THERE’S A BEAR AROUND!

A couple of weeks ago, over the 4th, a neighbor lady came over and talked with my daughters. She and her husband had been outside in the yard when a bear showed up and hung around for a while. She said that it didn’t seem to be afraid and it wasn’t in a hurry to leave? She said: “you know, after that bear left I got to thinking about your kids playing outside and decided to drive over and make you aware…”

These are new neighbors to us as they have just recently moved here. I thought her gesture was quite neighborly and we were grateful for the heads-up. There is enough bush and woods around that a bear could just step into the yard without being noticed until all of a sudden he’s there!

There were three Mom’s, one Grandma, and nine Grandkids under eight years in the yard at the time. It can be a little like managing a wheelbarrow load of frogs at times…So the kids’ activities where pretty close to the house the rest of that day.

I later asked my oldest daughter Katie if the Lady had said how big the bear was. Katie said she hadn’t asked. It is not uncommon that we have a bear around in mid summer. Usually it is a young bear, off on his own for the first time. From the lakeshore just to the North of us, to the forest five miles to the south is a mixture of farmland and woodlots. It’s possible that this was a young bear that was born on the lakeshore and was making his way to the forest to find a home for himself? Once in the forest he could head east all the way to Lake Superior if he wanted to.

I usually take the dog out for a short walk in the evening before putting her in the toboggan shop for the night. She has a comfortable bed of wood shavings there and seem’s to like having her own space that s cool and quite.

The other evening just before sunset we stepped out of the house. There was a slight breeze from the West and the dog lit up full alert as soon as we stepped out. To the West is our parking area, just to the West of that is a heavy grove of Spruce trees. Behind the spruce is our compost bin and then its firewood stacks with the garden just to the North. There is a hay meadow West of there and 40 acres of swamp and woods to the South.

The dog obviously had something unusual. She is almost two and grew up here, so she knows what is normal and what is not. She was focused on the Spruce grove so I headed that way and moved around to the North towards the garden. I wanted to get the dogs nose lined up with the breeze blowing over the compost bin…sometimes a skunk gets in there? This seemed much to intense for a skunk or even a coyote?…she was quite anxious and totally focused on what she had smelt or was still smelling…

I moved to the garden, just beyond the garden is a mowed lane that goes South past the wood yard and ends at a thick willow swamp. Billie, our young hunting Labrador, sailed to the South end of the lane and stood erect just inside the swamp with her tail cocked high. She was winding the breezes coming from the swamp. All of a sudden she said “Woof” and ran back to me with her tail down and sat next to me like she was spooked!

“Hmmm, that’s something new?…I wonder if that dang bear is still hanging around?”

When I got back to the house I got a few cartridges out and put them in a handy spot. The blueberries are ripening now and any bear in the loop should be feasting on the bounty that is South in the forest? Or, perhaps it was a Timber Wolf? They have come around in the past as well…right now there’s 80 acres of prime deer habitat here with soybeans growing all around?…would be easy pickings for a bold wolf or two if they got a deer out in a bean field… “We’ll see…”

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