Hungry bear in the neighborhood

Bear 1

We’ve experienced a little excitement in our neck of the woods this week.  On Monday morning we awoke at 6 a.m. to a broken bird feeder and garbage strewn about the lawn.

“I think we’ve been visited by a bear,” I sighed to husband, knowing the annoyance of fixing the bird feeder yet again.  (Hungry spring bears have foraged for our sunflower seeds in bygone years.)

“Yes,” he sighed heavily back. Only a bear could bend our steel bird feeder pole at such a skewed angle.

Bear 2

I cleaned up the garbage.  He fixed the pole on Tuesday.

No more sightings of said bear.

You tend to forget these things in the woods.  A bear passes by, it’s gone.  Old news.  Interesting news, but here today, gone tomorrow.

A friend on social media posted a picture of a bear with its paws on their window munching bird seed.  Perhaps the same bear?  She lives maybe seven miles away as the crow flies.  Google says a female bear has a range of 2-6 miles; a male travels up to 15 miles.  Black bear excursions of up to 126 miles have been recorded.

Bear 3

Every day I walk up or down our road.  Am I afraid to walk with bears around?

No.  Cautious, maybe.  More alert, maybe.  But not afraid.

Bear 4

On Wednesday I walked down the road and met two of the neighbors.

Hello, we said.  How’s it going?

We proceeded to chit-chat and almost turned away before one of us said, “Hey, we had a bear last weekend.”

Neighbor immediately shared her story.  Not only did they have a bear break into their shed, they have pictures from their game camera!

She estimated the bear at six feet, male, and a lover of dog and cat food.  It didn’t prefer oats or chicken feed.

“Can you share the pictures?” I begged.  “We would love to see them.  My mom would love to see them.  She wondered why we knew it was a bear that knocked down our feeder.”

“Of course,” Neighbor replied graciously.

Bear 5

She sent them over yesterday–and here they are.  Their game camera caught quite a few cool images, didn’t it?

I posted one of the pics on Facebook yesterday (didn’t have time to download them all) and someone wondered if perhaps the bear might be TOO friendly and need to be relocated.  That might be a possibility if it hangs around and gets into any more trouble.  But so far–he’s not been spotted again.


Bear 6


Bear 7

A final shot of what the fella did to our bird feeder.

It’s been fun to “see” him via game camera, but he can keep his distance from now on.  Keep on moving on, Bear!

Bird feeder





About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
This entry was posted in May, 2020 and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Hungry bear in the neighborhood

  1. rehill56 says:

    Yes, move along now. 😄 I always would sing when I walked so they would know I was there and keep hidden.

  2. rehill56 says:

    Incredible photos by the way…

  3. Carol says:

    That would keep me inside! Amazing shots!

  4. Susan D. Durham says:

    That bear is so cool. Love the pictures of him. But, yes, hopefully he’s had his fun in civilization and wandered back into more natural territory. Thanks for sharing, Kathy!

    • Kathy says:

      You are so right, Susan. The bear is cool AND he can just mosey on outa here. (Barry will be posting these pics in the paper next week, so you can see them again.)

  5. Stacy says:

    From where I’m standing, that’s pretty exciting. The black bear still inhabits Louisiana, but I have never seen one. I hope your bear moves along! XOXO

    • Kathy says:

      I am glad you were excited, Stacy! There weren’t a lot of black bear hanging out in lower Michigan, either, where I grew up. But here in the Upper Peninsula, we co-habit with these guys. Interesting to hear they also exist in Louisiana.

  6. Barb says:

    If bears (or other wildlife) get easy food, they’ll keep returning. I saw a bear in the neighborhood last week on my walk. I’ve seen trash cans overturned. I’m always more wary on trash day!

    • Kathy says:

      Yes, that seems to be so. We see this especially in populated areas (ha ha) of the UP. That may be an oxymoron because there really aren’t too many populated areas. We don’t have garbage services out here, so that’s a questionable plus. Luckily this bear has not been spotted in a week.

  7. Robin says:

    He’s beautiful. And so big!! But, like you, I’d want him to keep on moving. We don’t have bears on the Eastern Shore. Rumor has it there were some near where we used to live in Ohio, but I never saw one (or signs of one).

    • Kathy says:

      He is a big guy, that’s for sure! Interesting that you have no bears. And never saw one in the Bogs. We rarely see them here, even though there are lots. Guess that’s why this was so interesting.

  8. Yikes!!! Those pictures are amazing! We’ve been having a lot of black bears sightings in Connecticut in recent years, even in the suburbs. Frequently in the news someone will post videos of bears, sometimes with cubs, eating from bird feeders in their yards or on their decks. Tim & I think we even saw some bear tracks in the mud on one of our walks. I have to admit, it makes me nervous to be outside.

    • Kathy says:

      Barbara, I am glad you liked the pictures. We thought they were amazing, too. Interesting about black bears in Connecticut. And the bear tracks in the mud. Stay safe when you’re not at home…guess that could be another slogan!

  9. When I first saw your photos on FB I thought they were computer-generated. Truly, Mr. Bear looks too perfect to be a wild bear. Isn’t his hair (fur?) beautiful and glossy? And his eyes shine! He seems to be a happy bear. He makes me smile. Thanks for sharing your bear with us all here. xo 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Yes, that game camera did make the pictures look almost too perfect. It was incredible that the neighbors had pictures. Glad you enjoyed meeting Mr. Bear.

  10. Lori says:

    Wow. That camera really did take great shots. He seemed to open those shed doors like a pro. That guy knows what he’s doing.

    You brave, Kathy. Stay safe and well.

    • Kathy says:

      That bear fella is quite smart. Can’t believe he actually figured out how to open the shed door. Was trying to figure out what might be the most scary: bears, Coronavirus or ticks (lyme disease). You know, part of me is most scared of lyme. Looks like the little deer ticks have found their way to the UP and affixed themselves upon us (and the neighbors) already this year. Sigh.

  11. Well, the bear is a handsome dude but quite frankly I’d be very cautious if it were me. Is there some type of noise maker or bear repellant that you could carry on your walks. I know you love to be outdoors and all that- but bear/s do not play especially a female with cubs. So be ever so wary of the big furry guy, please. You might think that in no way it could happen to you but I hope that you wilt not take chances in thinking it will not attack you. I followed a blogger in Canada (he no longer blogs) in the past who took down all bird feeders before nightfall in order to keep the bear/s away. It certainly is worthy of consideration. If there is a food supply they will hang around your area so efforts to dissuade them ought to be considered. Mind you, I am no bear expert but I do read about wildlife a lot since I am interested in conservation and all that it entails.

    • Kathy says:

      You are so right about being cautious, Yvonne. We have lived in the thick of bear country for over 40 years. Luckily, this fella is a male and doesn’t have cubs. I have been walking all these years and do not walk at night. Luckily also, he has not been back our way. If he appears again we will reassess. Thanks for your concern.

  12. Reggie says:

    Holy Smokes, Kathy, that is a gigantic bear!

    I’m glad he didn’t do more damage to your property. Cool pictures though!! 😀 I like the one where he seems to be looking right at the camera – he looks like a clever chap!

    • Kathy says:

      Holy Smokes indeed! It does remind me once again about the innate intelligence of many animals like our bear. Luckily we haven’t seen the fellow since.

      • Reggie says:

        I’m assuming that he approached your and your neighbours’ properties because he was hungry and couldn’t find his normal food? So you’re kind of the wilderness equivalent of the deli down the road? 😀 Or maybe he was just inquisitive, because he noticed that there was less human traffic through the area than normal for such a long time? Either way, I’m glad you’re safe!

        • Kathy says:

          You crack me up! The wilderness equivalent of the deli down the road! 😂 Yes, when the bears first come out of hibernation in the spring they are hungry and there’s not much food around yet. We think they are around every spring, they just usually don’t get bold enough (or hungry enough) to stage a break in.

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