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Damn Bears

Guess who came back?  Bent the crap out of the hook I'd bought to hang my feeders off of.  Same bear, but no sign of the yearling cub.  She bent the hook over, then sat on her butt in my garden and licked the seed out over a leisurely hour.

Charlotte was enthralled watching through the front door, although she kept meowing at it.  The chickadees and titmice on the other hand, were infuriated - they kept swooping through as though to say "are you DONE yet?"  After an hour or so the bear wandered off, and I went outside to straighten up the hook.  Yeah, I'll need tools for that.  It was an expensive hook, too.  So I put the feeders back on the insufficient branch and my swarm of little birds descended.  Don't screw with the chickadees.  There was nothing but the sound of wings... and the dog next door barking... and branches and leaves rustling.

The bear had wandered over next door, knocked over the neighbor's trash and was having dessert.

I really don't want to have to stop feeding my birds, although I know that's the right answer.  Before I call it game over, I'm going to give cayenne pepper a try - supposedly that is a deterrent.  The problem is that the individual bear needs to learn that the individual feeder is nasty.  But it's the same bear, so if we only teach this one, we're good.

I'll keep you posted.


( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 31st, 2010 02:02 am (UTC)
Great googly moogly, you're on a streak with the feeders and the bears. I have fresh whole cayenne pepper - and ground black/red pepper, something called 'Hot Shot', which we use for seasoning. Maybe that would be strong enough to deter....

Or does Cabela's sell bear repellent?
Jul. 31st, 2010 02:14 am (UTC)
I was just going to get a big container of cayenne from Costco - that's what dad does to keep the deer out of his feeders. It hadn't occurred to me to check Cabela's. That's not a bad idea at all.

I SO love watching my birds, I really don't want to give it up. Maybe I need to have Bob and Ryan pee along the property line or something.
Jul. 31st, 2010 02:44 am (UTC)
omg, I just laughed so hard I snorted again.... :D

I really hope it doesn't come down to the menfolk "marking territory". :)

Given the choice of feeding squirrels, or feeding bears, I think squirrels, even flying ones, would be preferable to feeding bears. Cabela's has to have something, and the neighbors should probably be asked to keep their trash bins in the garage for a while...
Jul. 31st, 2010 03:02 pm (UTC)
I'm actually not sure. Bears are generally fairly inoffensive, and they're easy to deter - it's a matter of just not inviting them. They'll trash your feeder/garbage can/composter, but that's usually it. Squirrels on the other hand are going to be here regardless (can't do much about the acorns,) and they can do some serious damage to a house - especially if they get in the attic.

For now, I'm going to keep the boys on standby and try the cayenne...
Aug. 2nd, 2010 03:21 am (UTC)
If there was a way I could send Sol and the gang over there to lend some air squadron support, you know I would.
Aug. 2nd, 2010 12:52 pm (UTC)
Re: Also...
I do. We've seen a few, but I think we're just too heavily wooded for them to set up shop. Hopefully next weekend I can get outside to do some more cleanup work - Bob has all but demolished the dirt pile, which means we can spread the lime, which means that next year we can have grass!

Sad, how excited that makes me.
Aug. 2nd, 2010 03:24 pm (UTC)

Give Rob a call, maybe he'll be willing to share a bit of the capsicum extract he picked up in Albuquerque. After all, it melted through the eyedroper and I placed it in hazmat storage (ie a sealed mason jar). Still too cool-looking and humorous a package for him to discard, but we're obviously not eating it... maybe he can donate some to The Cause.
Aug. 2nd, 2010 03:25 pm (UTC)
(LMAO at the territorial marking concept that is...not the bear problem)
Jul. 31st, 2010 02:09 am (UTC)
That bear is...wearing a bib...
Jul. 31st, 2010 02:11 am (UTC)
Radio transmitter, I assume. But yes, it looks JUST like a bib. How appropriate...
Jul. 31st, 2010 09:09 am (UTC)
So glad I wasn't the only one so to think.
Jul. 31st, 2010 02:38 am (UTC)
I've lost more bird feeding equipment to our local bears. Come April, the birds are on their own until November. Momma usually has 2 or 3 cubs and seems fairly well behaved. I think it's one of the boys that trash everyones feeders.
Jul. 31st, 2010 03:03 pm (UTC)
I'm not feeding the birds for them, I'm feeding them for *me.* Hence my reluctance to take the feeders down. But if that needs to be the answer, that needs to be the answer.
Jul. 31st, 2010 07:55 pm (UTC)
Oh me too. I'll spend hours with the tele lens waiting for a good squabble between the freeloaders and snap away.
Jul. 31st, 2010 05:49 am (UTC)
That dumb bear is really asking for it. She's already tagged & collared...if she keeps going into settled areas, your fish & wildlife dept will probably euthanize her. :-(

Maybe noisy fluttery things like hanging tin plates from strings...? I know that helps keep deer away but your silly bear is probably a good deal bolder than a deer.
Jul. 31st, 2010 03:10 pm (UTC)
If she didn't care that I was banging on the door and yelling at her, I doubt she'd care about noisy fluttery things.

Around here DEP is far, far likelier to try to relocate her to one of the larger state forests - that's what they do with the ones who wander into say, Hartford. That has it's own issues with bears being territorial, but there are so many bears in CT these days that the options are limited. I've submitted another bear sighting with the ear tag number. I don't know how closely the DEP watches those reports. I also have to think that they're going to be a lot more lenient with repeated sightings of an animal when they're, oh, 500 *yards* outside of a wildlife management area. In a way, we signed up for this when we bought a house next to Sessions Woods.

If cayenne doesn't deter her, I'll just have to sulk a bit and remove the attraction.
Jul. 31st, 2010 01:01 pm (UTC)
Sounds like it's time you introduce the bear to the electric fence. Other suggestions are good as well only the damage is done by the time they take effect.
Jul. 31st, 2010 03:12 pm (UTC)
Believe me - that ran through my mind.

I'm going to write a letter to the company who made my bird feeder - it's survived this bear taking it down from two to four times (there were a couple of unwitnessed incidents that I had blamed on racoons. Now I'm not so sure.) That's a good birdfeeder!
Aug. 2nd, 2010 03:28 pm (UTC)
Even that might not work -- this spring "our" bear barrelled right through the electric fence to get at the beehives. Only one hive survived her tender ministrations. At least that much!
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )