Eight days after tending exclusively to the injured badger, I took a hike to a more remote part of the forest where a sett (networks of tunnels and living quarters dug up by badgers) inhabited by a pair of European Badgers is located. In this, special episode of My Adventures at the Injured Badger Hole I introduce the burrow of the badger pair and share a glimpse of their life as captured on a trail camera.
It’s an 8km long hike to the badger pair hole and the morning when I took the hike turned out rather frigid. It was misty with no visibility and high humidity, but as I ascended upon the mountain range surrounding the valley, I was greeted by a shining sun and got the breathtaking views of the thick fog engulfing the valley below.
It’s an arduous, 2km long uphill climb to reach the upper ridge of the mountain, but have I not undertaken the challenging ascend, I too would have been trapped in the thick fog, whining about the miserable weather.
But up on the mountain it was just beautiful, if a bit bone chilling, but the warming rays of the unobstructed sun worked against the chills and I could marvel at the beauty of the milky haze surrounding everyone down in the valley.
I made stops along the trek through the long field spread out across the ridge of the mountain to film the haze from different vantage point, but didn’t have whole day to enjoy the bird’s eye view of the fog, for the way to the badger pair hole is long so with the sun in my back, I kept pushing forward.
Badger Pair Hole
I arrived in the forest where the badger pair lives about 2 hours after starting the trip. Being late fall, the forest looked incredibly bare with most of the leaves fallen on the ground. During Summer, the forest canopy is so thick, the whole space overhead is filled in with leaves, so hardly any sunrays get through. Seeing it so open made it almost unrecognizable.
To my delight, despite not having visited for 8 days, the trail camera at the main entrance hole to the sett of the badger pair was still there. After my other camera which I had at the sett of the now injured badger disappeared without a trace, I often worry that a similar fate may befall upon another one of my game cams. The unpleasant feeling I experienced when I arrived at the badger sett #3 and the camera was not where I left it still haunts me to this day.
Three Badger Setts
As I wander through the woods day in and day out, I uncover the amazing life of the creatures that share the forest with me. So far I have found three burrows crafted by the European Badger (Meles Meles).
The first was my most exciting find, but also the most disappointing. It was existing because it was the first larger burrow complex I have discovered in my life, so I really looked forward to glimpses of the life of the animal that lived there. But I got disappointed when it became obvious that whoever the original owner of the sett was, he’s not longer there and his former dwelling has been taken over by the omnipresent wood rats.
The second was the one I have just arrived at. My trail camera showed that a badger lives there, and because it was my first time seeing a European Badger and the first time I captured one on camera, this discovery was a big deal for me. At first I thought that just a lone badger lives there, because from the beginning only ever one came out at a time. But later on it became obvious that a pair of badgers lives there, as eventually both of them started coming out at the same time.
The third badger sett I found was the one where my trail camera vanished. Before it vanished, it did capture the images of a lone badger, but after I moved it to also get images of potential activities at other exits, the camera disappeared and I was without footage from the location for a while.
I proceeded to buy a new trail camera, which I purchased from abroad due to my budget constraints, and as soon as it arrived, I installed it at the main entrance to the sett. For two days after installing it, the badger never showed up. On the third day he did come out, but was visibly injured and painfully limped. I immediately responded by bringing him food, but unfortunately, a week has passed and there has been no new sighting of the injured badger. It got to the point where it’s truly difficult to not think that he may not have made it 🙁
Badger Pair Preparing for Winter
The footage I obtained from the trail camera at the main entrance to the sett of the badger pair showed that despite the drop in temperatures, the badgers still come out of their burrow and when it’s not wet, drag dry fallen leaves into the hole to insulate their living quarters and pad the insides for warmer and more comfortable sleep.
European Badgers do hibernate for winter, but only partially. Unlike bears, they don’t spend the whole winter sleeping, but do spend days even weeks without leaving their sett when it’s too cold or otherwise unpleasant outside. But when conditions slacken, they may wander out in search of potential nutrition even in winter.
According to the trail cam footage, both badgers are healthy and neither is injured so their chances of lasting the winter, unlike the chances of the injured badger at the other location, are fairly decent. They both seem quite fat, as they should be before winter sets in, so there is truly nothing to make me worry about either of them at this time.
After the heartbreaking footage of the injured badger from the other side of the forest, seeing this pair healthy and well, as well as properly overfed for hibernation, was a comforting sight. I wish them well and hope they continue to thrive on. I will keep monitoring their wellbeing and will share the footage of how they’re doing with you in the later episodes.
8 thoughts on “My Adventures at Injured Badger Hole – Episode 06 (Badger Pair SPECIAL)”
I’ve enjoyed watching your videos of the owl, deer, badger & scenery/ woods.
I am still working as a herdsman on a small cattle ranch in Minnesota.
2022 new year has started out very cold -17 plus- 33°f
Wind chill from gusty winds 40 mph.
Glad to see you are doing ok and seem to be enjoying long walks in the forest around your home.
Has anyone else from bestgore contacted you at this new site @nophoneman
Looking forward to seeing more videos of your adventures walking in the woods.
Stay warm & cheers mate !🍻
You are the second person to make a comment on this site. Some former BG members did get in touch with me, but that was before I started this new site. I like your job – it’s in a way similar to the life I have and yet completely different 🙂
Thanks for the reply Mark.
I too greatly appreciate the rural lifestyle and long walks in a big woods, although less frequently with age.
But right here on the ranch I have an abundance of avian visitors who take full advantage of the extra feed spilled by the cattle, also raptors, kestrel (sparrow hawk)
Peregrine falcon, red tail hawks, even bald eagles who fish in the creek bordering my pasture.
In winter large flocks of pigeons come to feed on the corn that passes through the cattle in manure.
In the springtime and summer multiple species of waterfowl abound.
Whitetail deer, red foxes, raccoons, mink, pheasants, Hungarian partridges, wild Turkey
In the fall large flocks of giant Canada Geese stop here and I always have to turn away many hunters begging for permission to shoot them. I only let 5 guys and their girlfriends come here and they always get a full limit of Geese each day !!
Coyotes are in invasive species here and really destroy all the natural wildlife so I always encourage hunters to come here each winter to eradicate them. I give them free Beer & even offer to pay for their ammo.
,….. it’s still very cold today and I’m done feeding cattle and bored with cabin fever from hibernation indoors,. So sorry for
long winded ramblings.
Lookin forward to your future video adventures.
& cheers/ prosit !!
That is so cool. Have you thought about starting your own YouTube channel, seeing as you have that many animals around you? I don’t have such a variety and I’m posting videos anyway 😀
I’m on a land in a forest that’s quite big, but not big enough to have roaming wolf packs or bears. But I still own a whole Bitcoin and should it get to the $100,000 level, I would use it to buy a piece of forest in a larger mountain where animal variety is much broader, including the above mentioned wolves and bears, but also the lynx, raccoons, and the such.
I currently have an abundance of roe deer and red deer, wild boars, foxes, badgers, weasels and martens. In the air I have a variety of feathered companions, of which I can identify woodpeckers, a single tawny owl, an incredibly fast kestrel that has snatched a few of the tits I have been feeding over the winter, and a pair of golden eagles who however do not nest in my woods, they just sometimes fly over this way. Perhaps the most abundant raptor I have are buzzards.
My mobility is not what it used to be either. I have waited too long to quit BG. I used to spend too much time at the laptop day in and day out for many years. I was fine while I was fine, but then it started to go downhill and I regret not dealing with it before it started. While my general health is good, my one knee and one hip joint as well as my lower back are in bad shape, as are my eyes which albeit sharp in sight, hurt when used.
I’m now trying to salvage what’s left of my health in hopes that I’m not late and it’s still possible.
No,… a very Definite NO!! to starting a you tube channel, several years ago I contacted a very small rural type newspaper to report that I had bald eagles fishing in the creek but my ranch.
Wondering if they’d be interested in sending out a photog to use a telephoto (long lens zoom camera) old school type with ,”real film” !!
And try to document the eagle feeding on the fish ??
Well,… of course they said yes’ definitely.
My one and only request was that they purposely did not disclose my exact location.
To which they happily agreed to.
So the very next day a sweet young girl shows up at my ranch with her cameras & spends two hours with me escorting her around the pasture in my tractor to shoot the eagle.
After the photo series was published quite a few amateur sleuths used the photo background images to find my location and I was swamped with way too many trespassing idiots trying to see the eagles.
So definitely do not want to advertise how lucky I am to have such diverse wildlife here, and the keep my privacy intact.
You’re raising a very valid point. In my case, I still don’t have a permanent location so at any moment I could change where I live and that would render recognition of my current location useless. I am quite happy where I am right now, but I know this will not be a long term hangout for me.
Mark its nice knowing about you, im glad that the site is not dead anymore, see for me it wasnt about the gore but about the community.
good to see you back. I started a new site with new identity and that’s my presence online at this point. I’m not as active on the internet as before, but will make appearances through this new site I now have.