We have a bear problem.
It’s a sudden development. We’ve lived here in our rural home for 13 years and have never seen a bear. The garbage has been sitting outside for 13 years and no bears have ever taken any interest in it.
Many many raccoons have.
To their detriment.
But, unlike raccoons, you are not allowed to just shoot bears and to be honest, we don’t want to, for a variety of reasons.
Not the least being, what do you do with a 200lb dead bear? especially one you are technically not allowed to have shot because bear hunting season is over. And Jeyzus bears are big! You want to be well armed and a good shot if you are going to meet a bear head on like that. And DH isn’t a hunter, he really does not like shooting animals, even the raccoons. He shoot guns for sport. Targets don’t stand a chance around him. Living breathing beings are a different story.
Also unlike raccoons, you can’t trap bears & release them elsewhere. Animal control suggests we lock up our garbage better but lacking a garage there is no place to keep a week’s worth of garbage inside. The garbage is currently locked up in a wood corral with a wood & metal lid that locks shut. It is an effective raccoon deterrent.
Bears laugh at it.
Last night this bear got into the garbage. It apparently dragged one bag of garbage down to the fence line & then dropped it, probably distracted by our dog Athena. Athena is mostly, possibly entirely, a Plott Hound, they are bred to hunt bears and wild boar in the mountains.
We didn’t know this when we rescued her from the shelter last year, we just liked her friendly disposition. Later, when we were trying to deal with her escape artist nature we learned about plott hounds & the bear thing.
She’s gone up against bears 3 times in the past month & chased them away twice & been intimidated away once.
The cats find it amusing to watch. They are unafraid of the bear but then, they don’t bother the bear either, they stay low to the ground & don’t move much when the bear is around.
All the barking last night got DH out of bed to investigate. Initially he went out on the porch and saw nothing but a opened trash bag on the ground next to the bin. Athena came in the house when he went out. She went back out when he came in. She stood in the middle of the yard and barked at the swimming pool, then out from between the pool and the deck emerged this big bear coming at her. She took off running one way and after about 4 steps the bear took off in the other direction.
Dh slammed the door shut as soon as he saw the bear.
So DH is debating his bear dealing options and I am trying to figure out what has changed recently that would account for these sudden bear appearances. There are two bears that we know of, since the one DH saw last night was considerably bigger than the one he saw a few weeks ago. Our wooded area is not large enough or dense enough to house a bear so they are coming across the cow pasture & climbing the barbed wire fence. Given where the one garbage bag was found today & the direction Athena chased the bear a few weeks ago, the bears are coming across the cow pasture land to the north & west of us, not the land east of us (different neighbors own each property). The NW neighbor recently mowed a lot of that pasture but it wasn’t dense woodland or anything. He mows it once a year or so. It’s far to open to be bear friendly living territory.
Our friends 5 miles away reported a bear coming up onto their covered side porch and rolling two garbage cans off it the night before last.
It’s like we’re being terrorized by a bear gang or something.
My kids play outside.
In the woods.
And in the swimming pool.
What happens if we come home from a party late?
Then there are the nights DH is away for work. I already barely sleep due to my fear of homicidal axe wielding maniacs. Now I have to worry about a bear trying to break in one of the sliding glass doors or attacking my dumb enough to attack it first dog.
I’m not liking this bear situation but I am at a loss as to what to do.
The only good note is that the bear might attack the homicidal axe wielding maniac, or at least scare him off.