Bears in the Backyard?!

So, country living just got a whole lot more country. Yesterday we had a bear on our property!! It was more than just ‘on our property’ really. Our cottage has a walk out basement on the lake side with a wrap around porch leading up to the main entrance and it actually snuck up on us from under the porch. We had just come outside to unload the truck from the night before and I was carrying back some bags to the cottage when I thought I saw Monkey playing under the deck. I yelled to him to get out from under there when suddenly I realized he had huge ears!!

Big Ears

Big Ears

I have to admit I immediately panicked. Aside from it being underneath the deck, which at least put the stairs in between him and us, the bear was only a few feet away from Monkey and I was 15 feet away from them! I immediately yelled for Monkey to run straight up the stairs and into the cottage and for once in his life he actually listened to me on the first request, I’m sure he could hear the fear in my voice. Meanwhile I scrambled to find LoveBug and scan for any other bears. Of course LoveBug was the complete other direction heading farther away, so I ran over and scooped him up and ran inside. The baby, thankfully, was inside napping in her crib.

Once we were all inside I realized I was physically shaking. I have actually never been so afraid in my life. We went to the various windows in the cottage until Monkey spotted the bear out the far side heading over to the neighbours property (no one is ever there). Turns out he was a baby, but that means the mother wasn’t too far, and that’s a bear you DON’T want to mess with!

In our yard

Eating the grass in our yard

It would be one thing if it had been just me out there. I would have yelled to scare it away and ran inside, not so big of a deal. But with all the kids?! And we were so spread out and I couldn’t even see LoveBug! That’s more people than I can easily save if something had gone wrong. That is something that weighs on my mind a lot since having BabyGirl. I now have more children than arms and a lot of people to protect should some kind of freak accident happen, especially when Daddy isn’t around. What would I do? How would I protect or save all three kids from the likes of a bear? In a car accident? In some kind of natural disaster? I don’t have the answer to any of these, but I hope that some kind of Mommy super-gene kicks in and gives you the sense and ability to just do it.

I went searching on the Internet for what to do when you encounter a bear and found the following advice. I particularly like the third point because ya know, I was just going to leave my kids outside.

If you spot a black bear:

• Stay calm. Often the bear is simply passing through
• Do not run away. Walk towards a building or vehicle and get inside
• If you have children and pets, bring them inside too
• Once indoors, observe the bear. Did it move on or did it stay on your property? If the bear stayed, what was it doing or eating?
• Encourage the bear to leave. Bang pots and pans, or blow an air horn or whistle. The more stressful a bear’s encounter with you, the less likely it is to come back
• If the bear got food (like garbage or bird food), or if the bear tried to get food, you will need to remove or control the item that attracted the bear
• Once the bear leaves, remove the attractant and assess your property for other possible attractants like garbage; dirty barbecue; bird or pet food or fruit or berries from your trees or bushes
• If you have done everything you can to remove attractants, and the bear persists, call 1-866-514-2327
• If a bear is damaging your property, breaking into your home or threatening your personal safety or that of others, call 911 or your local police
• Alert your neighbours about bear activity, and work together to keep your neighbourhood free from items that attract bears

A bear was something I really hadn’t even considered. When we go outside I’ve just been letting the kids run around the property wherever they want as long is they are within eye and ear shot. Now I’m all paranoid and I’m not sure what to do exactly. We can’t live in fear, but I have to say I’m glad today was a rainy, miserable day so we had an excuse to stay indoors.

Baby Bear

Baby Bear chillin’ by the propane tank

Anyone have any tips for dealing with bears?

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5 thoughts on “Bears in the Backyard?!

  1. bmat10 says:

    I see you read my post about our bears. As to how to handle such things? Depends on the type of bear. It seems you did the right thing. It also helps to stay calm. Your biggest issue is that is a very young bear which means mom is hanging around. You should make lots of noise, this will allow momma bear to know you are there and call the cub away. Also watch for this bear in the future, if it starts to hang around call the game commission. They will trap both mother and cubs and relocate them. the last thing you want is a nuisance bear.

    • My3Monsters says:

      Thanks for the reply! I’m not sure if the game commission would do anything given that we are living in the woods? We will definitely make lots of noise though, which shouldn’t be too difficult with 2 young boys :)

      • bmat10 says:

        If the bear hangs around they will relocate the bears even if you live in the woods. You can call your wildlife rep just to be sure.

  2. Dan says:

    Great blog Jen! If I may offer you some advice for making noise. Sound is measured in decibels (db), much like temperature is measured in degrees and speed in miles (or kilometers) per hour.

    One difference between the decibel scale and most of the other units we usually use in our everyday life, is the fact that the decibel scale is not linear, but logarithmic. In logarithmic scales a sound which is only 3 db higher than another, has twice the energy. For example, if you look at the table below, the 9mm Para cartridge at 160 db has twice the sound energy of the .45 ACP cartridge which is measured at 157 db.

    So I recommend the glock model 22 which utilizes the 9mm parabellum round. A loud bang but great recoil.

    Of course… If its stopping power you want that’s a whole ‘nother conversation.

    db Environmental noise
    0 Threshold of hearing
    10 Normal breathing
    20 Rusting leaves
    30 Whisper at 30 feet
    40 Quiet street
    50 Interior home noise
    60 Conversation
    70 Crowded restaurant
    75 Kitchen appliances
    80 City traffic
    85 Hearing damage possible
    90 Lawn mower
    100 Chain shaw
    120 Threshold of pain
    120 Siren
    134 .22 LR rifle
    140 Jet engine at take-off
    150 .410 shotgun
    152 .22 LR pistol
    153 20 gauge shotgun
    155 .223 rifle
    155 .25 pistol
    156 12 gauge shotgun
    156 .30-.30 rifle
    156 .308 rifle
    156 .44 Special revolver
    157 .22 Magnum pistol
    157 .45 ACP pistol
    158 .380 ACP pistol
    158 .38 Special revolver
    159 .30-06
    160 9mm Para pistol
    163 .41 Magnum revolver
    164 .357 Magnum revolver
    164 .44 Magnum revolver

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