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Think you have trouble with mice? We have black bears. Years ago my wife heard the neighbors dog barking in his yard. Max was not much of a barker, but when he did that baritone voice of his rattled windows and shook the doors

My wife looked outside and there was Max on one side of his chain link fence arguing with the bear on the other side. The fence in question is waist high, not exactly an obstacle for dog or bear. Both were posturing waiting for the other to make the first move.

My wife ran outside yelling at the bear. While black bears are not particularly nice, they will back away from people if given the chance. But can we count on that? Do we know what the bear thinks? Max was facing a fight he could not win and my wife was not about to let that happen. So there my wife went out the door, in bare feet, hands waving in the air yelling at the top of her lungs at an already agitated bear. When I heard the story I knew I would put my money on my wife and it appears so would the bear. With an arrogant huff the bear slowly meandered back into the woods.

There was also the bear who raided our bird feeders. We have a cast iron shepherds hook that holds the feeders. Rather than stand up and take the food this lazy bear bent the Shepherds hook in half. I was able to bend it back with an industrial clamp and a lot of cursing. The really annoying part came later when I ventured to the top of the driveway and saw our garbage strewn across the street. Along with the garbage of several neighbors. That was a fun time.

Then there was the time I was washing dishes and glanced out the window only to see a large bear wandering in our yard with two cubs in tow. My wife looked out but couldn’t see the bear. “No, not near the woods, right here under the window” The look on her face was priceless when she looked down and there was the bear looking up at her.

One evening last fall I stepped onto our front porch to find a little bear running up and down tree trunks. We watched him for a while then we heard something much larger rustling in the leaves just behind the garage. With the reminder that momma bear wasn’t far behind we retired back into the house letting the bears do whatever it is bears do.

A few weeks ago I was taking the dog for her final walk of the evening, we got all the way to the end of the porch when we came face to face with the largest bear I’ve yet to come across. We all took a good long look at each other before slowly backing away. The bear headed off into the woods the dog and I slipped back into the house where I told my wife that we were going to hold off on our walk for a little while to give the gigantic bear a few moments to leave the area. At that moment she got a text from our neighbor trying to warn us about the very large bear that just walked through their fence and was heading our way.

And just in case you are wondering we also have mice.

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