Friday, June 10, 2016

The Battle of The Bear

I've been missing you all and wishing for more time to spend here. 

But life gets in the way sometimes. It's been super busy around here. 

The battle of the slugs continues. 

I think I might be winning. 

But now I have a bigger battle to fight. 

The battle of the bear. 


This guy has been visiting me every single day. 


In broad daylight. 

Nope, not dusk. 

Nor dawn. 

But, in the bright sunshine of mornings. 


And in the broad daylight of afternoon. 

Some of these photos were taken by my younger daughter.  She spotted the bear out her bedroom window as she was getting ready to leave for work. I was showering and missed all the commotion, but she grabbed her iPhone and got some snaps. 

And some were taken out my bedroom window, when I awoke yesterday morning. 


Can you see where he is in this photo? My daughter said he had his front paws up on the tall staircase at one point, apparently contemplating heading up to the upper deck. 

Thank God he changed his mind. 

I can't imagine what I would do if I looked out and saw him on the deck. 

It's bad enough I came face to face with him the other afternoon, when I was in the middle of my cook-a-thon. 

I headed out with the watermelon rind, and was going to toss it onto a pile of garden scraps for the birds and critters to pick on. 

But instead, I turned the corner and nearly ran into Mr. Bear. 

I was honestly terrified. 

I started screaming, and ran back towards the house. 

I think all my screaming was a good thing, because it scared him back into the woods. 


He's not full size yet. He's what we call a 'teenage' bear. 

But even at his 'reduced' size, he's huge. 

Way too large to make me comfortable. 

I've stopped feeding my birds. Poor little birdies. They will miss my seed buffet. But I can't risk the bear trying to climb up on the deck to get the food. 

I'm very wary when I am working out in the garden. I'm constantly glancing around, at every little rustle in the trees. 

I open my kitchen door to let the dogs out, and I scream "Go Away Bear!"

I'm not sure that will work for long. 

But it makes me feel better. 

I worry that the dogs will go after him, and he'll turn around and swat them. And kill them. 

Sweetie says I'm nuts, that the dogs would tree the bear. 

I don't know that I believe that. Nor am I willing to take that chance. 


The Monkey is only a tiny little thing. She's really nothing more than a 7 year old baby. 


And my old girl, Lily? Well, she's....old. She doesn't quite have the stamina she used to. 

Neither do I. And I'm not sure how far I could outrun a bear. 

63 comments:

  1. Somehow I just can't see two little dogs treeing a bear, but I could be wrong. Don't know that I'd want to chance them getting that close to the bear!
    Brenda

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    1. Nope, no way. I need to keep my pups far away from Mr. Bear!

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  2. You need a b-b gun...it might scare the bear away for good. But you can't have food scraps out. When we camped in the woods in Canada the rangers told us to bury our food scraps. Maybe banging some old pans together before letting the dogs out..I am like you I would worry for the pets. Please be careful your self. Blessings, xoxo, Susie

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    1. I have actually been thinking about getting a gun. It's not a crazy idea when I live in the woods.

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  3. Geez and I think I have trouble with the deer, rabbits, and chipmunks. Nothing like a BEAR! Good grief!

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    1. And yet I haven't seen a deer on my property yet this season - crazy, right?

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  4. Please be careful! Those bears can be so dangerous and destructive. Do you keep bear spray with you when you are in the garden? I would make sure that you had some on you every time you or your daughters went out the door.

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    1. I guess it's time to look into the bear spray...yikes.

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  5. WOW! This is scary but it is beautiful! Be careful, I think it likes your garden.
    Lisa

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    1. I think he better find another garden to like!!

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  6. You have just described one of my biggest fears and nightmares I have had. Being outside and not being able to get in the house fast enough when I saw a bear, lion, panther...it is different in every dream! Can you call someone to help get him away?!

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    1. I have that same exact nightmare!! Frequently!!

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  7. But this is really scary! How will you comfortably work in your gardens? Is there someone who comes and takes them somewhere else, like someone comes for alligators in neighborhood lakes here?

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    1. They only come trap the bear if it becomes a 'nuisance' bear. As in, gets into the house. Or becomes threatening. Thank God, that hasn't been the situation here....and hopefully never will be.

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  8. I know it's easier said than done, but please don't be scared! For starters, your bf is right. The bear would not hurt your dogs and yes, he would be more afraid of them than the other way around. He's been coming around because of the bird seed most likely, but will probably stop now that you've taken it away. Or maybe you have lots of veggies? If it helps, have a whistle with you, or as another suggested, bear spray, but unless a bear feels threatened they don't hurt humans. At least black bears don't.

    Have a great weekend...lovely weather we are having :).

    xxx

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    1. A whistle is a good idea.....thanks for the suggestion!

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  9. FIRECRACKERS!! When Mr.Bear comes for a visit light them and throw them in his direction. The sound alone with freak him out! Keep this up until he gets the idea that your property is off limits. Worse yet is that Mr. Bear is really Mrs. Bear and your place could be the next maternity ward in the future. Can't really blame him/her as your place is gorgeous! Good luck!!

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    1. I have firecrackers in the kitchen drawer - I just haven't gotten that close to him to even throw them!! I usually just scream and run back inside....and he takes off in the other direction!

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  10. This is rather disturbing, Deb. Is this bear old enough to be on it's own or is the mother possibly around? I wonder if leaving a radio on at your porch would keep it away? I expect that constant noise would work. When a group of us went hiking in British Columbia we were told to wear bells around our neck while going through the area where they had spotted bear.

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    1. I guess I should clip my bear bell to my gardening apron when I'm working outside. That's a good idea, Deb!

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  11. Bears are not your friend. Yikes! I think he may be drawn to the scraps you're throwing out, no? To have him so close to your house is really scary.

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    1. It is scary, Dayle, for sure! I'm not a fan...and I hope he finds another place to roam real soon!!

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  12. That's a fairly big not full grown bear.
    Bears will swat and kill the doggies for sure. I guess it all depends on the situation but I wouldn't take the chance.
    Can you call the DNR and have set a trap to tag the bear?
    He will return. Any food scraps or trash cans will be hard for them to resist, not to mention food smells coming from your windows etc. I'm not trying to frighten you but just relaying what we have experienced with black bear here on the north east coast.
    At first they are cute but they can do unbelievable amount of damage. Those bears are strong!
    Good luck,
    Monica

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    1. The bears only get trapped and relocated if they become a nuisance or a threat. So far, he is neither, thank God! I know two people up here that had a huge problem when a bear actually got into their house. I can't even imagine!!

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  13. I think I would faint if I saw a bear. There have been a few local sightings over the last couple of years, but it is very unusual. I always think I'd like a house in the mountains, but then I think about the bears. I remember being terrified to walk around our hotels in Alaska, for fear of running into one. Great picture, though! I'd keep the dogs in the house, for sure!

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    1. I'd be scared in Alaska also, although it is on the top of my bucket list to go there some day. However, the grizzlies that are in Alaska are way scarier than the black bears that are around here. I think they just scare me because they are so huge!

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  14. Fascinating but so scary! I would be terrified and would be so worried about the little dogs too. Lots of other commenters have some good ideas of what to do. I hope Mr Bear moves on soon and leaves you all in peace.
    Helen xox

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    1. Same here, Helen!! They always seem to move on eventually....when you take away their food source. Now that there are no feeders out that may be the end of him.

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  15. You'd better cut out the garden scrap pile too, Debbie. Watermelon rinds and things like that might be just what he's coming around for. And the birds will be fine ; they don't really need fed in the summertime at all so don't feel bad about that. Too scary...he's too familiar with the place coming that close and while I can see BIG dogs perhaps treeing a bear I am not too sure about your little ones !

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    1. I feel the very same way, Deb. If I had a big dog, perhaps I wouldn't be so worried about the dog meeting up with the bear. But my little pups? They are no match for a big bear!!

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  16. That is incredible, awe inspiring and terrifying! I'd be on edge too! Maybe a dish of beer will help with the bear too?! ;)

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    1. If only it could be that easy, Jen!! :)

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  17. Holy cow! And we are concerned about running off the doves who get in the garden. I would be so scared about letting my little dogs out. An airhorn should scare the soup out of he/she. Too bad the bear won't eat the slugs...and drink the beer and wander off into the woods to sleep it off...

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    1. That's a great idea, Donna....if only!! But your idea of an airhorn is a great one...I wonder how scared the horses would be if I was tooting an airhorn right next door?

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  18. I would be so scared to go outdoors. Would 'animal control' come out and re-locate the bear?

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    1. Only if he becomes a threat, Laurie. I recall a few years back there was a mom and a couple of cubs who started hanging out at the elementary school. They had to be trapped.

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  19. Buy a can of bear spray and keep it on your hip at all times! We have had many bear sightings in our neighborhood over the past couple of months and we don't even take the dogs out without having the spray with us. Bears run about 30 mph from what I have read, and it takes them about 3 seconds to reach full speed. Be careful... stop the outdoor scraps and keep all garage cans locked inside the garage until garbage day. Please be careful.

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    1. I'm going to look into the bear spray....a couple of other folks mentioned that also. Isn't it amazing what we have to get used to?

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  20. I saw that one photo where he looked like he was ready to go up the stairs...YIKES! So sad you may have to give up a few things around your garden and with the birds, but better safe than sorry! We did go to Alaska and we did see a bear from our jeep ride. That's as close as I want to be to them. Good luck, Debbie!

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    1. Thanks, Carol! Yeah, I don't want to get too close, either! Here's hoping he finds new territory real soon!

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  21. Oh, my! They are so pretty to look at...from a distance! I can't imagine coming up so close to one! May God watch over you and protect you and keep you safe. :) I love your blog!

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    1. Thank you, Cheryl! I believe God has watched over me many times and kept me safe....and I hope He shall continue to do so!

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  22. In the words of Dan Akroyd in that funny 80's movie, The Great Outdoors: "big bear... big bear!" (grin) I wonder if you got a little electric wire system around your perimeter if it would keep him out. Of course, it wouldn't hurt him, but then I think he would avoid your yard and go elsewhere. It's worth a try for the sake of you and your daughter, your garden, the birds and of course the dogs!

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    1. I wonder....hmmmm. Something like what they have next door for the horses....I'm not sure how that would work with the driveway, but I'll give it some thought, for sure!

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  23. We had bears and coyotes on our farm. My guys had various artilery. Ha. Check with your wildlife management folks to be sure what you can do. We were not supposed to shoot them...but the men folk chuckled that If a big bear was threatning, well.... Also...no food in cars, sheds, etc. black bears were released in TN some years back...it did not take them long to get to southern ky! Ha. Good luck.

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    1. I don't think I would ever want to actually shoot it....unless it was threatening. Just scare it off. So, I suppose the firecrackers are good enough for that.

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  24. Oh my not just slugs but now Mr. Bear!!!! I hear they can be very destructive and dangerous. Please be careful. Wooo you are really getting hit with the wild life!
    Kris

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    1. Did I mention the coyotes I hear howling in the woods at night?

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  25. okay - after reading all the commments - I have to add another... Do you know how to tell the difference between black bear and brown bear scat? Well, the black bear scat usually has some berries, maybe feathers and/or fur, and some other vegetable matter. The brown bear scat is about the same but also has whistles and bells and smells like pepper spray!

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    1. Oh my God, you are bad, Vickie!!! Ha ha ha ha - oh boy! I'm truly glad I don't have to deal with grizzlies around here, that's for certain!

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  26. Too scary. You make my fight with Canadian geese look like a walk in the park. The black bear is West Virginia's state animal and thrives in the wooded area. Ahem...much of WV is undeveloped area. While there have been black bear spotted in residential areasy, never have I encountered one, and hope to never. There were a lot of good suggestions here, though, and I'm paying attention, as my husband & I are planning a USA road trip later in summer. Stay safe and keep us posted.

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  27. Too scary. You make my fight with Canadian geese look like a walk in the park. The black bear is West Virginia's state animal and thrives in the wooded area. Ahem...much of WV is undeveloped area. While there have been black bear spotted in residential areasy, never have I encountered one, and hope to never. There were a lot of good suggestions here, though, and I'm paying attention, as my husband & I are planning a USA road trip later in summer. Stay safe and keep us posted.

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    1. And yet I have no geese on my property at all. Well, I don't have the body of water you do, I just have a little creek at the edge of the ravine. I think geese prefer still water. Well, no matter where we live, we all have our challenges!

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  28. Maybe you should call animal control and inquire as to how to go about containing him.
    I think he is dangerous for you and your entire family. I find him very interesting to look at, but he is getting way too close.
    Keep safe please.
    Jemma

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    1. Animal Control will only step in if the bear is a nuisance or a threat. He's neither....yet. And I haven't seen him in the past few days, so it's possible he's already moved on. I remember one very large bear at a previous house that used to climb up to my second floor deck and wreak havoc - animal control wouldn't help me then, either!

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  29. That is really scary Debbie!! You should not have to be keeping watch when you are trying to enjoy your gardening. Hopefully with not feeding the birds he will move on.

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    1. I haven't seen him in a few days now, Karen, so hopefully he already did!

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  30. Love seeing the bear, but from a distance please! lol! I would not want to chance those cute doggies facing him. Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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    1. I wouldn't mind seeing him from a distance, either....like from my car, when I'm driving on a road far, far away from here!

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  31. I am so scared of bears, I would be afraid to go outside at all! Here in northwest Florida I just check my yard and ivy beds for snakes,cause I'm scared of them too. We do have 1 black snake who comes to visit, but my hubby likes him cause he eats mice and rats. Good luck and maybe he has moved on. Carolyn in Fl.

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    1. OOOH Carolyn, I'm terrified of snakes!! I guess it's all what we get used to, huh? Well...the bear was back last night, so unfortunately he has not moved on. Yikes! Good thing my little Monkey smelled him and went crazy barking - she alerted me.

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  32. Oh my. This would be scary. I saw one in New Mexico when I was out walking. It is terrifying and exhilarating. You've got to feel like you can walk out to your car though. Wow.

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