Category Archive 'Black Bears'

05 Jun 2018

Bear Problems in New Hampshire

, , ,

Grafton, New Hampshire libertarians had serious bear problems and may have dealt with them privately, Matthew Hongoltz-Hetling suspects.

Tracey Colburn lived in a little yellow house in the middle of the woods. She was used to seeing bears in her yard, up in her trees, and raiding her compost pile, where they chucked aside cabbage in what she could only interpret as disgust. Colburn was in her forties, with long brown hair and a youthful face. She’d had a tough go of it; a breast-cancer diagnosis cut her college career short, and a long string of clerical and municipal jobs were unfulfilling. In 2012, she was in and out of work, but she had enough savings to care for her dog, Kai, a Husky-Labrador mix she’d rescued from a shelter. Kai had developed allergies to wheat and corn, two of the main ingredients in cheap dog food, so she was trying not to give him the stuff.

One muggy weekend, the kind where you leave the windows open to welcome even the slightest breeze, Colburn sliced up a cold pot roast and fed it to Kai. Then she let him out to pee. She was startled to see that her small porch, eight by ten feet, was “just full of bear.” Two of the animals, young ones, were down on all fours sniffing the deck. A bigger, older bear stood right in front of Colburn. Kai rocketed at it, and Colburn screamed. The bear lunged at the sound. “They move like lightning,” she told me.

The bear raked Colburn’s face and torso with its left paw. Its claws dug into one forearm, thrown up in self-defense, and then the other. Colburn, who’d fallen onto her back, tried to push herself inside but realized she’d accidentally closed the door when her head thumped glass. “She was going to frickin’ kill me, I just knew it, because her face was right here,” Tracey said, holding her hand about eight inches in front of her nose. “I was looking right into her eyes.”

Kai must have bitten the bear’s rear legs then, because it jerked away from Colburn. The two animals started snarling and fighting in the yard. Colburn regained her feet and scrambled inside the house, shaking from adrenaline. She looked at her right hand. It didn’t hurt, but it made her stomach turn. The bear had unwrapped the skin from the back of her hand like it was a Christmas present. The gaping hole showed ligaments, muscles, and blood. Colburn looked around her kitchen and picked up a clean dishcloth to wrap the wound.

Kai, only slightly injured, came trotting back toward the house; the bear was nowhere in sight. “Huskies prance. He come prancing out of the shadows, big grin on his face,” Colburn recalled. “Like it was the most wonderful thing he’d ever done.” But she was worried that the bear and its cubs were still out there, waiting for her. It was a terrifying prospect, because she needed to go outside. She didn’t get cell reception in her house, and she couldn’t afford a landline, so there was no way to get in touch with anyone to help her stanch the blood pouring from her injuries.

Carrying a lead pipe to defend herself, Colburn made a desperate run for her white Subaru, only to realize, once she was safely inside, that her mangled right hand couldn’t move the stick shift. Reaching across her body with her left hand, she got the car into gear and puttered down the driveway. She rolled along until she got to the home of a neighbor named Bob. When she rang his doorbell, he stuck his head out an upstairs window.

“I’ve just been attacked by a bear,” Colburn said, breathing heavily.

“Hold on,” Bob replied, and he ducked back inside. A few seconds later, his head popped back out.

“Uh, you’re kidding, right?” he asked.

Colburn conveyed, in painful shouts, that she was most certainly not kidding, and Bob quickly gave her a ride to the fire station. John Babiarz happened to be on duty. “Those goddamn bears!” he kept repeating. He called emergency responders, who whisked Colburn in an ambulance to the nearest hospital, then he phoned the Fish and Game Department. The person on the line was incredulous, like Bob before him. “It’s been a century since we’ve had a bear attack on a person,” the man said, referring to the whole of New Hampshire.

“I’m here!” Babiarz yelled back. “I see the blood!”

Doctors told Colburn that her body would heal. When she was released from the hospital, a warden from Fish and Game showed up at her house to erect a box trap in her yard. After he left, Colburn peeked at the single pink doughnut resting inside. That night she heard a bear banging on the side of the trap, but the next day the doughnut was still there. A few days later, the warden decided that the trap was useless, packed it up, and took it away.

Colburn thought about the bear all the time. She wondered how often it had ventured into her yard, onto her porch, and up to her windows without her knowing. Not like a Peeping Tom. Peeping Toms were people, and bears, she now knew for sure, were nothing like people. “If you look at their eyes,” she told me, “you understand that they are completely alien to us.”

RTWT

23 Oct 2016

Asheville: City of Bears

, ,

measuringbearcub
Expert measuring bear cub.

In Atlas Obscura, we find that Asheville, NC has a lot of very large urban wildlife, and the experts (of course!) are studying the issue of just how many bears can live in the city.

Over the past decade, Asheville has racked up all kinds of accolades: according to one list of fawning headlines, it’s “Fantastically Yoga-Friendly,” “One of America’s 12 Greatest Music Cities,” “The Biggest Little Culinary Capital in America,” “#1 Beer City USA,” and “America’s #1 Quirkiest Town.”

Somewhat more quietly, it’s also one of America’s Best Cities for Bears. They hang out near the local hospital, and at the storied Grove Park Inn. Mailmen regularly run into them on their routes. Last August, a bear broke into an Asheville man’s home and stole a stick of butter out of his kitchen trash. As part of its pre-show, the Fine Arts Movie Theater, in downtown, shows a photo of a curious black bear reading its marquee from across the street. “I never saw a black bear until I moved to the city,” Boll says. “Now, I’ll be driving and I’ll go, ‘There’s a bear in someone’s yard!’ or ‘Look at that bear, knocking over that trash can and taking the bag!'”

When we talk about urban wildlife, we’re usually referring to small, deft creatures—squirrels, pigeons, or other standbys that mind their own business and fade into the background. Your average city-dweller might catch a deer in their headlights every once in a while, or spot a raccoon digging through the trash. A bear is something of a different story. A male can weigh 600 pounds. That’s not the kind of creature you get used to seeing on your commute.

Somewhere around 8,000 black bears range around western North Carolina, and many of those make Asheville itself part of their meandering. According to the Urban-Suburban Bear Study, an ongoing project by the state’s Wildlife Resources Commission and North Carolina State University, these bears are very healthy, often well-fed enough to have twice as many cubs as your average scrappy mountain bear, and confident enough to den right outside of town.

After a couple of years of study, the researchers—along with most of Asheville’s humans—are wondering exactly how many bears the city can hold.

The democrats are probably working on registering the bears to vote.

13 Apr 2012

Pshaw! Democrat Vermont Governor Outruns Bears

, , , ,


“I’m going into training. Next time, I’ll run faster.”

Poor Vermont!

The old Green Mountain State, once home to rugged individualists and real outdoorsmen, has become a favored residence of affluent fashionistas. Politically, the ‘chucks (as newcomers derisively refer to native Vermonters) are reliably outvoted by treehuggers, goat milkers, and aging Trustafarian hippies.

In the old days, the Vermont state character was typified by drinkers and brawlers like Ethan Allen and by thrifty and laconic Yankees like Calvin Coolidge. Today, it has socialist Bernie Saunders representing it in the US Senate and a governor who champions gay marriage and everyone’s “right to health care” at somebody else’s expense.

Vermont’s wimp democrat Governor Peter Shumlin was recently frightened by some of the local wildlife.

Politico:

Shumlin says he was in bed in his rented Montpelier home late Wednesday night when he heard what turned out to be four bears in the backyard.

He says he looked out and saw the bears, including two cubs. He tried to chase the bears away, but they kept coming back.

Shumlin says he ran out barefoot in an attempt to rescue his birdfeeders. He says one of the bears charged him on the porch.

Shumlin tells the Valley News editorial board that Vermont “almost lost the governor.” He says he was within “three feet of getting ‘arrrh.'”

Black bears are rough on bird feeders. They typically totally demolish them to get at their contents more conveniently.

Some years back, at my farm in Central Pennsylvania, my father was making his morning coffee, when he looked out and saw a group of bears taking apart his bird feeders. My father stepped outside the cabin door, right on top of the offending bruins, pointed his .44 Magnum revolver in the air and touched off a couple of rounds. He then phoned me and reported with delight the comedy that ensued, noting with surprise just how fast properly motivated bears can run and describing exactly how funny they looked running for their lives up the mountain side.

Governor Shumlin went out and doubtless tried to influence them by making a speech.

All this proves that bears pay no attention to democrats, but understand the language spoken by Smith & Wesson extremely well.


Your are browsing
the Archives of Never Yet Melted in the 'Black Bears' Category.








Feeds
Entries (RSS)
Comments (RSS)
Feed Shark