to her, it was be a strange time of year (May) to just die.

Those little cubs were so cute at that age, born in February, weighing just about 10 or 12 pounds. You can’t help but love them. And yes, they got names: Hewy and Dewy.

Hewy, the male, kept running off. Then Dewy would go up in the tree and just bawl away because she was all alone. Eventually, Hewy would return, and Dewy would settle down.
We realized they must be hungry and came up with a concoction that would be easy and nutritious; one they could not resist. We mixed a can of evaporated milk with some honey and oatmeal and they loved it.

DNR LogoBut we still had to figure out what to do with a couple of bear cubs, so we called the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR). At first, they didn’t seem to be too concerned — after all, there is a healthy bear population here in the U.P. But those cubs were so darn cute!

Next we called Oswald’s Bear Ranch, but they were at full capacity. However, they said if the DNR didn’t help, they would “help light a fire” under them. The next thing you know, the phone was ringing off the wall, and the people from the DNR said they would be by as soon as possible to help trap the cubs. The plan was to try to get them fostered in with other sows (female bears) that might take them in as their own.

The DNR showed up with a large dog kennel, then waited out in the front yard. Because the DNR people were “strangers,” and I had been standing at the base of the tree to keep Hewy from running off, he would come down the tree so close that I could all most touch him. We put the munchies for the cubs in the kennel and waited for them to go in … then closed the door.

Later, we got a call from the DNR that they had got them successfully fostered in with other bears!

Here they are, Hewy and Dewy:

Bear Picture UP Sugar Shack

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This post was written by U.P. Sugar Shack