Dedicated To The Outdoors

The Bears Are Back

This post has been carried over from our forum which has since been removed from the site. We’ve pulled over the top 10 forum conversation that were not specific to future content areas which we will be posting.

Had my first visit of the year by a lone black bear about 10 minutes ago. Yeah he’s a night prowler showin up at nearly 3 a.m.

Heard a noise, nothing real loud, and figured it was one of my cats going nuts before running out of the room. Apparently the cat was sleeping on the back of the love seat when the bear decided to tear down a small platform bird feeder that was secured to the cabin about 1 foot away from where the cat was sleeping. Got to admit I was kind of surprised to turn around and see his face in the window 10 feet behind me.

The motion light came on and he just looked around so I got a chance to get a look from a few feet away. He gave me a look like “where’s the food dude” and then wandered into the darkness…for now. Always wondering when one of these bears are going to smell the petfood in the garage and knock the door in which would be major trouble as the garage is connected to the cabin.

Anyway. First bear of the year and he looked in really good shape for a spring bear! Funs over. Back to work.

Time to Bear-proof the cabin, again.

Bo D
I think I’d be keeping a loaded rifle close by, or else maybe I can rent you one of my hounds.

Bo I got a shotgun filled with slugs handy just in case. I admit I enjoy watching the bears and its kind of a novelty to have them around but, they obviously have lost their fear of humans. Somewhat concerned when a bear is 10 feet behind me watching me plink away at the computer without me knowing it even though I’m inside and he is out.

I would be curious to see what these bears would do if the hounds were turned loose. May just be me but I have a feeling they might go on the defense right off the bat.

By the way, when it got light out I see he tossed my burning barrels around which explains that thud sound I couldnt figure out last night. These barrels are old and filled with wet ashes like cement nearly to the top. Extremely heavy as in “nut popping” to turn them upright again

Gives you a great sense of their power when you’re the one turning the barrels back over.

Well my feeders got hit during the night. One of those rare evenings where I actually fell alseep at decent hour only to wake in the middle of the night to work again.

Anyway, rolled out of bed around 1:30 and, with the help of a flashlight, noticed the feeders were cleaned out. Thought maybe a raccoon but the barrels were dumped over again. The coons get big around here but, not that big…lol.

If I can catch this bear actually eating from the window feeder at night, I could sit on my loveseat and count the taste buds on his tounge.

I need to get some film in the camera and snap a few pics. Hopefully I dont freak him out too bad but pretty sure the flash isnt going to be very welcomed right in his face from a foot away.

New Bear Tonight! This guy has some girth to him compared to the other bear as well as a very prominent white patch just below his throat. Curious as to why these bears are ‘only’ showing up at night now when last year it was always during the daytime.

I was able to get a measurement, as funny as that sounds, by using a tape measure when the bear was down on all fours right next to the window. Adding the elevation I had for the fieldstone foundation of the cabin, the highest portion of the bears back measured roughly 44 inches. I made a benchmark on the platform bird feeder to get a rough idea of his skull size, fur included of course, when he comes back again.

I kind of had to scare him off this time. I went for the video camera since the security light was on him and when I came back one of my youngest cats was sitting there looking at the bear from in the window on back of the loveseat. Roughly a foot away from the bear. The walnuts, cashews, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds were falling out of the bears mouth while he was keying in on that cat. The bear looked about ready to come through the window. I, for lack of better words, invited the cat to leave, and as it scooted off the bear stood up and watched it wander out of the living room. I’m 5’9″ with a 6 inch elevation for the foundation and the bear was much taller than I.

I rapped on the window a couple times and got his attention again. He went back down to all fours and grabbed another mouthful of seed but he was seriously interested in that damn cat even though he couldnt see it.

I was somewhat surprised that he lumbered off after a few more raps on the window. Usually they simply ignore us even though we’re right in their face. He was just fading into the darkness when the security light shut off so it’s hard to say where he went. Lots of free food left there yet and this would be a first to have a bear leave any seed behind.

Anyway I got to say this was a real full, stocky built bear just as black as ink. Seen a lot of bears here through the years and every one of them still get my heart pumping at that close distance. Especially this one the way he zeroed in on the cat, which by the way, I am sure had no idea how close she may have been to being breakfast.

Mr. Bear came back for the rest of the seed tonight and stayed around for 2 hours after ripping the feeder off the cabin and cracking the window.

Kind of don’t know how to take this bear. He circled the cabin 6 different times and keeps inspecting the garage door on each pass. I seriously dont want a bear in the garage!

In between his wandering the yard he would sit on my patio like a dog, stop to eat grass, or roll in the grass while he scratched himself. I got some decent video footage when the security light would come on. Also got some footage from about a foot away with the bear looking right in the camera.

I shut off all the lights in the cabin when I am taking video to reduce the glare so when the security light shuts off it is complete darkness both inside and out. It is a bit tense when the last frame of film I took was the bear staring into the lens.

Some of the footage is grainy with a lot of shadow of course but other shots are surprisingly clear and nearly sent a chill up my spine seeing it on the television during playback. Especially the scenes where the bear is staring right at me when the light goes out.

The bear seems completely relaxed and content to sprawl out in the yard with its feet up in the air or flat on its stomach. Yet he did bolt at one time for reasons unknown only to return less than a minute later.

Not sure on the daily travels of a bear, maybe Doc can shed some light there, but this bear left here just before daybreak this morning and showed up right around 10 this evening so he didnt go very far. He appears to be eating well according to his size so I wouldnt think this simple mixture of birdseed would keep him coming back even being the opportunist they are.

Unless the bears do something unusual I wll begin to limit my reports that are merely sightings to keep from boring everyone or being too repetitive.

For now I have a window to fix.

Well, this info is not boring. If you stop posting we might think you done got et.

Sounds like you may have a problem bear on your hands.

Could be right Gamer but it’s too early to judge him just yet.

I understand he’s an eating machine and hungry. He doesnt understand what glass is and why he shouldnt break it. He simply got too close when the feeder came down and I think it was either his head or his paw that cracked the glass. The cabin has the old 6 pane windows so its not a major deal to repair. If it were intentional this would be a different story.

Hes pretty much caught me off guard the past couple nights but now I am all set up with a routine if he comes back. Last night was a no-show and so far this evening its been quiet.

A neighbor stopped by today and I showed him the video. He freaked when all he saw in the first few frames was darkness and then a bears face appearing out of nowhere…lol.

A lot of people ask me and send email wondering why I dont get a permit to hunt these bears. For me its simple. I couldnt really call it hunting.

Others ask why I dont remove the food source or just move it further away. The platform feeder is located right at the window for the birds. We have cardinals, bluejays, chickadees, nut-hatches, finches, buntings, doves, and a few other quick visitors, that show up every day. The feeder allows myself and my daughter to sit on the loveseat with the birds practically in the cabin to observe and learn. That close observation is something we enjoy which just isnt the same from 30 feet or so. Moving the feeder would only put the bear in a different spot. Removing the food source would also be removing the birds that we see throughout the day. As long as the bears stay outside, they can eat the seed. I think I will start cutting back on the amount of seed I set out each day so that we still get the birds but it may no longer be worth the bears efforts to hang around. I much prefer a routine bear with a “once every few days” stop as opposed to every day. Last year we made sure we were in the cabin by 8 every evening because of their routine and lack of fear from humans.

For now the weekend is just about here and my daughter is both excited and apprehensive to see the bears. She only wishes they came around during the day like last year, rather than at night. Looking at it through an 8 year olds eyes I can see where she’s coming from.

Well a little something different tonight. We had a sow and two cubs mulling around the egde of the yard this evening just before dark. Dont know how long they were over there but they didnt stick around long once we spotted them. They wandered off in no hurry.

While I was telling my daughter to come see the bears she was watching a fox in the front yard…lol. She only got to see a cub for the most part when it wandered into the actual yard for a few seconds about 40 feet from the cabin. She said he walked funny. They were young cubs and quite small yet.

What we found interesting was, we have a cat, named Little Bear. It’s pure black, with no tail, and a small white patch on her throat. Hence the name. She was very close to these cubs who didnt seem to really pay her much attention for the short time we had to watch them. Not even sure the mother bear even knew the cat was there. I think the area is probably saturated with their scent because they are always in that area throughout the day. Mouse-hunting I guess…who knows.

Anyway now we have a sow with 2 cubs and at least 2 male bears that have been here. Curious to see what happens if the male, sow, and cubs, ever meet here in the yard. That could be a good show-down to get on video.

Got a full night ahead of us so things could pick up here. My daughter is a little nervous right now but excited at the same time. She’s looking forward to seeing the big male show up but would still rather see it during the day.

So theres a small update since it was something different from what we have been seeing.

Wow, I’d be nervous now for sure…just knowing about the sow and cubs. Wouldn’t ever want to get caught between them.

If things get worse, you can always call the DNR. Maybe they could put out some live traps and move them??
Don’t stop writing though, I find this very exciting and look forward to reading your bear reports.

Well you’re right. I wouldnt want to get between the sow and her cubs. You know my ex. Just ask her how brilliant of an idea it is to walk out in the yard and start taking still photos of a cub. She learned real fast that you dont even have to be in-between mom and her little one to appear as a threat. We’re pretty careful to be inside, or go inside, when the bears show up.

Last year we had a male bear watch a neighbor pull in the yard with his truck, get out, slam the door, and walk to the cabin. After he came inside the bear walked right past his truck in the driveway so that bears fear of humans was obviously absent.

We have only had 1 bear so far that we requested to have re-located but they couldnt do it because it was late in the fall and they feared he had a denning area chosen already. This was the same bear that I figured tore the screens off the cabin window but I could never really be sure as I was gone at the time when it happened. He just had a bad demeanor. He would walk around the yard real mellow like and then turn on a feeder, wheelbarrow, fence, lawn ornament, whatever, and thrash the hell out of it. Anyway it wasnt the same playful attitude we saw from other bears. I swore that bear never slept as we saw him all hours of the day and through the night many times.

Anyway it’s hard to say if he ever came back but I’ve never had another black bear acting out what appeared to be agression towards everything since then.

Finally got some footage of this bear during daylight hours.

He has always left just before dawn or earlier. He came into my window feeder about 5 this morning and left just as it was getting light. Didnt see him at all for the next half hour. About to crawl into bed and there he was digging through a burning barrel about 30 feet or so from the bedroom window.

He dug around in there for about 15 minutes before wandering back to the front yard and plopping down on the lawn. He didnt stay down long and seemed somewhat nervous. He headed up my driveway to cross the road and encountered a few vehicles heading towards town. Made a bee-line back into the yard and then back up the driveway where he disappeared.

He had to cross the road unless he’s laying down in the ditch somewhere but I doubt it. He seemed intent on getting back to the deeper woods as the direction he was heading is thousands of acres of state land and the same path he chose before when he left during the night.

Got some video of a cat walking towards the bear when it was contemplating crossing the road. They appeared to make eye contact from about 25 feet away but apparently the bear only had getting back to the deeper woods on its mind because he didnt pay the cat much attention. I think this cat is a bit on the slow side or something for even approaching and animal of that size.

Anyway I was thinking the bear had changed it’s habits a little but, after watching how nervous he was once he started to hear and see a few vehicles, I’m betting he wont over-stay his visit and put himself in that predicament anytime soon again.

Well it finally happened. I’ve been rationing the bird seed in very little amounts so there would be nothing for the bear when he came around. This morning, about a half hour before light, the bigger black bear tore through my window where the seed use to be. He just seemed to go nuts on the window. Scared the hell out of me to be perfectly honest. I didnt hear him come in and the lights never went on outside. Sitting here working and it seemed like all hell broke loose about 8 feet behind me.

Grabbed the shotgun and started yelling and the bear backed down and wandered out to the middle of the yard and then, the damn light finally comes on. Fired a shot off and he didnt seem to care a bit. Wandered off about 30 yards, stopped, came back.

As lame as it may sound I called 911. For anyone who may not have read any of the bear encounters I’ve had in close quarters let me just say this, this is the first time I felt immediately threatened. Hence the emergency call. If you’re wondering…yes. Still jumpy as hell and watching my back even though its light outside now. The dispatcher probably has a broken eardrum as I was yelling at the bear while reporting the problem. I thought I was going to end up shooting the bear while on the phone.

Anyway they got an officer from the DNR’s wildlife division on the line who will be sending some people out later today. I imagine there will be a live-trap set somewhere nearby and this guy will be relocated. Pretty sure I have enough documentation on video to show the bears habits and how they have escalated. If not they can have a look at my windows.

As crazy as it may sound, when the bear started wandering the yard, I did snap a dozen pictures. If they are not total glare from the windows I should have some pics to share. Probably the last ones ever of this bear.

Filed my incident report a few minutes ago now they have to review it before making a decision. Best part is they said they only had 1 working live-trap at the moment and that was in use. Probably couldnt get a trap out til next week. Nice.

Supposed to get a call back later after a wildlife biologist analyzes the report along with the officer I filed the report with. She said it’s certainly erratic behavior and there must be something around to attract so many bears. Ya think? Maybe they just love sunflower seeds eh ’cause there isn’t anything else for them to eat here.

Time to try and catch a few winks of shuteye and you bet the gun will be next to the bed, just in case.

Hope the bears dont git ya while you’s a sleepin!
Been a while since I got to the forums, actually a whole month I think,… looks like you have been having some fun with the bruins!!!!
Keep safe and never under estimate the power of those animals. I have seen them roll around boulders looking for fryer fat to lick up. It looked as easy to him as rolling a marble around.
A gunshot will not mean much to them if they have got grub on the brain. It diverts their attention for a bit, but doesnt scare them off for good, or at least the ones I have been around.

Looking forward to hearing about the removal of the bears. Good luck and watch yer back!

An officer is coming out tomorrow with the reporting and sighting forms along with the contact info I will need. Also bringing some cracker shells so I dont have to use all my ammo to try and scare the bear off. I say ‘try’ because blasting a shot off has had very little effect thus far. I’ll keep the cracker shells in the shotgun and the clip full in the 308.

The trap will be placed and set this Thursday. One down-side is they come back on Fridays to spring the trap for the weekend because nobody is around to take care of the bear and it would be too stressful to be caged up that long.

I ‘might’ have some pics late tomorrow if they turned out. It was dark and being they were taken through a window I think the possibilities of the pics turning out are slim but we’ll see. If nothing else should have a few pics of a fox that was just here a few minutes ago.

I’ll get pics of the trap when it’s set and ‘hopefully’ of the bear in the trap when he’s caught.

After 10 years of living with the bears here this is the first, out of many, that has needed to be removed. Not a bad ratio.

OMG Fitter!

That is crazy! I would be terrified. Was your daughter there? I just can’t imagine how terrifying that would be. Can’t wait to see the pics. Good luck and stay safe.

talk with you soon

No my daughter wasnt here. I am glad for that as she would have been very scared and I dont want her to feel like she has to fear bears. I have no doubt that after this one is removed, if he can be trapped and relocated, that another bear will start coming around.

We are going to try and determine today why the bears find this area of such great interest but honestly I dont think there’s much else to look at besides the birdseed.

After examing a couple piles that the bear so readily left in the yard for me, it is apparent that he has been eating birdseed from somewhere else as I feed strictly black sunflower seeds and there is a mixture of other wil birdseed predominat in the scat. That leads me to wonder if someone else is also throwing out other food for the bear to encourage it back. It could explain it’s obvious fear of humans right from the start but its purely speculation especially since all the male bears here do not seem to feel threatened by a human form, voice, or even gunshots.

DNR just left after documenting the area and damage. They had no question whether or not the bear should be trapped and relocated. Their main concern was that the bear tore into the window while I was sitting there in plain site.

Trap will be set Monday rather than Thursday. It will remain here for 2 weeks or less depending on whether the bear gets trapped or not. He will not be collared or tagged before released the minimum of 30 miles away. They may spray-paint the bears rump with an identifiable mark to see if the bear returns.

Are they using the big culvert trap?

What are they using for bait?

It may sound dumb but tell them to use your birdseed, not something they bring, as the bear is used to your seed and scent.

Yes it will be a big culvert trap. Not sure what bait they use other than it is going to be somewhat solid in a burlap bag and wired down to the release. Funny thing was I did mention birdseed as he obviously is interested in that but they claimed that a small tear in the bag made by a squirrel or other small critter could release the seed.

I’ll find out for sure on Monday just what they use for bait then I can sit and wait to hear the trap door slam down.

The pics I took the other night of the bear didnt turn out as I pretty much expected. Too much glare from the window but I’ll get some pics of the trap and of the bear if he’s caught.

Heres a shot of my window after the bear decided he didnt like it in his way or whatever the hell he was thinking.

It really doesnt look so bad in the photo I guess but it’s shot. The framework and partitions were all broken in various places. I set it there gently to take a picture but it fell apart once I tried to move it again.

It’s not bad replacing the glass but I like the old traditional 6 pane frames on the cabin so a new frame will have to be custom built to fit correctly.

The board, as it looks now at the bottom of the window, was the platform feeder which had sides on it to keep sunflower seed from spilling onto the ground. Was really nice for watching birds for the past few years.

Pretty boring photo I suppose. Guess you’d have had to be here to get the real effect.

How’s that bear trap working out? Have they successfully relocated him?

No luck yet Will. They set the trap Monday afternoon and the bear usually shows up around 4 a.m. so first night was a bust. Maybe tonight but honestly I havent seen the bear in about a week.

I saw where a deer had been hit on the road and followed the drag trail through the ditch just into the woods where the remains were laying. Pretty much just hooves left so the bear has had an easy meal or three up until now about 300 yards from here.

I did hear of another report where a large bear was raiding a neighbors birdfeeders over the weekend so I would guess thats the culprit and it should be only a matter of time before he wanders back here again.

They have a mixture of doughnuts and other goodies in the burlap bag for him waiting here in the trap. I’ll get some pics of the trap even though its really not much to look at. Its set-up about 20 feet from my daughters bedroom window.

Got Him! And he’s going nuts!

Just heard the door slam down on the trap and that thing is a rockin big time. He’s gnawing at the bars on the front and batting the shit out of everything in their “except” the bag of goodies. Man its loud even in here with all the windows closed.

I’m going to wander outside. Second thought…maybe I’ll wait til light. Hes a tad pissed right now.

Anyway I’ll be getting some pics even though we’re not suppose to because of stress on the bear but this guy has had a lot of pics taken. Sure hope that thing holds him.

That sounds real good, Hope your able to sleep.
Maybe you could set a speaker up in the window and play soft music for the bear. lol

Got a bunch of pics that I should be posting later today. Hard to get a good picture with all the steam coming from his mouth but some of them should turn out.

Funny, when he’s in the trap he seems more like a dog until he starts snapping his jaws and blowing. Stinks pretty bad. Probably from eating that deer. He never did touch the doughnuts but once it got light I see he took my birdfeeder down even though it was empty. Never heard that at all even though it was just outside the window. Must have missed the security light coming on.

DNR should be here before too long to haul him away. Hope he doesnt come back. They hauled one bear away 50 miles and he came back. Hauled him 100 miles and he found his way back again. Took him for a long ride after that and he never showed up again. Hopefully this guy stays put.

You know, my dad stopped by to snap a few pics. He could walk in front of that trap and the bear would stay put. Every time I got in front of the trap the bear came right up to the grating to snap his jaws and start blowing. I understand they retain information really well so it was interesting and makes me wonder if he recognized me from all the close encounters we had. If so it didnt appear that we were friends.

Be back later to post the pics after I get some sleep.

So much for the sleep. DNR is on the way and, here are a few pics.

He doesnt look as big in the trap to me. The grating in front is 3 inches between openings and the barrel itself is 34″ across if that gives you a guide to guage it’s size. The number 400 pounds keeps coming up from people viewing the tapes that have also shot a few bears so, somehwere in there.

Well seeing how I only work 3 blocks from my house I just had to come home at first break to see if there were any pics of the bear. Awsome, thanks for sharing and glad it is having a happy ending. Hoping he doesn’t find his way back

He’s definitely a big boy!
Looks as if he’s got a little boo-boo by his eye there from all the thrashing around.
They always look bigger on foot dont they?
Even so….this one is sure larger than anything we have brought home yet.
Glad it ended safely for both of ya’s!

Yes they do look bigger out of a trap thats for sure. Hard to get a sense of his girth in those photos. They picked him up at 9:30 and said he was easily all of 400 pounds but they would get a better idea of the size once he was released. Biggest bear this team has trapped to date.

When they were driving away the bear got a little nervous chewing on the bars in the front. I laughed when they were parked at the end of the driveway and the bear was rocking the cage and the truck. I could see the DNR’s heads going back and forth…lol

Anyway I hope his new home suits him well and he stays there. On a sidenote the DNR did mention that this bear seemed to have an attitude as compared to others that have been trapped. Hey, it could be that he’s a nite prowler and this mid-morning activity just wasn’t his cup of tea. Guess the bear and I had something in common after all.

Glad to hear that he is on his way to a new home before Ashley comes for the summer. One less thing to worry about.

Bo D
I would guess that he would be and remain pissed at you. Anyone taking a shot at me would be on my #1 hit list.

Good to see that they got him and if they don’t move him far enough away, he’ll be “BACK”…

Fitter if I were you I’d be sleeping with one eye open…

Actually I been sleeping pretty good. I was thinking that, if he indeed were to travel back, he might show up any day now or night I should say. Been on the alert just in case through the evening hours.