The Bear in the Woods

Gregory heard the sliding doors that led to the yard open in the basement. Big Ralph pounded outside and headed for the yard. He heard his wife’s soft footsteps petering after the big Lab.

A moment later, Gregory could hear his wife’s shrill screams.

He yanked open the hall closet door and grabbed his hunting rifle. Will all the good old boys in current news touting their artillery in protest of losing their 2nd Amendment rights, Gregory kept his own rifle on hand. Current tensions in the US kept him on his toes. He was a veteran of the United States Army and he knew how to use a gun if he had to. He was prepared for anything.

When Gregory reached his wife, the scene was horrific. Beautiful black and yellow feathers dusted the yard around her den. The wire around her coop was bent like melted butter.

Darlene gasped as her gaze looked upon the woods beyond their fence, which was also bent.

“Look!” She whispered loudly.

It was a big black bear, meandering without a care in the world. His huge butt was bouncing side to side as he made a slow retreat from wherever he came from. There was nothing in his mouth though.

An excerpt from The Crescent: A Novella by Cynthia Lin

In the situation above from the The Bear and The Duck chapter in The Crescent, the characters face an unwanted experience with a local bear. They inhabit an area where wildlife is abundant. Most wild animals avoid contact with people and remain mainly invisible to the human eye. There are instances in which a bear might approach suburban living. If we are to coexist amongst those living beings who rely on the resources of whatever remaining forestry exists, we must understand their way of life.

Bears, in this instance, specifically Black bears survive off of nuts and berries. They rarely attack the livestock that farmers keep on their property. But when/if they do go after chicken, sheep, goat, it’s a sign of desperation. Backyard chicken owners can reduce livestock loss by securing their animals/pets in a pen and coop reinforced with hardwire cloth. Additionally, all neighbors should make a concerted effort to secure trash cans and bins. If people have birdfeeders, they should be taken in during seasons in which bears naturally forage for winter hibernation or the weeks in which they are just awakening from their winter slumber. These steps greatly reduce encounters with Black bears.

Here is a great guideline for what to do in case of the unexpected meeting of a BLACK bear. It specifies more for pet owners with a dog, but the advice is invaluable to any chance encounter.

Sometimes an encounter with a bear is unavoidable despite your best efforts to sidestep it. If your off-leash dog charged a bear who decides to retaliate your only recourse is bear spray. But assuming you’re still in control of the dog and the situation has not escalated:

Excerpt and citation from Orvis. https://www.orvis.com/what-to-do-in-a-bear-encounter-with-your-dog?fbclid=IwAR3v5adITZqhC3l-ynGtCZ2anF3m14sZmUZMDg42BE1z95D7QLMSs4NgL6A#:~:text=If%20the%20bear%20has%20seen,the%20bear%20plenty%20of%20space

If the bear has not seen you: Quietly and quickly leave the area, but never run—you’ll look like prey. A bear can run faster than 30 mph—it will easily outrun, outclimb, and outswim you.

If the bear has seen you: Keep your dog close and calm if the bear stays 15 feet or more away, avoiding sudden movements. Respect the bear’s critical space, do not approach it, and try to turn and leave how you came. If you must continue, take a detour and give the bear plenty of space.

If the bear’s behavior changes: You’re too close, so back away—give him all the room he wants. Speak: use a normal tone of voice and move your arms.

If you have an encounter at close range: Stand upright and make yourself as large as possible. Don’t make direct eye contact—speak in a calm, assertive, and assuring tone as you attempt to slowly back up and get your dog and yourself out of danger.

If the bear moves toward you: Wave your arms and make a lot of noise—most bears will back off quickly. Throw an object on the ground (your camera, for example), as the bear may investigate it long enough for you to escape. But never toss food towards a bear or attempt to feed it.

Give the bear a way out: leave an escape route open for him.

If the bear charges: If you know the bear has an escape route AND you are sure it’s a black bear, stand tall and look it directly in the eye: yell at the bear and tell it to leave—make sure your bear spray is at the ready. Never use this strategy with a grizzly bear; you will need to use your bear spray instead.

From Orvis https://www.orvis.com/what-to-do-in-a-bear-encounter-with-your-dog?fbclid=IwAR3v5adITZqhC3l-ynGtCZ2anF3m14sZmUZMDg42BE1z95D7QLMSs4NgL6A#:~:text=If%20the%20bear%20has%20seen,the%20bear%20plenty%20of%20space

Published by kinikiahulagirl

Dancer, Owner at DC Hippodrome Variety Show Ent., LLC, Realtor at clin.kw.com, mother, wife, a student of life, learning to be a chef, animal lover, blogger, and boat enthusiast.

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