The bear is back

We truly do live in the middle of nowhere....we have bears! Our first evidence of bear activity was this photo taken with our trail cam. Hubby likes to set out feed blocks for the deer in the summer and often puts the trail cam on them. After months of viewing deer, raccoons, opossums and the occasional skunk we felt like we hit the jackpot when we got pictures of the bear. 

Unfortunately, that turned to feeling like I'm being held captive by said bear.

black bear

Nobody saw him (her?) in person that year. The next summer oldest son had the early shift at his job for a few weeks. One morning at about 6am I turned out of the driveway and saw a bear cub running across the road. Hubby said the dog flipped out when it ran through the yard a minute later. He's never seen her try to get in the house so desperately! I know that where there's a baby....there's a mama, but we never saw her. 

In early fall a bear was getting into our garbage, but only when it was on the street for pickup. The neighbor came by to tell us the bear gets into his garbage several times a week right in his backyard! I guess our garbage just isn't worth the long hike down the driveway. 😂

It was quiet again till last week. The neighbor on the other side told us he's seen the bear at his deer feeder. Then this was found right at the edge of our property.

bear prints in the driveway

Those are some big bear prints! We've been worrying about the coops since then. Bears do eat chickens after all. All but one has a latch system that I doubt a big bear paw could figure out. The remaining coop has a lock, but it's a pain in the butt to lock every night, but of course I'm going to have to! Better safe than sorry, right?

Now, I don't know how it works...do bear cubs move away from mom or stay in the same area? We could potentially have 4 bears in the area if momma and daddy are still around with the kids. I don't think bears are very active during the day, but I'll probably take my Gator when I go into the woods from now on. It's loud and bears don't like noise, so hopefully they'll stay away from me. (and if not, I can outrun them better than on foot!)

Update 2020: Unfortunately bears are still a problem for us. One has been coming into the backyard to get to my bird feeders lately. The picture below is the scene that greeted me when I got home from a 3 day trip. The metal bar was bent till it practically touched the ground and the glass hummingbird feeder was ripped apart at the base...you can see the glass was broken off and still inside the base! 

Over the years when I mention not liking the bears being so close by people are often baffled as to why. I jokingly say "Most people don't realize that bears eat meat, I am made of meat" 😉  I try to be lighthearted about it but it's very true. Not that I think a bear sees me as food but rather if at any point I run into the bear I am sure to lose any confrontation.

These bears have been seen, photographed and caused damage on my entire property over the years. If I hear a loud noise in the woods or my guinea fowl start to freak out I no longer go looking to see what happened. When my dog is freaking out barking at the woods at night I no longer assume it's a raccoon or fox...especially after the night the bear spent an hour licking the trees right at the edge of the woods!

I can't even begin to explain the feeling of fear sometimes when I'm in my garden and hear a large branch snap in the woods. Can I out run a bear? What about my dog...will she run away or toward it? 

I have called game commission a few times and they've stopped out or just gave advice. 

It's interesting living out here because while I can call the game commission and have nuisance animals trapped and removed I don't really think that's the right thing to do. This is their home too. I guess we just need to figure out how to live together. I wonder if they'll agree to stay in the back 20 acres?

~L

3 comments:

  1. A latch will not keep a bear out! Two year s ago we lost our entire flock of 14 hens to a mama bear and her two yearling cubs. She simply tore the wall off the coop! This is a post about the aftermath http://dogwoodlanerambles.blogspot.com/2012/03/massacre-chicks-are-coming.html. Hope your bear stays away!!

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    Replies
    1. Oh wow that's awful! We're still having a fox problem, but the bear has stayed away from the chickens so far. I'll head over and read your post now. Thanks!

      ~L

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