In won’t be long before the black bears will be coming out of hibernation. In fact, the NH Fish and Game has already warned that they are on the move in the southern part of the state. It won’t be long before they’ll be coming out here in the north.
This promises to be one of those bad years. When the bears went into hibernation they weren’t in great shape. It was a bad year for natural food sources. They didn’t put on as much fat as they normally do. After the bears wake they’ll be even hungrier than normal. Hunger will overrule their normal caution and they’ll get into trouble.
Most of the time, when bears come into conflict with humans it results in a dead bear. I know several people who’ve had to shoot bears. When a bear breaks into your house and comes into your kitchen, options are limited. The game wardens are pretty ticked off when someone shoots a bear, but if one came into my house that’s how it would end.
I still can’t believe there are still people who leave birdseed where a bear can get it. My trash doesn’t get put to the curb until just before the city truck comes by. People should take precautions about food that would attract bears.
Bears have a good memory. If they’ve found food on your property once they’ll keep checking. A neighbor used to keep bags of birdseed in a shed. One year a bear broke the door down and ran off with 20 pounds of birdseed. After that my neighbor kept the seed in his basement. No matter. For the next two years a bear would rip the door off the shed to see if there was food there again.
Normally, my dog is pretty good about chasing bears off the property. She will only harass them until they cross the property line. Dogs have a very good understanding of boundaries. Once the bear is off my land, its not my dog’s problem anymore. That’s pretty smart, really. How much should a little beagle mix be expected to stand up to a bear anyway?
A few years back some idiot fed a large mama bear just down the road from me. The bear became bolder and bolder and was starting to scare the guy. Then he moves away, leaving behind a large bear that was very accustomed to getting food from people. It was a problem bear for a couple years. I’m not sure what happened to the bear in the end, but I suspect that one hunting season a hunter shot it.
Personally, I’ve never hunted bears. The last thing in the world that I need is a dead bear. I’m rather fond of them. Because I like them so much I do what I can to keep them from becoming pests. I’m hoping we have a really good berry and nut year so they won’t be a problem. The only thing is, the bears wake up before most of their food sources are available. That’s when bad encounters are likely, and remember, when humans and bears clash, it’s always bad for he bear.