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yo, you in the hoodie!

May 22, 2012

My visit to Kansas to see my grandson Sean’s high school graduation went extremely well.

I could complain only about the weather, but I won’t.  I actually want the events of the trip

to wander around in my mind a bit before I share them.  I have a more urgent story to tell

you, anyway.

 

Early Saturday evening, Jude and Slinkee had been up at the micro-hydro site to address a

low-flow problem.  When they got back, hen Hudi, who has become queen of the coop, was

squawking with true insistency.  Jude saw what looked like a man wearing baggy black sweat

pants and a black hoodie standing in the beehives about 20 metres (@20 yards) away.

 

This concerned Jude, because — as we all know from watching Fox News — hoodies cause

crime.  She called out “Can I help you?” and the “man” turned around.  It was actually a black

bear about 1.83 metres (@ six feet) tall.

 

Slinkee went nuts and charged toward it, barking furiously.  The bear ignored her, much like

a Borg on Star Trek ignores other species that don’t interfere with his/her task at hand. Even-

tually, though, the bear chose to distance itself from Slinkee’s barking and Jude’s screaming

at Slinkee.  It went into some nearby brush and hung out, ears still visible.

 

Slinkee followed for awhile, then realized that maybe that wasn’t such a great idea.  She

decided to finally heed Jude’s frantic yelling.  Jude called 911 and was given a number to

call to report the sighting.  The woman she talked to was substantially less than helpful and

even less impressed.

 

She kept asking “are you rural?”, and was only interested when Jude mentioned the damage

to the beehives.  The woman did take the time, however, to advise Jude to take a deep breath

and put up electric fencing (which is useless, according to research and neighbours).  It’s been

three days since the first sighting, and there’s been no follow-up from RCMP, a conservation

officer or Prime Minister Harper.

 

The bear came back to the hives.  Jude held Slinkee back, then yelled and banged a garbage

can with a broom handle.  He ran off again.  Jude notified neighbours by e-mail and phone

calls.  Just by chance, our friend Lee dropped by.  The bear returned.  Lee yelled and threw

stones at it.  It grabbed a honeycomb and ran off.

 

A neighbour who Jude had called came by with his bear dog and a camera.  Lee went home

to get his shotgun, a gift from the recently-deceased Al the Mayor.  When he got back, the

three sat at a picnic table near the hives long enough to hear several bear dog stories — all

with happy endings.

 

Things quieted down.  Lee taught Jude how to shoot the shotgun, aiming in such a way to

not damage the bear or the solar panels.  He went his way.  Jude set the hive the bear had

knocked over back on its stand.  She came in to eat supper and wait for my nightly call.

When she went back out to put the chickens up, another hive had been knocked over.

 

She moved our pick-up near the hives.  With Slinkee with her, she stayed in the cab for

three hours with the lights on bright.  She honked the horn for at least a minute every ten

to fifteen minutes.  She also set up a radio on the porch to blast music all night.  What bear

would return to such a noisy place?

 

Jude went to bed about 2 a.m.  She brought the radio in about 5 a.m., and it started pouring

rain about 7 a.m.  By that time, another hive had been knocked over.

 

The bear is still around.  Jude has shot the gun twice and chased it with the truck.  When I

got home with my grandson Sean and Jude’s son Nathan, we saw it within an hour.  We

haven’t seen it yet today, but expect to, most likely in the evening.  We hope to get a photo

of it.  Until we do, please enjoy this animal photo I took on my trip.

 

UPDATE: The bear came back at 5:30 p.m.  Here’s Slinkee greeting him:

Slinkee couldn’t spook it, so Jude charged it with our pick-up.

I’ll try to get closer next time when it comes back.  If I get too close, it was nice knowing you.

 

UPDATE: 7:30 p.m.  I got much closer this time:

But after I took a few more steps, it fled.

It will certainly return, but — as you can see — it’s getting too dark to get a decent image.

Stay tuned.

 

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14 Comments
  1. Gordon permalink
    May 22, 2012 2:12 pm

    Welcome back! Glad it sure doesn’t look like you’re in Kansas anymore. Re: Bear: Another indication of Canadian advantages. Obviously you guys place higher value on the well-being of bears than the good citizens of Florida do on on that of people. Couldn’t help but wonder how things might be different if Zimmerman had been trained in the use of a garbage can and broom handle during his nightly neighborhood watch rounds.

    • May 22, 2012 7:01 pm

      I lost track of that fiasco on my trip, but didn’t Martin’s autopsy show that he wasn’t shot in a struggle, like Zimmerman claimed?

      • Gordon permalink
        May 23, 2012 7:08 am

        Just get’s more and more confused. Initially, autopsy said gun was fired from “intermediate” range, then later defined that as somewhere between 6 to 18 inches (as I recall). Seems like both sides have their own sources and much of this is being played out in public via media. Now there’s a Tennessee case of so-called “Stand Your Ground” law as well.

      • May 23, 2012 10:28 am

        Likely it will just get curiouser and curiouser, eh? Rube Goldberg couldn’t have designed anything more elaborate and convoluted than the U.S. justice system.

  2. Michael permalink
    May 22, 2012 9:01 pm

    Allen, I’m glad that you, jude, and slinky are allright. It may be time to consider the fact that the bear has established the fact that there is a wonderful, tasty food source there, and believe me, it won’t stop coming back for at least a month after it eats the last comb. I know it goes against the grain, but you might want to contact someone on the island who likes bear for dinner, other than the honored guest, and would be willing to do that for you. In this country, there are game regs that allow people who engage in agriculture, to 86 problem game animals who are commiting “degredation upon crops or livestock. Bee hives are definatly included. I grew up on the stuff, and I like it. Also, there is leaf lard in the stomach cavity of urus that makes the best pie crust on earth. I wish you well, but be very careful, as this bear obviously does not fear either you , jude, or your dog. Think oo buckshot. Michael

  3. wkmtca permalink
    May 22, 2012 9:08 pm

    frankly that doesn’t look like yogi so i would want him gone like yesterday.. and i think bears can be pretty dangerous. i really am not some blood thirsty hunter but i would not feel safe with that bear coming around. just remember to cook bear meat well because you can get trichinosis from under cooked bear meat.

  4. Michael permalink
    May 22, 2012 9:39 pm

    I forgot to mention, when the combs are gone, so will follow the chickens, as well as slinkee, and the garden, as they are omnivores. I also read the comment above mine, and trichinosis is only found in hogs, and has been eradicated in this hemisphere for a long time.
    we had one here about a year and a half ago. I came home from a swing shift at the jail, about 11oclock, and went out on the deck for a beer and a bowl before bed. I heard a coughing, snuffeling sound from the othe side of the fence, and thought “that sounds like a bear”. Well, I turned on the overhead lights, and there was a young bear looking at me thru the fence. I said hello bear, and it turned around and went crashing up the hillside in the direction of the coast at something approching warp speed. Never saw it again. No food source. Again, be aware and be safe. Michael

    • May 23, 2012 10:23 am

      Michael and kris, thank you for the suggestion. There are plenty of hives left, and we can’t reach the fellow who owns them. We want them removed. If they aren’t soon, we’ll likely go with the “double ought” option. We can’t afford to be sentimental with the chickens and garden so close. Jude spent half the night in the truck with the headlights on the hives, and Not-Yogi managed to get one anyway.

      • Michael permalink
        May 24, 2012 1:03 pm

        They are nothing but determined in their quest for food. I saw a Alaskan Brown(Kodiak) overturn a pickup truck onto it’s side to get at a 1/2 lb Parka squirell. Dad told me they would (and these were black bears like yours,) rip entire limbs off apple trees to get the fruit, back in Hood River Oregon in the 30’s. Too bad about the hives, but am glad they aren’t yours personally.Best of luck with it. Let us know how it goes–Michael

      • May 25, 2012 10:15 am

        There is (or was) a photo in a ranger station at Yosemite National Park of a car door that had been bent in half from the top by a bear that saw food in the car. I’m updating about Not-Yogi next.

  5. Chris permalink
    May 22, 2012 9:59 pm

    Actually, you might try giving Steven Harper a call. This guy comes along and steals your honey, ignores your protests and comes back to steal more of your honey. Sounds like a conservative to me!

    • May 23, 2012 10:25 am

      Would he accept a collect call?

  6. wkmtca permalink
    May 23, 2012 8:16 pm

    this is from wikipedia.. trichinosis is gone from ‘farmed’ pork.. not wild and it is found in bears.. i think maybe in rabbits also.

    Trichinosis, also called trichinellosis, or trichiniasis, is a parasitic disease caused by eating raw or undercooked pork or wild game infected with the larvae of a species of roundworm Trichinella spiralis, commonly called the trichina worm. There are eight Trichinella species; five are encapsulated and three are not.[1] Only three Trichinella species are known to cause trichinosis: T. spiralis, T. nativa, and T. britovi.[1] Between 2002-2007, 11 cases were reported to CDC each year on average in the United States[2] which were mostly the result of eating undercooked game, bear meat, or home-reared pigs. It is common in developing countries where meat fed to pigs is raw or undercooked, but many cases also come from developed countries in Europe and North America, where raw or undercooked pork and wild game may be consumed as delicacies

    • May 24, 2012 10:36 am

      Thanks for the clarication, kris.

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