Bear with me. . . .

laurelin(z5a/4b Upstate NY)November 18, 2007

No, really, BEAR with ME:

I feel sorry for the bear - to get to my yard, it had to travel down through town, most likely via the ravine beside my house, under several major roads and a RR line. It raided my bird feeder, which is where I found it. I always look out my back window at the feeder as I walk by there, and that afternoon I saw BIG BLACK EARS sticking up over the hedge of black currants. WHOA! The kids were half freaked-out, and half-thrilled. ("Look, kids! It's your home-school nature lesson for the day!")

The bear wasn't afraid of me at all. (Not that I got close or did anything stupid to attract its attention - I viewed it safely from a distance, from the deck.) I called the sheriff, just to let them know it was in town and in a residential neighborhood with lots of kids and traffic from a main road nearby. The bear ambled off, but returned during the night to finish breaking into my squirrel-proof feeder. I haven't seen it since then. Still, I was delighted to have the experience. (Nature dweeb that I am - I'm also the person that sees a snake, skunk, tortoise [fill in the critter, except for woodchucks - they are NEVER COOL] and says, "Oh, COOL!" instead of "EEEEK!").

I know Rick goes into the great outdoors to find wildlife to photograph [beautifully, I must add]. But, I never expected to have a big-game wildlife picture to show all of you here, from my own back yard!


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highjack(z6 KY)

Hopefully he makes it back to the wild and doesn't create too much havoc in the neighborhood. Hide your garbage!

I'll stick with the deer, skunks, 'coons, possum and yes, the occasional snake. My big antlered deer just loped through our field. Everyday, 7:15, just like clockwork, he makes a dash for the woods.


    Bookmark   November 18, 2007 at 7:22AM
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If I had seen that in my back yard I would still be cleaning out my pants. To close for comfort. Very neat though.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2007 at 9:23AM
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Laurel, I'm glad you called the sheriff and hope they'll move the bear to a safer location. Personally, I like the kind of wildlife that runs when I yell "Get outta here!".

We recently had a big brouhaha in our area. A black bear was shot in the back yard of a homeowner who claimed the bear charged him. Everyone was divided, even in my own family - some were on the bear's side and some on the homeowner's. This bear had been causing problems in the neighborhood for months. It had lost it's fear of man. Our local newspaper had photographed it several times. I think the homeowner was tired of waiting on the authorities to fix the problem and took matters into his own hands. He had kids, pets and a wife that was "terrified" (his words). Legal action was threatened against the homeowner, but a verbal reprimand was the end result. I found the whole thing disturbing and found myself looking over my shoulder everytime a twig snapped. Sad.


    Bookmark   November 18, 2007 at 10:04AM
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laurelin(z5a/4b Upstate NY)

I hope the bear made it safely back up into the hills, and stays there. I have no idea if the sheriff had to intervene to remove it. (I suspect not - this town is small enough that trapping a bear would be newsworthy, but I didn't hear any news about it.) It disturbed me that it was not afraid of people at all - that tells me that this was far from the first time that it had wandered around humans and their property to obtain food. (LOL, I wasn't sure that yelling at it was the right thing to do. Besides, I wanted to get a picture as proof that I wasn't just imagining that a neighbor's Rottweiler in my yard was a bear.) I don't think that bear is full grown - it isn't very large.

I can't say that I would blame a homeowner for taking matters into their own hands if the proper authorities had not tried to solve the problem of a bear staying around people. If the bear charged him, it was habituated to people and a genuine menace, and self-defense trumps warm fuzzies. (Although why the man was out there with a gun powerful enough to kill a bear, in a back yard in a residential neighborhood, begs a question of its own - firing a gun near houses is illegal here, and probably in most places.) That was a rotten situation for the people and for the bear, definitely no-win.


    Bookmark   November 18, 2007 at 12:01PM
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tweetypye(z8/sc AL)

Laurel....the photos are neat...but I'm sure glad that bear wasn't in my back yard! I love wildlife, and have all kinds visiting my garden, but that fellow is just a bit larger than what I'm used to seeing around here. :) I sure hope he got back to his own space without any undo problems for him or for the people of the area.
Thanks for sharing your experience.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2007 at 8:38PM
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mikeandbarb(z8 D/FW)

That would scare me seeing a bear in my back yard.
I don't like it when a wild animal has to be shot, it's sad. Hope he made it back to the woods.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2007 at 9:41PM
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MaxBaerHems(Z6b Pa)

Great shots Laurel!
It's kinda neat the "Rush" ya get when you see wildlife up close like that....especially a Bear....Thanks for sharing your experience.....


    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 9:46AM
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laurelin(z5a/4b Upstate NY)

Thanks, Rick - but I've been chiding myself for not remembering that I can zoom in with my camera. LOL, I'm not one to focus on the technology when I'm under pressure! At least my PhD ("Push here, Dummy!") camera had batteries in it. And yes, it was a rush - I'd love to see more animals up close in the wild like that. (My DH hopes "the wild" stays few miles away from now on. He's the most freaked out of all of us, and he wasn't even HOME at the time.)


    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 10:45AM
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gonegardening(7 VA)

Whoa, Laurel! Nice pictures, but I'm glad it was not in my yard! I saw on the local news a while back that black bears are causing some problems in Maryland. They break into houses...there were some pictures of a mama and her two cubs sitting in deck chairs (cute, if not your deck!).

Thanks for sharing these! Really neat pictures for the family album!

    Bookmark   November 22, 2007 at 9:48AM
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laurelin(z5a/4b Upstate NY)

LOL, gg, I don't think I'll share the "bears breaking into houses" story with my DH - he's STILL freaked out over the bear. I know we've had an increased bear presence in our part of NY over the past 5-10 years, but this was definitely the closest I've ever been to one. Better than watching nature videos, that's for sure!


    Bookmark   November 23, 2007 at 12:03PM
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