Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Backyard Bears!

Last Friday, Thomas woke me up around 7am, yelling at me to come see a bear. Unfortunately, by the time I got to the window, she was gone. He said she was standing in the backyard, about 30 feet from the house. Our dog, Ayden, started barking, causing it raise up on its hind legs for a minute, before taking off. I was so bummed that I missed it. Even though our property is surrounded on 2 sides by National Forest, we have never seen a bear, or any signs of them.

Around 10, I was making breakfast and Ayden began barking again. We looked out the window and there was a large cub halfway up a tree just a few yards back into the woods. This time, we all were able to catch a glimpse of it before it scampered away.

Saturday morning, Thomas had to work, so it was just me and the kids at home. I was sitting at the computer and happened to glance out the window right beside me. This is what I saw...

WOWZERS! I called the kids over to the window, and we all watched in amazement as she walked around the backyard. She was absolutely gorgeous, and it was so awesome to be able to see such a big, beautiful animal up close.

Since it was day two of the bears hanging around, I called my mom's friend, who just so happens to be a wildlife biologist with the state. One of his regular job duties is to handle nuisance bears, so he was able to give me some great advice. The most important thing, besides the obvious no food/trash outside, was to condition the bear to be afraid of humans and our "territory" (yard). So, the rest of the weekend, every time Ayden started barking into the woods, I stood in the open door, and shook a coffee can of pennies while yelling as loud as I could. Quite often, I would immediately hear a crashing through the tress as the bear retreated.

On Sunday around noon, I realized that Ayden hadn't barked all morning. I really wanted to go out and pick the rest of the cherries that had ripened over the weekend. However, I was quite a bit nervous. I grabbed a pail and my penny can and cautiously stepped out on the front porch. I told myself that the bears are probably long gone by now. Besides, we had only seen them in the back yard not the front. What's one going to do, walk up the driveway? And then I notice this:

Lovely. I scared her away and went back inside for a while to re-gather my courage. I knew that the cherries needed to be picked, because they were probably the number one thing attracting the bears in the first place. So, I headed outside again, making as much noise as possible (neighbors, at this point, probably think I'm completely off my rocker). Cherry-picking went without incident. Didn't see nor hear any sign of them.

So, that was my weekend. Scaring away bears, picking cherries and making freezer jam. I definitely feel like a real mountain woman now. ^.^

For more information on living with black bears, check out this great article:


Tricia said...

WOOOO HOOOO. Way to scare the bears away. You are much braver then I. I would never go back outside. We are fighting coons and deer right now and I though that was bad enough.

♥Lisa♥ @ FinalScore:Boys3Girls2 said...

i bet she looked amazing. i freak if i hear a coyote in the distance. i can only imagine if i saw a large animal.

Queenbuv3 said...

Wow, I would have pooped myself being that close to a bear. Glad to hear that you were able to pick your cherries without incident.

We live in a rural area, not super rural, and the last place we lived was next to a forest. After I put my daughter on the bus one morning and got inside, my next door neighbor was sweeping her porch and a bear walked right down our street and stopped in front of her house and stared at her. Thankfully, this happened after the kids got on the bus. Can you imagine the panic of about 10 kids and their parents running and screaming from a bear!?

I love living in the country but the wildlife sightings scare me sometimes. We have a big hill behind our house with a lot of trees. I went to water my plants in the backyard last weekend and saw a giant racoon. He stood up and leaned against a tree and looked right at me and my daughter for about a minute. I guess we should make noise and try to scare him if we see him again like you did with the bears. I certainly don't want to get attacked by any rabid racoons.

Good luck with keeping the bears away!

Dena said...

Too bad someone wasn't in the background filming you scaring the bear(s) away. It would have made for a great video on YouTube. LOL! We live in a rural area where we often have wildlife walking up to our front deck. Deer, racoons, oppossum, rabbits... you name it. We have only seen a bear once and have heard tales of cougar and mountain lions in a field
adjoining our property. I don't know what I would do if I came face to face with one.

I am woman, hear me roar!? LOL!

StatMama said...


That would scare me out of my mind! Around here, we just have snakes and spiders, and deer strolling through our yard in the winter.

Patty O. said...

Holy COW!!!! You are so brave! I grew up in Chicago, so the scariest animals around were people's doberman pinschers. Wow, a bear.

Faith said...

Oh, wow!! That would be so cool and kinda nerving at the same time! :0) Like you, I'd have been taking pictures... :0)

Affiliate Marketing Wahm said...

OMG ~ that is amazing and I laughed loud enough for my husband to ask what's so funny at the comment about them just walking up the driveway ~

What a treat to get to see them so close, and good for you for being so brave to scare them away!!

We live rural too, and the worst I've had to deal with is a bobcat trying to eat my chickens. Didn't use penny cans, just yelling and shouting "leave my chickens alone you dang cat" pretty much did the trick. :)


Elizabeth Channel said...

Oh my! And to think I have the nerve to complain about rats and bats : )

Slee said...

Bears would freak me out! There'd be a total kids in the yard hiatus! But I freak out pretty easily.
You rock, mountian mama. Scaring bears away with your creative penny-shakin style.