Wednesday, May 13, 2009

How bold can black bears be?

There's been so much wildlife around lately that I feel like I'm living on the Serengeti. Yesterday a moose wandered through the yard, and last night my wife woke me up because she heard the chickens squawking. I went outside with the dog, a flashlight and a shotgun. There was an upholstered easy-chair in the yard. I was puzzling over how that could be when the chair started walking. Then some walking ottomans appeared. A large blackbear sow and three cubs were sniffing around the coop. They weren't alarmed at all by either me yelling or the dog barking. They even grunted some warnings, but finally they wandered off. 

About an hour later, they came back. I had some 7 1/2 birdshot shells with me this time, figuring I'd pepper the sow and teach her to be afraid of people. She just stood and watched me as I unloaded the first round of buckshot and reloaded with birdshot, with the dog barking like crazy behind me. I didn't want to hurt her eyes, so I walked around her in a semi-circle to get a better angle, and shot her in the ass from about 25 yards. 

There was surprisingly little reaction. Their fur is very thick, and maybe they haven't even shed out completely yet, but I'd have thought that even just the noise and blast would make her skedaddle. Instead she just lumbered off slowly. I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised - we're talking about an animal that thinks eating bees is fun. 

The cubs went up a tree, where they stayed for about three hours. I took the pic from the front deck of our house.

I've ordered some rubber buckshot in case they come back. I'll be doing them, me and the chickens all a favor if I can convince them that people should be avoided. 

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