Saw my first Bear!

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Dec429, May 15, 2006.

  1. Dec429

    Dec429 Well-Known Member

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    I saw my first bear since I moved to Arkansas!
    Sunday afternoon I stepped outside to let the dogs run a bit. I heard something rustling in the woods about 25 yards from the house.
    I walked quietly to the edge of the woods, and there was a black bear cub wandering around through the trees! All I could do was stand and stare! Now, how cute is a bear cub??!!

    THEN, it hit me! I better grab the dogs so they don't start chasing after the cub, as mama has to be somewhere fairly close.
    Sophie, the cocker spaniel, wanted to go play! Dragged her kicking and screaming back to the house, and told Dennis what I had seen.
    We both wanted to see it again, but by then it had disappeared out of sight.

    Now, all I need to see is one of the wild hogs down in the holler!
     
  2. MoonShine

    MoonShine Fire On The Mountain

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    We had a mama bear and her cubs here last summer...but I never got to see any of them. And,I've heard tale of wild hogs all my life and have yet to see one. I've never even seen one that's been hunted and killed. Then,there's the story of the albino deer that all these hunters claim to have seen...but he always eludes them. I've heard this story for years and years...that deer must be getting pretty old by now :p

    If you see the cub again,get a picture! :)
     

  3. MTNwomanAR

    MTNwomanAR Well-Known Member

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    Don, isn't it cool seeing a bear?? But you were very wise to get the dogs in. I can't get Phoenix to come to me, til he has run the bear completely out of the yard..... I'll have to bring more of my bear pics to the fall picnic........I have lots and lots of them............ :)
     
  4. makeitdolou

    makeitdolou Well-Known Member

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    That is so cool, Mtnwoman!
     
  5. Rockin'B

    Rockin'B Well-Known Member

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    Dec429,

    I hope you harvest some of those wild pigs.

    Nothing tastes better on the grill!!!

    I have wild pig envy.
     
  6. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    Black bears are common place around here. I see one almost every day from about end of May to about July, and then frequently until early fall. When biking on nearby country roads is when I see them, or on my back wood or beaver meadow area. Sometimes cutting lawn, one will just hang around within often 50 yards if they see something they like to graze upon. In other words, I learn to live with them. They move on. In town is where the bears cause problems because of the barbecue binging and nice attractive smells concentrated at town outskirts. Usually our country bears aren't much of a problem if humans don't intervene by feeding or attracting them unnecessarily.
    Now, usually the bears I see are 'average'. One sow had 3 cubs which was an intersting site. About a week ago, I saw what is the largest bruin I've seen to date after living in the country here over 15 years. It probably was over 500 lb. A big guy. Beautiful black coat and a healthy gait he was. I'll hope to see it again later to photo him.
     
  7. Dec429

    Dec429 Well-Known Member

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    LaDonna,

    It was way too cool seeing the cub! I really would have liked a peek at mama bear.
    Of course, now, Sophie wants to run down in the woods and look for them! :shrug:
     
  8. MTNwomanAR

    MTNwomanAR Well-Known Member

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    One spring morning, I was busy watching "junior", a yearling male cub[don't ask how I know it was a HE!! :rolleyes: ] playing all around the yard....when he had left due to me moving around too much, or making too much noise, I heard what I THOUGHT was him coming back....turned out to be a nice 300+ pound mama/papa bear....this one stayed around long enough for me to snap two pics....while I had taken several ROLLS of film up on the baby bear...............got some neat ones of him in B&W............
    Don, I do worry about Phoenix with me not being there a lot....but it's like since he got mauled by the bear, he is NOT giving it/them a chance to try again.................... :) :)
    Moon wolf, I agree with you that we just learn to co exist...I can't tell you how many idiots that I work with asked me after I saw the bear, "Did you shoot it?" :grump: Of course, I asked WHY?????? Then I tell them that I did....about 24 times, with my camera..... :hobbyhors :hobbyhors It wasn't doing anything to ME!! And these guys have gotten into my house, while I'm away at work....but other than hurting my dog, they haven't done anything to me.....and since I wasn't there when Phoenix got hurt, I have no way of knowing just which bear did the damage...............to me, it's just a part of living in the wild........it's a trade off, and in my mind a good one...I'd MUCH rather have to worry about animals hurting me, as humans, eh????? :p
     
  9. NJ Rich

    NJ Rich NJ Rich

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    Bears are unpredictable. But there is one thing you can predict: "Mother bears may and probably will attack you if they feel their cubs are in danger". I think you may be lucky mother bear wasn't closer.

    If one of your dog goes after the cub or the mother and she attacks the dog don't try to rescue the dog. Bears have been desenitized by the presence of humans. Where once they ran away now they aren't afraid of people. Just last month a child was killed in Tennessee close to a parking lot at a State Park.

    Forget "Cute" as Disney wants you to believe. Bears are wild creatures and don't always show their mood until it's too late. Stay away from the bears and never never feed one. A few years ago a bear came right through a screen door into the kitchen of a women that had been feeding the bear everyday.

    Here in New Jersey we are having more and more problems with bears. They have come into towns as they are expanding their range thoughout the state. One was caught 3 miles from my house and relocated. Another bear is living near a trout stream in a County Park 5 miles away. A bears range is wide and 5 miles is nothing to a bear.

    I have hiked; backpacked and camped in bear country many times. That includes NJ, NY State and New Mexico. There are many precautuions that have to be taken with food, cooking and bear bagging food from a tree with ropes. I have had a bear walk by my tent and pull out one of the ropes holding my tent. That is plenty close enough for me.

    Get yourself a pair of binoculars and watch the cub and mother from a distance where she may not feel her cub is threatened.
     
  10. Dec429

    Dec429 Well-Known Member

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    We do worry about our dogs when we let them outside. Sophie likes to go running through the woods, and she would not be "smart" enough to leave the bear alone. She wants to play with every critter she chances to meet.

    Madda came back from a stroll a few weeks ago, and was torn up pretty badly. The cuts she had did not look like another dog attacked her. Now, we have deduced she must have been mauled by a bear. Madda generally does not run into the woods, but will walk down the road at the edge of the woods. Perhaps she was a bit too close and caught a paw from mama bear.

    We do have to co-exist with the wildlife, and I am happy to finally be in a place where I can see these animals in the wild.

    Seeing the cub was a breathtaking moment for me, as I never had the opportunity to see one this close outside of the St. Louis Zoo.
     
  11. bgak47

    bgak47 Well-Known Member

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    Dec429... be careful with your garbage. Black bears are attracted to it. 25yds is pretty close to your house. As much fun as it is to see wildlife, bears & wild hogs can be dangerous.
     
  12. Dec429

    Dec429 Well-Known Member

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    We put the garbage out right before the trash truck picks up. Started doing that mostly because the neighbor's dogs would get into it, but now also to keep the bears from getting too close.
     
  13. mamagoose

    mamagoose Well-Known Member

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    DH and I saw a bear in the wild at Cades Cove in the Smokies last week, so cool! DH "says" he saw one on our road a few years ago. Really, I believe him, just that he was the only one to see it in this area. Other sightings were 30+ miles away a few days later. Unusual for this area. I too, worry about a mama bear!
     
  14. bostonlesley

    bostonlesley Guest

    I was sharing my "bear" story with Don & the other homesteading folks at the campout recently..when I was 10 years old, we were at Yellowstone National Park..my job was to take a big pot to the community faucet each morning and fill it full of water for my mother. For some reason, I had set the filled pot down right behind me and then turned back to shut off the faucet. In just that short period of time,3 bear cubs had come along and were happily drinking out of the pot while mama bear stood behind them.

    They were so close to me that I could have scratched their ears. Mama bear was no more than a yard away. My parents and several other adults were having heart failure while I thought they were adorable and despite my father telling me to stand still and be perfectly quiet, I turned around again and said "ooh, they're sooooo cute.!!" Mama bear obviously thought I was an insane human and ignored me..she took a drink herself, "woofed" and off they all went.

    After my father told me he was happy I wasn't killed in front of him, he "impressed upon me" the importance of following his directions, and as I recall, I sat down with the aid of a pillow for quite awhile.

    Don, you are soooo fortunate to live where bears can be seen and admired..incredibly awesome..I'd be having my morning coffee glued to the window..nothing would be getting done.. :)
     
  15. Westwood

    Westwood Well-Known Member

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    Think I told my "bear story" at the campout also. Probably the same sow who's cub Don saw. Seems I was in the goat lot and noticed movement outside the SE fence line before the LGD did. A sow with two cubs was eyeing my dairy goats! WELL now, THEY were NOT going to be on the menu! I grabbed the closest weapon about the same time the Pyr noticed the old girl and brandishing my weapon we headed out towards the bear screaming/barking and generally raising hell. Ms Bear decided the two of us weren't worth putting up with for a little caprito and ambled down the holler. After I sat down and stopped shaking I finally noticed my choice of weapon. The spade side of a long handled poop scooper! :(
     
  16. bostonlesley

    bostonlesley Guest

    Oh Dennis..(choking to death on my coffee)..I hadn't heard that..

    soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo funny..
     
  17. Westwood

    Westwood Well-Known Member

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  18. MTNwomanAR

    MTNwomanAR Well-Known Member

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    Lesley, that's one of the stories that was told round the ole campfire....that's one of the most fun things about these campouts...we all sit around and tell on ourselves.......... I think I'll save my funny bear story for the fall campout....so if ya'll want to hear it.....show up!!! :) It's a bit long for here, plus, I think it comes out better verbally..............kinda pg rated though.................How's that for makin it interestin??????? :hobbyhors
     
  19. Bitsy-Bet

    Bitsy-Bet Well-Known Member

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    A couple summers ago (2004) I was out behind our house blueberry picking not more than 500 feet from the house and it was just starting to get dark so I decided to go back to the house. We had been having trouble with the neighbor's cows and as I came out of the little patch, there behind me about 10 feet was a big round hay bale, about 10 feet in front of me I saw this black animal and thought it was one of the calves again. I started picturing in my mind where the fence might be down again as the cows just bulldoze right through it when suddenly this huge round black head come up out of the tall grass. I froze! Afraid to go behind the bale, afraid to move forward. The bear froze too and we just kind of stared at each other. I said something and the bear took off. I was still afraid to run away so I walked very fast back to the house and got as far as the kitchen and sank to a chair. I couldn't believe I was that close. I tried to tell my family about it but they acted like I was just telling them a story and then a neighbor lady told my husband that she saw me and the bear out her window while she kept screaming to a person on the phone that she was afraid the bear was going to attack me. Now it is funny but I can't go back to that little patch anymore. I am afraid to run into the bear(s) there again and we have seen them since out there.
     
  20. Gideon

    Gideon Well-Known Member

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    ---"Did you shoot it"?---Glad you did not have a bad experience with the carnivore. They are meat eaters and potential killers. Hope that bruin doesn't go next door and kill some child or penned farm animal. They are nice to look at and I have seen more of them closer than I ever expect to again. They are like the cute alligators that killed three people in Fla. last week. Black bears kill more people than Grizzlys/Browns/ or Polars. I shoot all potential threats to my family or any one elses then break out the shovel. Do you remember the lady that was killed in her front yard two yrs ago in Arkansas/Alabama. That animal has not been found yet--was it yours? I have no intention of co-existing with wolves/bears/coyotes/panthers. They have no place in human habitation areas. I will not bother them in their woods but if they come into mine they are dead meat. Gideon