A black Bear cub walked through our front yard, last evening

ilovemytrees(5b/6a Western, NY)July 24, 2014

I'm freaked out over this.

There was a black bear sighting, last year, on our road, and it was the talk of the town.

Well, now there is, apparently, a precious black bear cub walking around...

We took down all of our bird feeders, but I don't know what else to do..

Is there anything we can do to make our yard (about 1/2 acre or so) less attractive to bears?

Should we buy a gun? Neither I nor my dh have ever held a gun in our lives, but there comes a time for the need to protect one's family. I already told dd that we were not going out in the yard to play today, all I know is if there's a cub around, then the mama isn't far away.

The cub was actually adorable. It laid on its back and moved side to side like it was scratching its back. A deer was in the yard across the street and took one look at the bear and took off. All I saw was a white tail hopping up and down away from view. lol

It seems like wildlife is becoming more and more comfortable around here.

This post was edited by ilovemytrees on Thu, Jul 24, 14 at 8:26

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Just use common sense but most of all don't let trash exposed or food. We get bears around here alot. They are more afraid of you than you are them.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 7:50AM
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Don't leave anything in your yard for a bear to eat. A bear could even smell food in an outdoor trash can and try to get into that.

Here in the south it's not uncommon to see black bears. Some of my friends even hunt them for food. But that doesn't make me afraid of going in the woods. Bears can sometimes be unpredictable, but generally, they're more afraid of you than you are of them and will stay away from you. That being said if I see a bear, I'm not going to test my luck. I wouldn't say you need to buy a gun for this unless that's something you wanted anyways. In the slim chance that you end up in a situation to need it, what's the odds that you'll be carrying it at the time? Just use common sense and you'll be alright.

This post was edited by mosquitogang201 on Thu, Jul 24, 14 at 8:12

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 8:03AM
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In situations like these, I believe a gun would be like a camera. When you need it it is in the bedroom, when you have it there are no bears to be seen.

If I were in your area, I would start carrying my camera and shoot it every time I saw it. You could get some good pictures. If there is a zoom lens on your camera you could even get some better pictures that you could post here.

We live in an area of half to several acre lots, and are about 20 miles east of Raleigh NC. I am sure there are bears in the area as we are in a wooded area, and within about a half mile of a wide swampy creek.

Bears have been seen within about five miles of downtown Raleigh, so I am waiting with my camera.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 8:30AM
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The only time a black bear is dangerous is when they associate people with easy food....i.e. trash left out with easy access. Think about this.....the thousands of people who camp and backpack in the Smokys every year. How many attacks have you heard of? VERY rare. The most dangerous part of a trip to the Smokies is the car ride there. Black bears are very shy and do not want to attack or be near humans....unless of course there is easy food. When backpacking out in bear areas we always would carry bells on our backpacks and have a whistle. The reason is so that they hear you coming and scat off!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 8:42AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5



ps: momma couldnt be far away ... if it was a cub ...

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 9:51AM
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ilovemytrees(5b/6a Western, NY)

I called the sheriff's office, not to come out or anything, but to see what we should do, what we could do, etc. The guy asked what road I lived on and when I told him he laughed and laughed because it has the word Bear in it. He thought that was so funny...He was like you saw a bear on Bear blah blah road? Ha Ha I guess you know now why they named it that, huh?

Anyway, they said if it comes into our yard again, we can call them, and they'll take care of it, but not if it's on someone else's property. The thing is I really don't want the bear or Mama hurt. I want them shot with a tranquilizer and moved elsewhere.

I am fully aware that wildlife was here LONG before we were. And what do we expect when we live on a lake surrounded by woods, bears are naturally going to be there. It's just we've been here 11 years and we've never seen a bear before yesterday. My dd is afraid a bear could break into our house through a door or window or something. She thinks bears are very smart now that she saw some videos of them opening car doors etc.

That really wouldn't happen would it, a mama bear trying to get into our house?

Ken, what does a county extension office do?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 2:32PM
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Hang wind chimes and don't panic. For the first time you saw what has been all around you all along. Educate yourself and relax.
Pray you don't see a mountain Lion.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 2:48PM
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I have friends that live in NJ's bear country; they have not had a problem, though a few cubs made their way to their top deck (property IS fenced in btw) to rub their noses against the sliding glass doors. Bears are everywhere now. Seems like they are retaking previous historical territory. In my state, they used to b restricted to the mountainous and hilly NW, but recent sightings show them moving south and into suburbia. Eastern black bear does not seem to be particularly aggressive. I don't know if my country friends gave a gun or not, but if they do, they would be more likely against some Homo sapiens. As for DEER, I have herds and practically live in THE HOOD! LOL!

This post was edited by njoasis on Thu, Jul 24, 14 at 15:29

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 3:11PM
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shillanorth Z4 AB

Tranquilizing and moving bears, particularly female bears is a poor solution. They have home territories and will be run out of another bear`s. They will not have the knowledge of available food supplies in a new area and then run the risk of becoming a problem bear. In places where bears` territories are close to urban areas, homeowners can take the precaution of not feeding birds in summer, not leaving pet food out, locking up all garbage, keeping lower level doors and windows secured, not planting fruit bearing trees and shrubs. I`ve spent lots of time hiking alone in the forests and across the tundra and never had a problem with grizzlies or black bears.The most I`ve ever done is carry pepper spray and make noise by talking or singing. Contrary to popular belief, bells are not considered a safety measure. As other posters have mentioned, black bears are for the most part shy and choose to leave humans alone. There is a really good site with lots of info about black bears in the link. I hope this helps to alleviate your fears and increase your enjoyment of a truly marvelous animal.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bear Facts

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 5:17PM
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I posted on the Pa gardening forum if anyone has seen tracks or bears themselves in Pa, with no answers. I know they are around. Two years ago a black bear was caught behind the Giant Eagle store about 3 miles from me. They had a trap and baited it, and caught one which I believe was at the age where momma tries to get them to be on their own. There was an area about 6 miles from me, up the mountains, which was featured on "Treehouse master" they had built a fancy treehouse with a raised platform so that you could see the bears at night, but they supposedly could'nt get you. Also my neighbor said he saw a black bear in a field near us about 200 yards away. He asked me if i had been walking my dog there (he's a Newfoundland dog) I told him no, so it had to be a bear. I would love to see one, but me being far enough away not to get munched up.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 11:38PM
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Shillianorth, I would rather have to stay indoors in the dark of night, than to have to make the bears have to be moved to another area. I don't go in the yard at night anyway, because I know the raccoons, possums and maybe groundhogs, are out there seeking out food.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 1:46AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

the extension office might just be another source of information ... specific to your county ...

one would think.. native wildlife is within their scope of knowledge ...

you never know where you might find info ... aka knowledge.. and knowledge is power ...


    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 6:36AM
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ilovemytrees(5b/6a Western, NY)

I'm over the shock and awe of realizing the bears have moved into the woods kitty corner to my home. The other day I walked out with my dh as he was getting into his car to go to work, and I said I was going to be fine and that I was done panicking over the possibility of a bear coming into our yard, when all of a sudden we heard what was no doubt the Mama bear "speaking" to her cub(s). That's when we determined that the bears have migrated into the woods by our house, from down the road some distance where they used to be.

I was at the post office talking about it when someone in there said a nearby town is being inundated with bears. No one is calling anyone to have them removed, yet. It seems like everyone around here is accepting a new normal. Obviously if levels increase to the point of real danger then something will have to be done. They have no predators to keep them in check.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 6:26AM
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Automobiles and hunters = bear predators. Also bear populations without human intervention would mostly likely be limited by competition for limited resources (food, territory) not predation. Black bears are actively managed in NY. Check out the link for info on black bears in your state, and you can find NYs 2014 black bear management plan here also. Learning more about their biology and bear/human interactions might help you not be as shocked and fearful of your new neighbors.

Here is a link that might be useful: Black Bears NY

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 11:17AM
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Sorry, Ilovemytrees, I guess having kids and Bears meet in your yard unexpectedly, is horrifying. I can see why you want them moved. If I had kids, I would freak out too I guess. But as mentioned the bears will be ran out of other bears territories if they are put there. I have no idea what would be the right solution. That is one for the wildlife peeps.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 11:54PM
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karin_mt(4 MT)

I can appreciate your alarm, but it'll be OK. I join the others in hoping the bears don't have to be relocated. They very well may move on all by themselves. In the meantime, it's very possible to live with the bears around, and it's common here (MT). Black bears are not aggressive and they won't come in your house. In nearly all circumstances, they are scared of people. A friend of mine routinely has her little dachshund dogs chase bears away!

If you feel like you are inclined to protect yourself, pepper spray is the way to go. A recent study showed that pepper spray is much more effective than a gun. This study literally showed that when using a gun in a bear interaction, the person was far more likely to be injured than if they had just used pepper spray.

So, as the popular phrase says, keep calm and carry on. And let the bears do the same. And it will all be just fine!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 1:03AM
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sandyslopes z5 n. UT

One thing I haven't seen mentioned yet is not to use fish emulsion as fertilizer for any of your gardens as that fishy smell will attract bears. At least that's what I was told by a friend who lives around bears.

Best of luck co-existing.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 2:56AM
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ilovemytrees(5b/6a Western, NY)

I just got this email from our NY Senator Cathy Young. Apparently the growth in bears is not just our particular area.

The Governor put it quietly into law that our county can hunt bears. I say quietly because no one around here knew about that new law until the local paper mentioned it.
Here's her email:

"Dear Ann,

Black bears are an important and natural part of our environment, and their population in New York is growing. As the number of bears increases, sightings in our area are becoming increasingly common and the likelihood of interaction with people inevitably rises.

With an estimated 6,000 to 8,000 bears in New York's woods and forests, it is important to know how to avoid bears and how to react if you come in contact with a bear.

Black bear attacks on humans are extremely rare. However, damage to property is much more common.

Follow these tips to steer clear of bears and protect your family, pets, and home:

Never feed bears intentionally; feeding creates human-bear conflicts and is illegal. If a bear learns it can be fed by humans, it will become more bold and aggressive towards people.

Avoid leaving out food and garbage that will attract bears. This includes bird feeders, which should be removed after April 1 if there is a risk of attracting bears.

Remove the grease from gas and charcoal grills after use.

Do not leave out pet food or even empty dishes, which can still attract a bear.

Do not operate a refrigerator or freezer outside or on an outside porch. Bears will be able to smell what is inside.

If you are camping in the woods, there is an even greater need to exercise caution:

Keep your campsite as clean as possible.

Do not leave out food, coolers, or anything else that may carry the scent of food, including the clothing worn while preparing or eating a meal.

Cook and eat before dark. Bears become more active after sunset.

If you do encounter a bear, keep these tips in mind:

Never approach or surround a bear. Any action that makes a bear feel threatened can provoke an aggressive response. Be especially cautious around cubs. Mother bears are very protective.

Use noise to scare bears away. Yelling, clapping, or banging pots will help frighten the bear off.

Never run. If in close quarters, back away slowly.

Do not throw food at an approaching bear. It will further encourage them to approach humans.

By following these tips and precautions, we can ensure that black bears keep to themselves and conflicts are avoided. Working together, we can maintain and protect our bear population, while also protecting people and their property. For more information on New York's black bears, visit the Department of Environmental Conservation's website at www.dec.ny.gov/animals/6960.html.

As always, never hesitate to contact me if there is anything I can help with.

Warmest regards,

Senator Cathy Young
57th District
Albany Office:
307 Legislative Office Bldg
Albany, NY 12247
518-455-3563 District Office:
700 West State Street, West Gate Plaza
Olean, NY 14760

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 8:12AM
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THis is great advice. We may have bears approach our yard at night. My neighbor had said he saw a bear about 300 yards from our homes. I have a Newfoundland dog, a Large dog of 200 lbs plus, very large. He asked me if I had had my dog in the nearby field, I said "no". So the owner of the field no longer has a canine (dog) so he had said there was a bear in this nearby field. I hadn't seen it for myself. But I don';t THINK my next door neighbor would outright lie. I wish I would see for myself, but, I can't quite picture him making up a story about a bear in the field. He never elaborated that it came near him etc.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 11:42PM
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To anyone out there where bears may go into your yard. Try to put a tall fence in your yard. I know it takes money to put up a fence of some size in your yard, just try to get a couple panels at a time, if need be. Even wire fencing, if the fencing is 6 ft tall, and you can shoot a BB gun to scare at first, before shooting at the bear. People are putting homes into the previously "Wilderness" areas.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 12:21AM
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