IT'S BEAR TIME!
We had our first bear visit of the season the other night at about 9 PM. I was sitting in the living room reading, and I heard a BANG! It sounded like a branch hitting the house, but it was followed by some scuffling, so I suspected our "friendly" bear was back after a long winter's rest!
Sure enough when I turned off all the lights and went to the window there he was! A huge big boy! I assume it was a male since a female that size would surely be followed by a few cubs. Anyway, he had yanked down one of the feeders from the line. He had to be pretty big to reach it, as the line is at least 7 feet off the ground. All the feeders were about empty, as I haven’t filled them after April 1st as recommended. So, he was disappointed and after some flashlights bothering him, and my husband yelling and banging on the walls, he shuffled off into the woods.
Yesterday, after church, I took down the feeders and cleaned them with the recommended 9/1 parts water to bleach. The yard now looks a bit bare… because of the bear!
It’s interesting, because just a few days prior to this happening, I received this in an email from the NH Wildlife folks!
“TAKE DOWN YOUR BIRDFEEDERS -- OR THE BEARS WILL!
Last fall's abundant mast production will provide critical spring food for bears, but spring and early summer still represent lean times for bears. Be assured -- bears will be hungry as they emerge from their dens this spring, and homeowners need to be prepared for them. Remove all attractants in your yard to keep it from becoming a cafeteria for bears! It is also very important that bears find natural foods and not become dependent on human-related food sources. Cease all bird feeding by April 1, or as soon as snow melts, and clean up any spilled seed and dispose of it in the trash. Secure all garbage in airtight containers inside a garage or adequate storage area, and put garbage out only on the morning of pickup. Avoid putting meat or other food scraps in your compost pile. Don't leave pet food dishes outside overnight, and clean and store outdoor grills after each use.
Finally, never intentionally feed bears. These steps will ensure that your backyard doesn't become a magnet for bears, preventing property damage and keeping bears from becoming nuisance animals. Please help prevent bear/human conflicts, so we can coexist with this magnificent animal. - Andy Timmins, Bear Project Leader, N.H. Fish and Game”
So there you have it, the “straight skinny” on Black Bears! If you’re interested, here are a few links that might prove interesting to read.
Here's a link about the Black Bears in New Hampshire
This is a good study of The American Black Bear which gives you more information.
And here's a ton of information from Massachusetts about their Black Bears!
Have fun reading, and good luck with your bears! :-)